Fewer say health reform includes “death panels”: Some 31 percent of Americans continue to mistakenly believe the health care reform law passed last year allows government panels to make decisions about end-of-life care for those on Medicare, but that’s down 10 points from a year ago according to the June Kaiser Family Foundation tracking survey. Some 22 percent of seniors now believe in the so-called death panels, down 14 points from last July. Despite the shift, there is no increase among seniors in the percentage who say the panels don’t exist. Rather, more seniors say they “don’t know” whether the law includes such a provision.
Millennials unclear on year of independence declaration: Just 31 percent of Americans under age 30 can name 1776 as the year America declared her independence, half as many as their elders according to a Marist poll released Friday. Knowledge questions in surveys, especially the open-ended type, are not perfect gauges of actual awareness of facts, but differences between groups can be illuminating. Fully 65 percent of men declared “1776” as America’s birthyear, compared with 52 percent of women who answered correctly. On the upside, at least six in 10 of every demographic group knows that the U.S. declared its independence from Great Britain.
Bachmann ahead or a polling anomaly?: A Zogby Internet poll is making its way around the political world Friday showing Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) at the the front of the herd in the GOP primary race, with former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and businessman Herman Cain tied for second. Those results contrast sharply with a more recent Fox News poll as well as other June polls by Marist/McClatchy, USA Today/Gallup, NBC/Wall Street Journal and Post-ABC, all showing Romney in the lead and Bachmann in second place, or further behind. The Zogby poll is the only one of this set to survey using an opt-in online panel