​The AP-NORC Center Update

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

Our Latest Reports

Is the Public Willing to Pay to Help Fix Climate Change?

A national survey conducted by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago (EPIC) and The AP-NORC Center in November 2018 explores Americans’ views on climate change, a carbon tax, and fuel efficiency standards.  Forty-four percent support a carbon tax, while 29 percent oppose one and 25 percent say they neither support nor oppose it. When told some ways the funds might be used, support is higher. Most Americans support a carbon tax used for natural environment restoration, renewable energy research, and public transportation. Read more

How the Urban/Rural Political Divide Plays Out in America’s Suburbs


While the average overall opinions of suburbanites appear moderate, a new UChicago Harris/AP-NORC Poll shows that rather than true independents, suburbs include a mix of individuals who strongly identify with the two main political parties. Indeed, fewer suburbanites identify as political independents than either urban or rural residents (15 percent vs. 25 percent and 30 percent, respectively).

Moreover, the survey finds that the ideological divisions among suburbanites are closely linked to the types of communities they have lived in before. In particular, suburbanites who have lived in urban areas previously are significantly more liberal in their political attitudes and voting behavior than those who have spent their entire lives in either suburban or rural communities. Read more  

The Economy, Foreign Policy, and a Government Shutdown 

The 35-day partial shutdown of the government appears to have taken a toll on the public's attitudes toward the country and the economy. In a AP-NORC Center survey, Americans have a worsening view of the overall direction of the country and where the national economy is headed. Read more  

·         The survey also explores Americans’ views of their own economic situation. While most Americans are positive about their current personal finances, few have much confidence in their ability to deal with an unexpected expense, find a new job, or finance their retirement. Read more  

·         A majority of Americans disapprove of how President Donald Trump is handling foreign policy, and have mixed views about plans to withdraw troops from Syria and Afghanistan. The public has also become less positive about U.S. relationships with countries like North Korea and RussiaRead more

The Public's Policy Agenda, Genetic Testing, and Investigating the President 

Americans' policy priorities for 2019 are dominated by health care and immigration. Over the past year, immigration has risen to the top of the public's agenda, equal to health care, in an AP-NORC Center survey. Despite the Democratic takeover of the House of Representatives in November, Republicans continue to be more positive about the state of the country and where it's heading than Democrats. Read more

·         In addition, the survey finds that Americans favor the use of gene editing to prevent disease or disabilities, while there is strong opposition to using the technology to change a baby's physical characteristics, such as eye color or intelligence. Support for eradicating disease and disabilities is strong, as well as opposition to altering genes in order to change physical features or capabilities. Read more

·         The president's connections with Russia are seen as illegal by 38 percent of Americans, while 34 percent say he has acted unethically, but not illegally. Similarly, Trump's authorization of payments before the 2016 election to silence two women who claimed to have had extramarital affairs with him is considered illegal by 38 percent and unethical by 40 percent. Read more

From Our Journalism Fellow

Companies navigate dementia conversations with older workers


CHICAGO (AP) — Faced with an aging American workforce, companies are increasingly navigating delicate conversations with employees grappling with cognitive declines, experts say. 

Workers experiencing early stages of dementia may struggle with tasks they had completed without difficulty. Historically punctual employees may forget about scheduled meetings. And those who have traveled to the same office day after day, sometimes for years on end, may begin to lose their way during their morning commutes. Read more


Andrew Soergel started on Sept. 24 as the fourth recipient of the Center's Fellowship on the Economics of Aging and Work. Andy is a senior reporter at U.S. News & World Report, covering business and economic trends at the local, national and international levels. The fellowship was established with funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Andy 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. He will also participate in original AP-NORC Center projects related to aging and work.

Seen and Heard

The Atlantic, January 26: The article "The Shutdown Leaves Trump's Base Cracked," cites the AP-NORC survey on the partial government shutdown. 

National Geographic, January 23: The article "Most Americans now worry about climate change-and want to fix it," features findings from a survey on climate change conducted by EPIC and The AP-NORC Center.

The Hill, December 21: The AP-NORC survey findings about Robert Mueller's investigation into President Trump are featured in the article "Majority of Americans say Trump has tried to obstruct Mueller probe."

NORC Sparks Blog: In "AP VoteCast: A Look Inside the Data," Trevor Tompson, Director of The AP-NORC Center, and Dan Malato, a research scientist, utilize the large national sample to examine results from the 2018 midterm elections for populations that are too small to measure in typical election surveys.

New Faces of The AP-NORC Center

Caroline Smith

dv headshot.pngCaroline Smith began her career at The AP-NORC Center on July 16 as a research assistant. She graduated magna cum laude in May from Loyola University with a B.A. in political science and international studies. At Loyola, Caroline was a scholarship athlete on the women's golf team. Caroline is working part-time with the Center while she works toward a master’s degree in political science at Loyola.

In her free time, Caroline enjoys watching basketball, and traveling to new cities. 

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.