Americans believe in climate change, but do they believe in love?

We rounded up polls on some of the biggest news items of the week.

Welcome to Pollapalooza, our occasional polling column.

Today we're trying out a new format — we've rounded up recent polls that caught our eye, including those on some of the biggest news items of the week: extreme weather, U.S. involvement in the Israel-Hamas war, the bipartisan border deal, the Super Bowl and Valentine's Day.

Americans are worried about extreme weather

This week, most of California was pummeled with separate but related storms that caused heavy winds in the north and flooding and mudslides in the south. The effects of climate change, including higher ocean temperatures and more moisture in the atmosphere, are undoubtedly contributing to more frequent extreme weather events like these. And as local and national officials mobilize to respond to the damage, it's just the latest reminder of how climate change has left some communities unprepared for shifting weather patterns caused by a warming planet.

Polling shows that Americans' doubts about whether climate change is real have diminished. Most Americans think climate change is happening (72 percent) and is mostly caused by humans (58 percent), according to the latest Yale Program on Climate Change Communication quarterly survey from the fall. A slight majority of 53 percent understand that "most scientists think global warming is happening." The share of Americans holding each of these opinions has slowly increased over the last 15 years, but been fairly stable in the last few years, according to the Yale survey. Those numbers also vary by state: In California, 77 percent of residents surveyed think global warming is happening.

Understandably, extreme weather events are causing Americans some anxiety. Fifty-eight percent of adults in a November CNN poll said they were worried about the effects of extreme weather in their communities, and 63 percent were worried about the risks of climate change. In that survey, large majorities, ranging from 77 percent to 84 percent, thought each of several specified entities had a responsibility to reduce climate change — including the U.S. and Chinese governments, individuals and humanity as a whole and specific industries that may have contributed to the use of fossil fuels, like the energy and automobile industries.

Despite that, the Yale survey suggests that Americans still see climate risks as somewhat distant from their daily lives. Forty-six percent of respondents thought Americans were being harmed "right now" by global warming, but that number was actually down from previous quarters, including a high of 55 percent in fall of 2021 following a year of unprecedented extreme weather events. Fifty-six percent said they had not personally experienced the effects of global warming. More than two-thirds of Americans think climate change will harm plant and animal species, future generations and people in developing countries, but half or fewer think it will harm their communities or them personally. And, for now, the potential for mass climate migration remains a question for the future: Only 1 in 10 say they have considered moving because of the effects of global warming, a percentage unchanged from last year.

—Monica Potts

Support for Israel's war against Hamas is waning

This week marked four months since the Israel-Hamas war began. Americans' views of the war are complicated and somewhat contradictory. That's likely due in part to Americans' generally poor understanding of foreign affairs, as well as inconsistencies in the types and wording of questions asked. But most high-quality polls have shown Americans beginning to grow weary of Israel's scorched-earth tactics in the Gaza Strip, and of U.S. involvement in the conflict.

In a recent AP-NORC poll, 50 percent of adults said they thought Israel's military response had gone "too far," while 31 percent thought it had been about right and 15 percent thought it hadn't gone far enough. A December Quinnipiac poll showed a more evenly split public, with 43 percent saying they approved of how Israel was responding to the Oct. 7 terror attack by Hamas and 42 percent saying they disapproved. Those numbers are slightly down from Quinnipiac's November poll that put Americans' approval of Israel's response at 46 percent to 40 percent.

Americans' concern over the Israeli government's actions in the Gaza Strip seems to have ticked up somewhat since the start of the war: For example, a YouGov poll conducted immediately after the initial attacks showed that only 29 percent of Americans thought Israel was deliberately striking Palestinian civilian areas. But in the latest YouGov/University of Massachusetts poll, respondents were split 50-50 on whether the state of Israel was committing genocide against the Palestinian people living in Gaza.

Despite fiercely divided public opinion, a growing share of Americans seem to agree that they don't want the U.S. to become further involved in the war. The December Quinnipiac poll showed a 9-percentage-point drop from the previous month (from 54 percent to 45 percent) in support for sending military aid to Israel. And in a CNN poll conducted at the end of January, a plurality of 37 percent said the U.S. was currently doing the right amount to help Israel, while 33 percent said it was doing too much and 29 percent said it was doing too little.

