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LUNCHTIME POLITICS: 10 Social Changes Since Woodstock – Hong Kong



Your Daily Polling Update for Tuesday, August 20


Same as yesterday

RON’S COMMENT: Today’s average is based on four polls, ranging from 43% (WSJ/NBC, Fox News, Reuters) to 46% (Rasmussen). The fifth poll has it at 44%. President Trump’s disapproval rating averages 54% today (same as yesterday), which is 10 points higher than his approval rating.


Among U.S. adults nationwide

As you may know, there are currently protests in Hong Kong over the involvement of mainland China in Hong Kong. Which of the following comes closest to how you feel the US should act?

The US should stay out of the dispute: 62%
The US should support the protestors: 19%
The US should support the Chinese government: 2%
Don’t know: 17%

RON’S COMMENT: Americans don’t have much of an appetite to get involved in the Hong Kong matter… 71% of Republicans and 62% of Democrats say the U.S. should out of the dispute. The survey was conducted by Certus Insights.

Do you approve or disapprove of the job President Trump has been doing with the situation in Hong Kong?

Approve: 35%
Disapprove: 39%
Don’t know: 26%

RON’S COMMENT: The Certus poll finds that 67% of Republicans and 15% of Democrats approve of Trump’s handling of the Hong Kong situation.


Among Democratic voters nationwide

% = Politico/CNN = Average
Joe Biden: 31%/29% = 30
Bernie Sanders: 20%/15% = 17.5
Elizabeth Warren: 15%/14% = 14.5
Kamala Harris: 9%/5% = 7
Pete Buttigieg: 5%/5% = 5
Beto O’Rourke: 3%/3% = 3
Cory Booker: 3%/2% = 2.5
Andrew Yang: 3%/1% = 2
Tulsi Gabbard: 1%/2% = 1.5
Julian Castro: 1%/2% = 1.5
Candidates with 1% or less not listed

RON’S COMMENT: The top five remain the same, with Sanders and Warren struggling to gain a clear second place footing…. Since last week in the Politico-Morning Consult poll, Biden dropped 2, Warren is up 1 and Yang is up 1…. In the subsample of early primary states (IA, NH, SC and NV), Biden leads with 32%, then Sanders 20%, Warren 13%, Steyer 7%, Harris 5% and Buttigieg 5%. Note Steyer’s rise in the early states, he’s now ahead of Harris and Buttigieg. His ads are having some impact…. The CNN poll asked Democrats which candidates they’re hearing the most about, and Warren wins with 20%. Harris follows with 18%, Sanders 16%, Biden 15%, Buttigieg 13%, Booker 10% and O’Rourke 10%…. Also worth noting: The CNN poll finds that 54% of Democrats say they want a nominee with a strong chance of beating Trump over one who shares their positions on major issues (39%). But, that 54% is down from 61% in late June.


By Lydia Saad, Senior Editor, Gallup

Excerpts from the report:

