Marquette University Law School Poll Shows Baldwin Leading Thompson
MILWAUKEE, WI -- A new Marquette University Law School Poll released Tuesday shows the Democrat candidate for the U.S. Senate seat, Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, leading her Republican challenger former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson, 50% to 41%, in the race for the U.S. Senate seat.
Marquette University Professor Charles Franklin, who directed the poll, noted that less than a month ago those numbers were exactly the reverse. Franklin said that the biggest shift in the polling numbers came from independent voters.
The results of an August poll revealed that the state's independent voters preferred Thompson 47% to 37% over Baldwin. That support has shifted with this poll as independents indicated a preference for Baldwin 50% versus Thompson’s 38%.
“The thing that is so striking is how big the shift is for independents. For most of the change we see is independents shifting their view on things. Of course the flip side is what can change dramatically in one month could change again dramatically later,” Franklin said.
This poll also shows that President Barack Obama is experiencing a significant post-convention bump as Wisconsin voters weighed in favouring the president over Republican Mitt Romney, 54% to 40%. The August poll had the president's lead at much narrower 49% to 46% difference.
Franklin cautioned, however, that there was also movement in the makeup of partisanship in the poll. In September Republicans made up 27 percent of the likely voter sample, down from an average of 30 percent across all eleven Marquette Law School polls conducted since January. Democrats made up 34 percent, up from an average of 32 percent. Independents were 37 percent of the September sample, the same as their average for the year.
“Our September poll makeup is about two points more Democratic and three points less Republican than average, which is within the margin of error,” said Franklin.
[If the sample were adjusted to match the yearlong average partisan makeup, both margins would tighten, with Baldwin leading 48 to 43 percent and Obama leading 51 to 43 percent.]
The poll also shows the president’s job approval rating among regular voters to be 54% with 39% disapproving. In the August poll, the president’s approval rating was 48% with 45% disapproving.
The poll shows 28% of regular voters say the economy has improved over the past year. 33% say it has gotten worse. 37% say it has stayed about the same.
Broward County Schools First In U.S. To Recognise LGBT History Month
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL -- Broward County School Board members Wednesday unanimously passed a formal resolution recognising LGBT History Month, making the school system the first in the nation to officially recognise LGBT History Month, which takes place every October.
During the public forum before the final vote, emotions ran high as students and community leaders spoke. Hollywood Hills High School senior Leo Washington told the board,
“I’m 18 and African-American,” he said. “All we want is to recognize them for who they are so we can recognize ourselves for who we are. That’s what I want for every student in every school.”
Washington said he knows of at least 30 people in his school who are LGBT but afraid to come out as such, not even in their own homes. “There’s a lot of people out there that come to me and tell me they can’t come out,” he said. “It can be really bad.”
The board's resolution does not set any specific curriculum for teachers but will allow them to craft academic lessons of LGBT history that "may have been overlooked up until now."
“Administrators, teachers, staff, parents and students are encouraged to take part in LGBT History Month in any way that is most positive and uplifting to their schools and communities,” the resolution states. “And to coordinate efforts to highlight exemplary role models from the LGBT community.”
Broward County has 1.7M residents and its school system is the sixth-largest in the nation with over 260,000 students.
Last year the California legislature passed a law requiring that state public schools are to include notable LGBT figures and moments in history lessons.
Former member of the school system’s Diversity Committee, Michael Rajner, a local LGBT activist pointed out that Florida's GOP dominated state legislature has shown little interest in LGBT-rights issues, saying that there is little chance of LGBT history being added to the state’s education curriculum anytime soon.
He added that LGBT History Month showcases LGBTQ activists, pioneers, who are an important part of American history, and it can also boost the self-esteem of adolescents who may be struggling with their own emerging sexual identities, and who are often the targets of bullying.
“It gives youth a role model to look up to and to realize that they themselves are a wonderful human being, and can be a productive, important member of our society.”