—Cooper Burton

Republicans tanked a widely popular border deal

The biggest story on Capitol Hill this week was the crash landing of a long-awaited deal to beef up border security, make it harder for migrants to qualify for asylum and send foreign aid to Ukraine, Israel and Taiwan. The outlook for the bill looks bleak, despite months of bipartisan negotiations and, per a YouGov/Blueprint poll conducted in late January, strong public support.

That survey found that the proposed deal was widely popular among registered voters across the political spectrum. Fifty-eight percent said they supported such a deal, and only 22 percent opposed it — including net support of +46 points among Democrats, +34 among independents and +23 among Republicans.

The immigration measures were particularly popular, with 84 percent in favor of increasing resources for border security and 75 percent in favor of tightening asylum restrictions. Ukraine aid was the only core policy provision of the deal that wasn't favored by a majority of both parties, with only 37 percent of Republicans supporting it.

But the inclusion of Ukraine aid wasn't the main reason congressional Republicans tanked the deal. Former President Donald Trump and House conservatives, including Speaker Mike Johnson, were staunchly opposed to a bipartisan deal from the get-go, indicating they would settle for nothing less than a total border shutdown. And while they've denied it's the case, Republicans certainly also have in mind the political calculus that striking any border deal with Democrats could help take immigration off the table as an election-year issue and rob Trump of a key talking point.

—Tia Yang

America's love affair with the Super Bowl continues

This Sunday, millions of Americans will tune in to Super Bowl LVIII to watch the Kansas City Chiefs take on the San Francisco 49ers in Las Vegas. In a January poll conducted by Siena College/St. Bonaventure University Jandoli School of Communication, 75 percent of respondents said they plan to watch the Super Bowl, the same share that said the same in their 2023 survey. (With over 115 million viewers, last year's Super Bowl was the most-watched telecast in American history.) Half of Americans in the survey said that football is their favorite sport, which perhaps explains why 53 percent in an August Pew Research survey said football is "America's sport," compared to only 27 percent who chose baseball. Americans love the Super Bowl so much that, according to the Siena/St. Bonaventure survey, 36 percent consider Super Bowl Sunday a national holiday, and 50 percent said they would support offering the Monday after the game as a paid day off of work.

Of course, it's not just the game that makes the Super Bowl America's most beloved annual television event. According to polling this week from CivicScience, 44 percent of those planning to watch the game said they were very or somewhat excited about Super Bowl ads. And in the Siena/St. Bonaventure survey, only about half of respondents (52 percent) said the game was the most interesting part of the Super Bowl, while 19 percent said it's the commercials and 21 percent said it's the halftime show. And as to who they want to win, just over half of Americans (53 percent) say it doesn't matter, according to a YouGov/CBS News poll conducted last week. When it comes to the Super Bowl, it's about more than winners and losers.

—Mary Radcliffe

Never have Americans ever ...

Valentine's Day may be a fake holiday, but it's a very real chance for pollsters to ask Americans about their love lives. According to YouGov, 60 percent of adults were in a romantic or sexual relationship as of late January, including 40 percent who were married and 10 percent who were living together but not married. The poll also found that vast majorities of adults had, at some point in their lives, gone on a date (88 percent), been in a romantic relationship (86 percent), had sex (88 percent) and been in love (89 percent). Fewer had used an online dating site or app (33 percent), been on a blind date (34 percent) or been in a long-distance relationship (52 percent).

As for who they were dating, 55 percent of adults reported that they had ever been in a serious relationship with someone at least five years older or younger than them, and 39 percent said they had been in one with a person of another race or ethnicity. Slightly fewer said they had seriously dated someone at least 12 inches taller or shorter than them (32 percent) or someone of the opposite political party (31 percent).

Yeah yeah, that's interesting and all, but let's get to the scandalous stuff. A majority (51 percent) of adults said that they had had a one-night stand, and 38 percent said they had once had a "friend with benefits." Twenty-two percent said they had been in a love triangle, and 11 percent said they had been in a polyamorous or open relationship (while 55 percent said that polyamory was morally wrong). A whopping 58 percent said they had been cheated on, but, naturally, only 34 percent copped to actually doing the cheating.

—Nathaniel Rakich

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