  1. Religious Attachment Has Waned: Americans’ attachment to religion was steady at a high level from the 1950s to the mid-1960s…. Gallup did not measure religiosity in 1969, but its two measures bracketing Woodstock, taken in 1965 and 1978, show this was a period of sharp decline. The percentage describing religion as very important to them fell from 70% to 52%. Reported church membership and church attendance declined more gradually between the 1960s and 1970s, but both figures have dropped precipitously in the past 15 years.
  2. Marijuana Legalization Has Gained Support: Despite open drug use at Woodstock, it would be several decades before Americans would support the legalization of marijuana. The figure was 12% in 1969, rising to only 16% in 1973 and 28% by 1977. Support picked up in the 2000s, however, rising from 31% in 2000 to 66% in 2018.
  3. Interracial Marriage Has Gained Acceptance: In 1968, 20% of Americans said they approved of marriage between blacks and whites. That figure rose to 87% by 2013, Gallup’s most recent measure.
  4. Majority Now Think First-Trimester Abortions Should Be Legal: In 1969 — before the Supreme Court’s 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which struck down state restrictions on abortion in the first trimester — 40% of Americans favored making it legal for women to have an abortion “at any time during the first three months.” In 2018, 60% of Americans thought abortions in the first three months should be legal.
  5. Americans Have Become Willing to Vote for a Woman for President: Barely half of Americans in 1969 said they would support their party’s nominee for a “generally well-qualified person for president” if that nominee were a woman, although that was itself an improvement from 33% in 1937. Today, Americans’ expressed willingness to support a woman for president is nearly universal, at 94%.
  6. Willingness to Vote for a Black President Has Grown: Two-thirds of Americans in 1969 (66%) said they were willing to vote for a black presidential nominee…. Today, a decade after the first black president took office in the U.S. and two decades after the figure first surpassed 90%, the sentiment is nearly universal, at 96%.
  7. Americans Now Prefer Smaller Family Size. In 1967, fully seven in 10 Americans said that having three or more children per family was ideal. In Gallup’s next measure in 1971, that figure had dropped to 52% — and by 1977, it was at 36%. After bottoming out at 28% in later years, Americans’ preference for large families has since increased to 41% but is still not at the level it was before Woodstock.
  8. Premarital Sex No Longer Taboo. The expectation that couples wait until marriage to consummate their relationship may have been so entrenched in U.S. social norms that Gallup didn’t poll on the issue until 1973. Even then, less than half of Americans (43%) supported premarital sex, saying it was not wrong for people to have “sex relations before marriage.” Today, that figure is 71%.
  9. Homemaking No Longer Women’s Preferred Vocation. In 1974, five years after Woodstock, a majority of U.S. women (60%) said in a poll conducted by the Roper Organization that given a choice, they would rather “stay at home and take care of the house and family” than “have a job outside the home.” Roper updates later that decade found women more evenly divided on the question. Three years ago, Gallup found a slight majority of women preferring to work outside the home.
  10. Support for Gay Rights Goes Mainstream. The percentage of Americans saying gay or lesbian relations between consenting adults should be legal has risen from 43% in 1977 to 73% today.

Bottom Line: “Woodstock wasn’t so much a catalyst for change as a signal that it was coming. The Vietnam War, the women’s and civil rights movements, the environmental movement, medical advances in birth control and the proliferation of household television are just some of the factors that contributed to social change in the 1960s. Woodstock was, however, symptomatic of major societal changes underfoot.

“Gallup trends indicate that in 1969 the majority of Americans were very religious, disapproved of premarital sex and frowned on interracial marriage. Half opposed first-trimester abortions, and many likely thought gay relations should be illegal. Additionally, bias against women and blacks who might run for president was pervasive, and a majority of women preferred to be homemakers rather than work outside the home.

“Americans’ stances have since changed on all of these matters, in some cases markedly so. However, except for the decline in religiosity and preference for smaller families, these changes didn’t happen abruptly after Woodstock, but evolved over several decades.

“In retrospect, social change may have been inevitable from a generational perspective, as the youth of Woodstock are now the youngest cohort of senior citizens, meaning most of American society today is composed of the Woodstock generation and its progeny.”

To read full Gallup report, click here


Who was the last candidate elected president to lose Florida in the general election?

(See answer below)


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Presidential job rating average based on recent nationwide polls.
NATIONAL: DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION: Morning Consult/Politico, Aug. 12-18; CNN, Aug. 15-18
HONG KONG: Certus Insights, Aug. 13-16

L = Libertarian candidate
G = Green Party candidate
O = Other candidate(s)
D poll = conducted by or for organizations generally associated with Democrats.
R poll = conducted by or for organizations generally associated with Republicans.


Bill Clinton. He lost Florida in 1992.

Lunchtime Politics is owned and published by Ron Faucheux. For interviews or speeches about polling and political trends, contact Dr. Faucheux at

The publisher of this report cannot attest to the reliability or methodology of surveys that it does not conduct.

Copyright 2019 Ronald A. Faucheux


Ron Faucheux

Dr. Faucheux is a nationally respected public opinion analyst with a unique background in public policy and legislative research, public communications and message strategies. He combines professional competence with pragmatic problem solving skills.