Entries in ABC News/Washington Post Poll (4)


More Americans Choose Beach over Mountains for Summer Vacation

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Grab your flip-flops and break out the blanket: The beach beats the mountains in their perennial summertime battle as the country’s more popular vacation destination, according to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll.  But it’s a close call, with suntan-seeking women closing the deal for the shore.

With the summer solstice upon us, 72 percent of Americans express a favorable opinion of going to the beach for summer vacation; a bit fewer, 66 percent, like the idea of a trip to the mountains.  The beach opens up a 10-point advantage in “strong” popularity.

The difference is among women: They’re 11 percentage points more apt to like the idea of a beach vacation than a sojourn in the hills, and a wide 19 points more likely to “strongly” favor the beach than the mountains.  Equal numbers of men would be happy with either option.

Having kids comes into it, too.  Parents with children younger than 18 at home look especially positively on the idea of a beach vacation (83 percent) -- 15 points higher than among adults without kids at home.

Age also matters, with positive responses to a beach break peaking at 80 percent among women younger than age 50, while bottoming out at 58 percent among senior citizens overall.  Differences among these groups on a mountain holiday are far more muted.

While both options are popular among majorities of the public, there’s not complete overlap.  Fifty percent in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, express favorable opinions of beach and mountain vacations alike.

There are regional preferences: The beach beats the mountains by a 17-point margin in the Northeast and by 10 points in the South, while the two are rated equally in the Midwest.  In the West, the mountains do better than in any other region, and actually outpoint the coast, 76 percent vs. 70 percent.

Among other groups, whites are far more enamored of mountain vacations (75 percent) than are nonwhites (49 percent), with no such difference on the beach alternative.  And favorable views of both options tail off among people with lower- and lower-middle incomes, perhaps too busy making ends meet to think about summer holiday choices.

Finally, in these partisan times, there’s no ducking the political equation.  While Democrats and Republicans see eye-to-eye on a beach vacation, positive views of this option slip by 10 points among independents.  On the other hand, Republicans and independents respond equally favorably to a mountain holiday, Democrats less so.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Google Reigns as Most Popular Tech Brand, Poll Finds

JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- In the high-flying world of iconic technology brands, two -- Google and Apple -- tower at remarkable levels of public popularity in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll.  But add in strength of sentiment and one of them claims the crown.

An almost unheard-of 82 percent of Americans express a favorable opinion of Google overall, the national survey finds, and a majority, 53 percent, express a “strongly” favorable opinion of the world’s leading search engine.

Apple’s no slouch: Seventy-four percent see it favorably.  But in addition to trailing Google by a relatively slim eight percentage points overall, it lags by a wider 16 points in strong devotees.

Another leading tech brand is popular, albeit less so -- 58 percent of Americans in this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, express an overall favorable opinion of Facebook.  But a fourth brand does less well: Only a third rate Twitter favorably, while about as many have a negative view of the creator of 140-character commentary.

The time is ripe for this sort of assessment, given these companies’ envied positions in the marketplace. 

Google has followed up its vast lead in Internet search and advertising with online and mobile technology software, among an array of other initiatives.  Just Wednesday, the company provided a first look at the Google glasses concept, its “augmented reality” eyewear project.

Apple’s totemic products have made it the most valuable company in the world; it announced a dividend and stock buyback program last month as its shares soared past $600, with analysts pegging $1,000 as a possibility.

Facebook, the world’s largest social networking site, is set to go public later this year in what is expected to be the largest internet initial public offering ever.

And Twitter, the youngest of the four, has claimed its position as a combined social networking, messaging and marketing tool.

In addition to very broad popularity, Google and Apple share vast exposure.  Just 10 percent of Americans haven’t formed a basic opinion of Google, and 14 percent have no opinion of Apple and Facebook alike.  Twitter is less well known, with 31 percent unready to express an opinion of it.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Poll: Most Americans Still Say Economy Is on the Wrong Track

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The nation’s economic ice jam is showing tentative signs of a thaw, warming some political sentiment along with it.  But is the change enough to boost President Obama -- and incumbents generally -- in the election year ahead?

According to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, 68 percent of Americans still say the country’s headed seriously off on the wrong track.  But that’s down from 77 percent in September, and “right direction” ratings -- at 30 percent -- while weak, are their best since June.

This shift in economic sentiment can be seen in the political mood.  Forty-five percent of Americans now say an economic recovery is under way -- still fewer than half, but up by 9 points from two months ago.  The president’s approval rating on handling job creation has advanced by 6 points to its best in nearly two years.  And the number of Americans who say they’ve gotten worse off financially under this president has eased by 5 points since September, to 30 percent.

Yet, there’s still a deep chill.  This poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds that even with his gain on jobs, 51 percent disapprove of how Obama’s handling them.  Despite the change in “worse-off” ratings, twice as many have lost ground financially under Obama compared to those that say they’ve moved ahead.  And while more say a recovery’s begun, three-quarters of them also say it’s a weak one.

There’s also one particular risk ahead: The federal Energy Information Administration reported this week that the price of gasoline has risen by 16 cents in the past month to an average $3.39 a gallon -- its highest in any January in records since 1990.  If gas keeps rising, the recent, tentative advances in economic and political sentiment would be imperiled.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Poll: Six in 10 Support Policies Addressing Income Inequality

Adam Gault/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Six in 10 Americans say the federal government should pursue policies to reduce the gap between the wealthy and less-well-off Americans, although fewer express support for the Occupy Wall Street movement that’s been protesting U.S. income inequality.

Sixty-one percent of respondents in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll think the wealth gap is larger than it’s been historically.  And despite longstanding public concerns about activist government, six in 10 also say the federal government should seek to reduce that differential.

The public’s concern is buttressed by a recent Congressional Budget Office estimate that the wealthiest 1 percent of Americans have nearly tripled their incomes since 1979, while the bottom 80 percent of earners have seen their share of the nation’s total income slightly decline.

The poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds that 37 percent perceive the wealth gap as “much larger” than it’s been; just 5 percent think it’s smaller.  And 43 percent feel “strongly” that the government should pursue policies to address it, versus 24 percent who are strongly opposed.

Overall support for such policies is linked to perceptions of a widening wealth gap.  Among those who think the gap is much larger than it’s been historically, 84 percent say the government should pursue policies to address it.  That declines to 54 percent among people who think the gap is just somewhat larger than in the past, and 41 percent of those who think it’s about the same.

But while 60 percent support polices to address wealth distribution, substantially fewer -- 44 percent -- identify themselves as supporters of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and just 18 percent strongly so.  About as many, 41 percent, say they oppose the movement.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio