The Takeaway: Reagan Tops Among Older Generations

The Takeaway: Reagan Tops Among Older Generations
AP Photo/Scott Stewart, file
The Takeaway: Reagan Tops Among Older Generations
AP Photo/Scott Stewart, file
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Intriguing tidbits from the week in election surveys and public opinion polls.

Talkin’ ’Bout My Generation: A new Pew Research survey asked Americans to provide a first and second choice to the question, “Which president has done the best job during your lifetime?” Overall, Barack Obama topped the list as the first choice of 31 percent of respondents. Obama's win was fueled, unsurprisingly, by the youngest generational cohort, millennials, who voted for him overwhelmingly (46 percent), followed by Bill Clinton (18 percent) and Donald Trump (12 percent).

But the older generations preferred the Gipper. Thirty-three percent of those in Generation X (ages 38 to 53) chose Ronald Reagan, with Obama coming in second at 27 percent and Clinton in third at 15 percent. 

The baby boomer generation (ages 54-72) also put Reagan on top (27 percent) and Obama in second place (19 percent) but ranked John F. Kennedy in third at 16 percent. 

Lastly, the “silent” generation (ages 73-90) ranked Reagan first (23 percent), Kennedy second (17 percent) and Obama third (11 percent). Trump finished in fourth place among this group with 8 percent, narrowly edging out Dwight D. Eisenhower and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who each finished with 7 percent.

ICE, ICE, Baby: With Democrats’ calls to “abolish ICE” heating up as we barrel toward November, a new Morning Consult survey shows that a plurality of Democrats (43 percent) are behind the idea of dismantling the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, while 34 percent are opposed. Seventy-nine percent of Republicans want to keep ICE, as do 54 percent of Independents.  Overall, just 25 percent of those surveyed want to “get rid” of ICE while 54 percent of voters want to keep it.

Say Hello to My Little Friend: A new Gallup poll shows that Americans’ attitudes toward North Korea are changing in light of last month’s summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un. Today, 46 percent of Americans view North Korea as an “enemy,” down from 58 percent in 2013.  Conversely, 17 percent of respondents now consider North Korea an “ally” or “friendly,” up seven points from the 2013 survey. And the percentage of those who see North Korea somewhere in the middle, defined in the survey as “unfriendly,” has increased to 33 percent from 26 percent in 2013.

Show Me a Barn Burner: A new survey from the GOP polling firm Remington Research shows the Republican candidate for Senate in Missouri, state Attorney General Josh Hawley, leading Sen. Claire McCaskill by two points, 48 percent to 46 percent. That’s within the poll’s margin of error, but it’s also the first survey to show Hawley ahead in this critical race.  President Trump is heading to the Show Me State in two weeks to help raise money for the challenger.

Bill Nelson, Llama a Tu Oficina: A new Mason-Dixon poll of Hispanic voters in South Florida conducted for Telemundo shows Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson trailing Republican challenger (and current two-term governor) Rick Scott, 42 percent to 39 percent, with 19 percent undecided. Scott is bolstered by strong support from the Cuban-American community, leading 58 percent to 30 percent among that group, while Nelson leads among non-Cuban Hispanics by the same margin, 50 percent to 22 percent.

Tom Bevan is the co-founder and publisher of RealClearPolitics and the co-author of "Election 2012: A Time for Choosing." Email:, Twitter: @TomBevanRCP

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