The AP-NORC Center Update

​Welcome to the latest edition of The AP-NORC Center Update. The Center started the new year with a look at the public's policy priorities for the new administration as well as an examination of President Obama's legacy. The past few weeks saw a new article from our journalism fellow as well as several examples of how our research has impact beyond the coverage of The Associated Press, with recent citations by major publications including and Ebony

Our Latest Reports

Americans' Priorities for 2017


While Republicans, Democrats, and independents prioritize many issues facing the country differently heading into 2017, all three rank health care as the most important. Other top issues across parties include jobs and the economy generally, this AP-NORC poll finds. And, while Americans desire a sizeable amount of government action on the important problems facing the country, most lack confidence in Washington's ability to make progress on them this year. Read more

Obama's Legacy as President: Depends on Who You Ask


As President Barack Obama prepares to leave the White House after nearly eight years, most Americans have positive views of him and his administration, albeit with lukewarm opinions about some aspects. But, according to a new Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll, there are deep divisions among the public. Read more



The latest survey from the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago with The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research examines how young people feel about Barack Obama, how they reacted to the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, and their attitudes toward how the media reports the news. Highlights include:

  • Majorities of young adults across racial and ethnic groups approve of President Obama's character and overall performance as president over the past eight years.
  • Young people of color overwhelmingly approve of Obama's handling of numerous public policy issues. By contrast, the only issue for which a majority of young whites approve of his performance is gay rights.
  • Many young adults of all racial and ethnic groups believe the lives of people of color are going to become worse under Trump while the lives of whites will improve. About half of people expect the lives of women and poor people to become worse.
  • Millennials are concerns about Trump's commitment to democratic principles, and majorities of all racial and ethnic groups believe he will not respect those he disagrees with and will make it hard for individuals and groups to protest.
  • Large majorities of all racial and ethnic groups do not trust the media and are concerned about its ability to serve as the public's watchdog during the Trump presidency. Read more

Associated Press coverage:

Other coverage:

From Our Journalism Fellow

Growing number of Americans are retiring outside the US

fellow011017.jpgNewly widowed, Kay McCowen quit her job, sold her house, applied for Social Security and retired to Mexico. It was a move she and her husband, Mel, had discussed before he passed away in 2012.

"I wanted to find a place where I could afford to live off my Social Security," she said. "The weather here is so perfect, and it's a beautiful place."

She is among a growing number of Americans who are retiring outside the United States. The number grew 17 percent between 2010 and 2015 and is expected to increase over the next 10 years as more baby boomers retire.

Just under 400,000 American retirees are now living abroad, according to the Social Security Administration. The countries they have chosen most often: Canada, Japan, Mexico, Germany and the United Kingdom. Read more

Maria Zamudio headshot.jpgMaria 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

MediaShift, December 28: "How to Fight Fake News and Misinformation? Research Helps Point the Way," highlighted the latest findings from The Media Insight Project that accuracy in reporting is an extremely important aspect of building trust in news in addressing how media consumers sort fact from fiction., January 9: The findings from the Center's 2014 study on how Americans evaluate the quality of doctors were featured in a story, "A Failed Cure for Health Care Costs," that looked at the effectiveness of online price-comparison tools.

The Huffington Post, January 10: The Center's recent survey on Obama's legacy was featured in the HuffPollster polling roundup, with the findings on his high favorability among the American people highlighted.

The Faces of The AP-NORC Center

Alvarez_011317.jpgEmily Alvarez, Principal Research Analyst, has been a member of the AP-NORC team since 2013. At the Center, Emily maintains and analyzes public opinion data, writes reports, and helps develop the Center's data visualization initiatives. She has worked on a variety of projects, including the Center's work on energy and the environment, polling on Americans' awareness of the Zika virus, and the ongoing economics of working longer program.

Prior to joining NORC, Emily completed her undergraduate work in political science at Southern Illinois University and earned a Master's degree in political science from Northwestern University. 

When not at work, Emily enjoys eating brunch with her family, listening to obscure podcasts, and hanging out at her neighborhood gym. Hailing from the St. Louis area, Emily looks forward to taking her five-month-old daughter to her first Cardinals game this summer. You can follow Emily on Twitter at @EmilyRAlvarez​.