The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Jesse Rhodes, Associate Professor of Political Science and Associate Poll Director, is quoted about the differing political perspectives on the insurrection. Rhodes says a disturbing underlying trend is the dip in the number of people who think Jan. 6 participants should be prosecuted. “There we're not just talking about how we describe things or what happened, but whether we want to learn from what happened and take steps to prevent such things from happening again. And that's what I think is really troubling,” he says. (The Hill, 01/06/2022)

A new UMass Poll shows President Joe Biden’s approval rating declining as he approaches a year in office, with 53% of respondents disapproving of his performance and 41% approving. This is a drop from the 51% approval in a UMass Poll taken in April 2021, two months into his term. “The honeymoon is officially over – as the nation inches closer to marking a year of the Biden presidency, a minority of voters approve of the job that Joe Biden has done as president,” says Tatishe Nteta, Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the poll. (The Boston Globe, WCVB [Boston], 1/11/22; News Office release)

PhD Candidate Amber Vayo has been awarded a $12,000 Dissertation Grant from the UMass Graduate School for her Dissertation entitled, "'No One Would Listen to Me': Right Consciousness and Institutional Betrayal in Childbirth."

In a recent analysis for The Washington Post, Alexander Theodoridis, Associate Professor of Political Science, and Lane Cuthbert, PhD student in Political Science, find that many Republicans genuinely believe that Biden fraudulently won the 2020 election. "Republican respondents consistently tell pollsters that they doubt the legitimacy of Biden's election. Apparently, that's a genuinely held belief." (Washington Post, 01/07/2022)

Amhel Ahmed, Associate Professor of Political Science and Associate Provost for Equity and Inclusion, along with two other scholars asked to discuss the ramifications of the Capitol attack and where we are as a society one year later. “There are always forces within the political system that would be fine taking power by force rather than through the electoral process,” she says. “Where I would focus my attention is on the much greater number of individuals who aren't necessarily stuck in that position but have that doubt planted in their head — because that’s where you get numbers giving air to these conspiracy theories and giving air to a narrative that really delegitimizes the mechanisms [of democracy and elections].” (WBUR All Things Considered, 1/6/22)

There is ongoing coverage of recent UMass Poll findings reporting voter opinions on the 2020 and 2024 elections, the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and other issues. (Public News Service, 1/7/22; News Office releaseThe New York Times, 1/6/22; Public News ServiceThe Washington Post, 1/7/22; NewsweekThe Nevada Independent, 1/9/22; News Office release)

There is ongoing coverage of findings from new UMass Amherst Polls reporting views on a variety of issues including election reforms, the 2020 and 2024 presidential elections and last year’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. A Dec. 28 poll found more than half of Americans believe some political leaders oppose their right to vote and 71% of Republicans – and one-third of the nation – believe that President Joe Biden’s victory in 2020 was illegitimate. 

A poll released today looking at voter preferences in the 2024 presidential election and found that Democrats favor Biden, followed by Senator Bernie Sanders, Vice President Kamala Harris and Senator Elizabeth Warren, while Republicans polled favor former President Donald Trump, followed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley and former Vice President Mike Pence.  (WCVB, WCVB, Reflector.com, 1/5/22; The Boston Globe, 1/4/22; News Office release, News Office release)

A University of Massachusetts-Amherst and WCVB poll published in November found the reforms remain popular by Massachusetts residents, with 61% expressing a favorable view of legalization with 37% reporting a “very positive” view along with 24% who had a “somewhat positive” view. (Ganjapreneur.com, 1/6/22)

Stories marking the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, storming of the U.S. Capitol examine continued political divisions in how the event is remembered, citing recent UMass poll findings that 71% of Republicans see Joe Biden’s victory as “illegitimate” and 62% call participants “protesters” and “martyrs.”(Boston Globe, Washington Times, Baltimore Sun, Fox46 [Charlotte, N.C.], Modesto Bee, 1/5/22; Slate, USA Today, MassLive, UPI, Mother Jones, newsakmi.com, 1/6/22; News Office release

An article about the history of state-sanctioned racism in California cites a UMass Amherst Poll from April 2021 that found a majority of respondents disapproved of providing financial reparations to the descendants of slaves. “Four hundred years since Africans were forcibly brought to the shores of America, 245 years since the 3/5th Compromise and 156 years since freed African Americans were promised 40 acres and a mule, a majority of Americans express an unwillingness to pay the descendants of slaves for the nation’s original sin,” says Tatishe Nteta, Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the UMass Poll.(San Francisco Chronicle, 12/30/21; News Office release)

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