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Monday, April 7, 2014

This Week on The “State of Education” Series

By Art Swift, Gallup Managing Editor

The way we evaluate whether a student receives “a proper education” continues to evolve. While students have more ways to receive an education, especially through online learning, education leaders everywhere are now asking different, more pointed questions about the state of education and how to make it more effective. Namely, is the student’s interest level at school -- how “engaged” he or she is -- as important, or even more important, than grades and standardized test scores? How accountable should teachers be for their own performance? Currently the U.S. is involved in a debate over “Common Core,” a set of academic standards that students will need to know by the end of a given school year. Are these standards helpful or a hindrance to a student receiving a quality education?

This week, will reveal data and insights that will help answer these questions in “The State of Education” series.

The topics we will be covering in this series include:

  • Americans' views of higher education and whether it needs to change (Monday)
  • Americans' confidence  in online institutions (Tuesday)
  • Perceptions of the quality of public education in grades K through 12, by state (Wednesday)
  • Statewide perceptions of U.S. public schools’ ability to prepare students for success in the workplace (Wednesday)
  • How the education level of a parent plays a major role in their child’s education in sub-Saharan Africa (Wednesday) 
  • Whether teachers in one's local area are respected or not, by state (Thursday)
  • Students’ opinions on how ready for workplace success they are (Friday, in Gallup Business Journal)
  • Whether the "Common Core" -- requiring U.S. schools to adopt the same curriculum --  is effective (Friday)
We look forward to you joining us for “The State of Education.” To get these stories as soon as they publish, sign up for Gallup News alerts.

Friday, March 7, 2014

It’s State Data Day on

For the last several weeks, has published state-level stories as part of our “State of the States” series. Today, we put together all the data we’ve been reporting on by officially launching our State of the States interactive. This easy-to-use interactive is filled with data on Americans’ political views, economic attitudes, health and well-being, and religiosity.

Using this treasure trove of data, you can:

  • Access data based on 29 different metrics by state from 2013
  • View data by metric or state
  • Sort across states 
  • Map how each metric breaks out across states
We encourage policymakers and journalists to delve into the data to uncover valuable insights and develop your own unique analysis or article. For inspiration, check out the articles has published so far using the data available in the updated State of the States interactive.

And there are always more state date available to satisfy your craving. By subscribing to Gallup Analytics you can explore and export the full trends since 2008 by state and metric.

Happy State Data Day and let the data expeditions begin!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

In Midst of Winter Olympics, Views of Putin in Russia and the U.S.

by Art Swift, Gallup Managing Editor

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been an important figure on the world stage for nearly 15 years. During that time, both Americans and Russians have had a complex relationship with the one-time KGB operative. In the last year, Putin has positioned Russia as an aggressive player on the world stage -- whether in instituting anti-gay policies, proposing a solution to chemical weapons in Syria, allowing Edward Snowden asylum, or writing a controversial op-ed in The New York Times.

Thursday on, we will publish two articles: the first looking at Americans’ perceptions of Putin and Russia, and the second exploring Putin’s standing among Russians themselves. The findings should illuminate the changing opinions about this fascinating leader.

To get these stories as soon as they publish, sign up for Gallup News alerts.

Monday, February 10, 2014

State of the States: Insights So Far

By Art Swift, Gallup Managing Editor

We are now three weeks into our “State of the States” series on Here are some interesting connections and observations we have made based on the articles about state-level politics and religion in our series thus far:

Democrats’ state advantage may be dwindling, but liberal identification is rising.

Blue states outnumbered red states last year, 17 to 14, but that advantage has been shrinking since 2008. That year, Democrats held a 30-state advantage over Republicans, though that lead shrunk to seven states by 2012. This shift reflects the general downward drift from a high point in Democratic identification associated with Barack Obama’s first presidential election campaign in 2008. Meanwhile, the percentage of Americans who consider themselves liberal has been steadily rising since 1992, up to 22% in 2013. Conservatives still have an advantage over liberals, but the gap shrunk to 15 percentage points in 2013. This suggests that, while some on the left are using the term “progressive” to describe their policies and ideology, the liberal brand may have life in it still.

Mississippi is the most religious state and the most Protestant.

Mississippi is the most religious state in the nation, with 61% of residents describing themselves as “very religious.” It is also tied for the state with the most self-identified Protestants, at 77%. Does this mean that Protestant states are generally the most religious? Not exactly. While Protestants are above-average in their religiousness, Mormons are the most religious denomination Gallup routinely measures. Utah, a majority-Mormon state, holds the title as the second-most religious state in the United States. But states with the highest percentages of Protestants do tend to be more religious than highly Catholic states.

The top 10 Catholic states voted for Obama, the top 10 Protestant states voted for Romney.

Highly Protestant states tend to be clustered in the South, which routinely tilts Republican in national elections, while the majority of highly Catholic states tend to be in the Middle Atlantic and New England regions, where Democratic candidates fare well. Thus, while President Barack Obama is not Catholic and Mitt Romney is not Protestant, the 10 most Protestant states all voted for Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election, while the 10 most Catholic states all voted for Barack Obama. In the 2008 presidential election, all current top 10 Catholic states voted for candidate Obama as well, while nine of the 10 Protestant states voted for John McCain, with the exception of North Carolina, which went to Obama. 

President Obama is losing ground overall, but making some surprising gains.

The president’s yearly average job approval rating declined about two points nationally in 2013 versus 2012, and he lost majority support in three states: Washington, Minnesota, and Michigan. Yet, he stayed even or gained slightly in three states -- North Dakota (from 33% in 2012 to 36% in 2013), Alaska (from 31% to 34%), and Texas (44% to 46%). The last state is of interest, because in 2013 Obama had a higher rate of support in Texas than he did in nine states that voted for him in 2008 and 2012 -- Maine, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and Oregon.

Stay tuned for more State of the States coverage this week, where we will feature the following topics:

  • Job Creation by State (Feb. 12) 
  • Standard of Living by State (Feb. 13) 
  • P2P (Payroll-to-Population) and Underemployment by State (Feb. 14)
To get these stories as soon as they publish, sign up for Gallup News alerts.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

“State of the States” Arrives on

By Alyssa Brown, Deputy Editor,

The much-anticipated “State of the States” series has begun on The state-level findings in this series are based on key political, economic, and well-being measures from Gallup Daily tracking throughout 2013.

We kicked off this series on Monday with President Barack Obama’s job approval rating by state. Gallup Poll Managing Editor Jeffrey M. Jones reported that Obama’s approval rating did not improve by a statistically significant amount in any state in 2013 compared with 2012, and it fell from majority approval to below 50% in three states.

That’s just the beginning of many more state-level stories to be published on in the next several weeks. Here is the tentative schedule:

Monday, Jan. 27: Obama job approval by state
Wednesday, Jan. 29: Political party identification by state
Friday, Jan. 31: Ideology by state

Monday, Feb. 3: Religiosity by state
Wednesday, Feb. 5: Religious identification by state

Monday, Feb. 10: Economic Confidence Index by state
Wednesday, Feb. 12: Job Creation Index by state
Friday, Feb. 14: Payroll to Population and underemployment rates by state

State stories on key well-being metrics such as obesity and health insurance status will follow in the months to come.

The best way to get all state-level stories as soon as they publish is to sign up for Gallup News alerts and select “All Gallup Headlines.” We look forward to having you join us on for “State of the States.” 

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