The AP-NORC Center Update

​Welcome to the latest edition of The AP-NORC Center Update.

Our Latest Reports

Paths to Subscription: Why Recent Subscribers Chose to Pay for News

Recent newspaper subscribers were surveyed to explore the paths consumers take to pay for news. The Media Insight Project, a collaboration between the American Press Institute and The AP-NORC Center, interviewed more than 4,100 recent newspaper subscribers, and captured their motives and mindsets at the time of the decision to pay. The large sample helps highlight differences among large papers and small, reader preferences for digital consumption versus print, Democrats versus Republicans, and a host of other factors. Read more

Democratic Representation: Americans’ Frustration with Whose Voices are Represented in Congress

Americans’ dissatisfaction with their elected representatives is tied to their beliefs about how lawmakers are making decisions. Researchers from Stanford University, the University of California, Santa Barbara, and The AP-NORC Center collaborated in conducting a survey that examines negative attitudes toward Congress and the public’s perception of how lawmakers determine their position on legislation. Majorities of both Republicans and Democrats say that lawmakers should consider the views of their constituents, but instead they actually pay more attention to donors and elites. Read more

Guns, North Korea, Trade and Taxes


Curious what Americans are thinking about the big issues in the news? Following the Parkland school shooting last month, 7 in 10 Americans want stricter gun laws and large majorities support specific gun control measures. Although Americans remain worried, they express less concern about the nuclear threat from North Korea than last fall when that country was conducting frequent ballistic missile tests and President Trump was suggesting a possible military response. In the wake of the new tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, Americans think the effect of international trade on jobs should be the most important consideration when negotiating with other countries. And among people who get a regular paycheck, 46 percent say their take-home pay has increased since the new tax law went into effect.

What Americans think about the Economy

Less than a third of Americans say things are going better in the country now than they were a year ago, and nearly half say it’s only going to get worse in the coming year, according to the February AP-NORC survey. They are somewhat more optimistic about the current state of the national economy. President Trump’s overall approval rating stands at 35 percent while 64 percent disapprove. On the issues, Trump receives his highest marks on the economy: 45 percent say they approve and 54 percent disapprove. Read more

Assessing Race Relations under the Trump Administration

Forty-nine percent of Americans say race relations in the United States are worse than they were a year ago, and few are optimistic that race relations will improve in the year ahead, according to findings from the February AP-NORC survey. African Americans express more pessimistic views than whites when it comes to race relations. Two-thirds of Americans are unhappy with the way Trump is handling race relations, including 59 percent of whites and 91 percent of African Americans. Read more

Tying the Knot: What Americans Think About Weddings

Nearly all Americans have attended or participated in at least one wedding. They think weddings can be heartwarming and fun, but the celebrations can also be a major drain on the wallet. In a survey conducted for The Associated Press and WE tv, more than three-quarters Americans say too much money is spent on weddings these days. Read more

Our New Journalism Fellowship

The AP-NORC Center, with support from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, is offering a residential journalism fellowship focused on the economics of aging and work in the United States.

The Economics of Aging and Work Journalism Fellowship will address the need for more journalists with the skills required to do research-based enterprise reporting. During the 10-month fellowship period starting in September, the selected journalist will develop the analytical research skills needed to create a series of news reports dealing with the economics of the aging workforce in the United States to be distributed by AP to its global worldwide audience of thousands of subscribers and customers across all media platforms.

The fellow will be selected through a national competition open to journalists with at least five years of experience. Journalists working in text, radio, television, and online are eligible to apply by April 2. More information

Seen and Heard

Consortium for Policy Research in Education, January 2018: This policy brief features the Center's findings on attitudes toward school vouchers in a discussion of how political ideology and religion shape support or opposition to voucher programs.

Axios, January 2: The article, "Don't read too much into health care's high poll rankings" analyzed the Center's survey of what the public says is the most important issue facing the country in 2018.

Poynter, February 28: The media news site highlighted the Media Insight Project's recent survey of subscribers in its daily news roundup.

The Hill, March 23: The Center's survey on Americans' opinions about gun laws was detailed in the article, "Poll: Gun control has highest support in five 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 survey's project page. Surveys 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.​