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The AP-NORC Center Update

​Welcome to the latest edition of The AP-NORC Center Update. We’ve been busy as we head into the summer. Check out our latest reports on plans for summer vacation, education, long-term care, trust in the media, retirement, and President Trump's job performance and policies. 

Our Latest Reports

Americans' Plans for Summer Vacation

About half of Americans will not take a break from their everyday world during the upcoming summer months, with cost cited as the top reason for not taking a vacation, according to this poll from The AP-NORC Center. But among those who do plan to take a vacation, most plan to travel with family, and while most people say they are looking for rest and relaxation on their summer break, a third of vacationing adults remain plugged in to social media. Forty percent of full- or part-time workers either work during their vacation or at least check in with the office. Read more

Education in the United States: Choice, Control, and Quality

Although many Americans profess to want more school choice, there is very little support for several proposals to provide options in elementary and secondary education. This poll finds that about 4 in 10 think there is too little school choice in their state or their own community. However, more Americans want to maintain the status quo that gives preference to the children living near a particular school than support proposals to provide more choice like using various criteria for admission or the use of lotteries to determine school admissions. Read More

Long-Term Care in America

Views on Who Should Bear the Responsibilities and Costs of Care

The AP-NORC Center’s fifth annual Long-Term Care Poll explores how older Americans feel about the services and support in their community, the country’s preparedness to meet the care needs of an aging population, and other attitudinal trends. Read More

The Media Insight Project

“My” Media Versus “The” Media: Trust in News Depends on Which News Media You Mean

New research by the Media Insight Project, a collaboration of the American Press Institute and The AP-NORC Center, suggests public attitudes about the news media are more complex and nuanced than many traditional studies indicate, with attitudes varying markedly depending on what media people are asked about. Read more

The Economics of Aging and Work

The Impact of Intergenerational Wealth on Retirement

When it comes to financial security during retirement, intergenerational transfers of wealth create a snowball effect for Americans age 50 and older, according to new analysis by The AP-NORC Center. Older Americans who received loans or gifts from parents or older relatives at some point in their adult lives are more likely to be the beneficiaries of inheritances, and are in turn more financially prepared for retirement and experience more flexibility in the decision about when to retire. Read More 

Americans' Views on President Trump's Job Performance and Policies


There were multiple releases from this poll:

  • Most Americans disapprove of Trump’s stewardship of the country. When it comes to specific issues, nearly half approve of the way President Trump has handled the threat of terrorism. Fewer approve of the way he has handled the economy, immigration, and foreign policy. Read more
  • Half of Americans express concern that President Trump or members of his campaign had inappropriate contact with members of the Russian government and 6 in 10 believe that Trump has attempted to obstruct the investigation into these possible contacts. Read more
  • Most Americans say protecting the country from security threats is the main motivation behind President Trump’s executive order on travel, though a majority support the courts’ actions blocking the order from taking effect. Read more
  • Few Americans favor withdrawing from the Paris Climate Agreement and half say withdrawal will hurt the national economy in the long run. Read more

From Our Journalism Fellow

Poll says blacks less likely to have enough for retirement

Older white Americans are nearly twice as likely as African-Americans to say they’ve saved enough for retirement. The new AP-NORC Center survey also found that African- Americans and Latinos have less financial security than whites and will rely on fewer sources of income during retirement. The retirement savings gap between white and other minority groups extends beyond pensions, 401(k)s or other retirement accounts. Read more

A third of older Latinos have tapped into retirement savings

An AP-NORC Center poll found that older Latinos are more likely than older whites or older blacks to say they’ve had to withdraw or borrow money from a retirement account — 34 percent for Latinos compared with 24 percent for whites and 25 percent for blacks. Read more

Experts: Uphill fight against age-related job discrimination

Age-related discrimination in the workplace still exists 50 years after the enactment of legislation designed to prevent it, aging experts and advocates told the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Wednesday. Read more

Maria Ines Zamudio is the third recipient of The AP-NORC Center 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. Along with writing a series of in-depth stories on issues linked to the economics of the aging workforce in the United States, she works on the AP-NORC Center projects related to aging and work.

Seen and Heard

CNN.com, May 5: The article, "Where's the empathy for black poverty and pain?" includes a quote from The Center's Deputy Director, Jennifer Benz, in a discussion of the salience the news media places on declines in optimisim among whites despite the fact that the economic conditions of blacks still rate below those of whites.

WOSU Public Radio, May 18: Jenny Benz was also featured in the discussion, "The American Spirit: Who We Are and What We Stand For," talking about The Center's poll on the American identity.

Fortune.com, May 24: Key findings from the "My" Media report were highlighted in the article, "People Distrust the Media in General, but Trust the Media They Like."

Forbes.com, May 30: "Americans Are Baffled By Long-Term Care Financing, But Want Medicare To Pay For It" discusses several findings from the latest long-term care report, including the difficulties people face in paying for care and support for the involvement of Medicare in the long-term care system.

Christian Science Monitor, June 8: "Can direct democracy reenergize West's disillusioned voters?" utilizes the Frustrated Public report's findings of a lack of confidence in the political system in an article about rebuilding faith in government institutions.

The Faces of The AP-NORC Center

JB_face_image.jpgJennifer Benz is the Deputy Director of The AP-NORC Center and a Principal Research Scientist with the public affairs research practice at NORC. At the Center, Jenny oversees administrative and research operations, and has the pleasure of leading an amazing team of research colleagues.

Jenny has a Ph.D. in political science from UNC Chapel Hill. She specializes in the measurement of the public’s awareness, understanding, and perceptions of public policy issues. Her research has explored dozens of topics and she often uses an interdisciplinary approach, in both theory and method, complementing survey research with qualitative and experimental methods. With the kind encouragement (and occasional push) of her mentors at NORC, she is slowly overcoming her stage fright to comment on the Center’s work in the media.

Outside of work, Jenny is a slow but dedicated triathlete and an avid fan of Carolina basketball. She and her husband, Brian, also enjoy every moment they can with their two sons – Ian, 17 (pictured here with Jenny), who is headed off to Georgia Tech in the fall and 8-year-old Will, who is currently obsessed with Minecraft and tapirs. You can follow Jenny on Twitter @jennybenz.

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.​