Welcome to the latest edition of The AP-NORC Center Update. Check out our study on political engagement among teens, the first poll of teens conducted on AmeriSpeak®, along with a new poll examining attitudes among adults toward President Obama’s health care law. We have several examples of how our research has impact beyond The Associated Press’s coverage, with use in books, national publications, and broadcast.
Our Latest Reports
American Teens are Politically Engaged but Pessimistic about Country's Direction
Teens have long been excluded from most research about politics and civics because they cannot yet vote. Led by Amanda Lenhart, a new study from The AP-NORC Center surveyed 790 teenagers age 13 to 17 as a lens into the 2018 mid-term elections and the 2020 presidential contest, when many of today’s teens will be making their first forays to the polls. The study is the first survey of teens on AmeriSpeak®, and it examines teens’ broad feelings about the direction of the country, gauges their optimism for the future, and reveals the next generation’s ideas about governance and America’s role on the world stage. Read more
Many Want Changes to the Health Care Law but Few Support Its Immediate Repeal
Few Americans want to keep the nation’s health care law just as it is now, but most do not want to see it completely dismantled either. According to this AP-NORC poll, only 12 percent want the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—also known as “Obamacare”—kept in its current form while 40 percent say former President Barack Obama’s signature domestic achievement should be preserved, albeit with improvements. On the other side, 16 percent say the law should be repealed immediately, although twice as many, 31 percent, want President Donald Trump and Congress to wait to repeal the law until a substitute is ready. Read more
From Our Journalism Fellow
States pursuing plans to help workers save for retirement
CHICAGO (AP) — States are moving forward with new initiatives to help workers save for retirement, even as the Republican-led Congress tries to block rules making it easier for them to do so.
Studies show a sharp divide in retirement savings between those who have employer-sponsored plans and those who do not. The state programs are designed to fill in the gap.
Dozens of small business owners recently gathered in Schaumburg, Illinois, to learn about the new state-sponsored retirement savings initiative, "Secure Choice IRA." Officials said it could help about 1.2 million workers who don't have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan.
"It's clear there's a retirement crisis," Illinois Treasurer Michael W. Frerichs told the small business owners. "This is a problem not only for the families but for all of us." Read more
Maria Ines Zamudio is the third recipient of The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Fellowship on the Economics of Aging and Work. She is an award-winning investigative reporter for the Commercial Appeal Newspaper. The fellowship is supported by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Maria will write a series of in-depth stories on issues linked to the economics of the aging workforce in the United States that will run on the media platforms of the AP. She will also participate in original AP-NORC Center projects related to aging and work.
Seen and Heard
CNN.com, December 21: Findings from the Center's 2016 study into Americans working longer were featured in "Turning 50: How to Make the Most of Midlife."
The Associated Press, January 27: AP-NORC figures on support for the Affordable Care Act were cited in a video essay titled, "Americans Concerned Over Future of 'Obamacare," chronicling a young Chicagoan’s reliance on health care. The video was shared at USA Today, MSN Money, and in other news outlets.
Nonprofit Quarterly, February 1: An article titled, "Nonprofit Free Clinic: We Were Serving Fewer People and That Was a Good Thing," about the impact of repealing the Affordable Care Act on free clinics cited the Center's recent study on what Americans think about the health care law.
When Bad Policy Makes Good Politics: Running the Numbers on Health Reform, by Robert P. Saldin: This book published February 24 features findings from the Center's 2014 Long-Term Care Poll in an analysis of the politics of long-term care in the United States.
The Faces of The AP-NORC Center
Brian Kirchhoff, a Research Scientist, has been with The AP-NORC Center since 2015. He supports and manages the design, implementation, and analysis of domestic and international research projects. He works on public opinion and program evaluation research through every phase: development of objectives, sample design, developing training materials, conducting trainings, implementing and overseeing data collection, creating and implementing quality control procedures, analysis and report writing, and presentation of findings to stakeholders.
He has worked with both quantitative and qualitative research engagements for telephone, face to face, and web-based methodologies. He has developed and implemented surveys, media monitoring and evaluations, focus groups, and in-depth interview projects in the United States, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Israel (including the Palestinian territories), Niger, South Africa, Ethiopia, South Sudan and Kenya.
Prior to joining NORC, Brian worked in public opinion research at The Gallup Organization and D3 Systems. He received his B.A. in history and English from the University of Nebraska where he also completed coursework toward a Masters in Public Administration before starting his career in public opinion research.
Brian lives in Vermont with his wife, Katie and two adorable mutts, Lizzie and Buster. He is an avid motorcyclist and currently rides a 1975 BMW R90/6 and a 2012 BMW R1200GS. A big music fan, he has seen the band Phish more than 160 times over the past 20 years.
Recently Released Data Sets
After about six months or so, The AP-NORC Center makes its data sets available to the public. Once released, data sets are available on the individual poll's project page. Polls with recently released data sets are:
The data and documentation are also donated to the polling archive at the Roper Center for Public Opinion at Cornell University.