A photo of an I voted sticker.

USA Today harnesses UCLA political scientists’ ‘Nationscape’ data

A photo of an I voted sticker.

I voted sticker. Jessica Whittle Photography/Creative Commons 2.0. (Photo Credit: Jessica Whittle Photography)

As voters in 14 states, including California, go to the polls March 3 to vote for their preferred Democratic presidential nominee, information gathered by UCLA professors Lynn Vavreck and Chris Tausanovitch will offer data-based insights about what voters care about most.

Every week, observations and analysis from their massive Nationscape voter data project will be published on USA Today. The newspaper’s first published report on this project, which is a partnership between UCLA, Washington, D.C.-based Democracy Fund and the market research firm Lucid, launched Feb 28.

“At a moment when everyone from voters to pundits is focused on who is ahead and who is most electable in November, our data about what people care about and how this varies across geography and demographic groups in the United States can hopefully inject a dose of substance in to conversations about electioneering and strategy,” Vavreck said. “We are delighted that USA TODAY wants to visualize our data for their readers in the lead up to the 2020 presidential election. With their reach, they are able to share insights from our Nationscape project with people in real time.”

Vavreck and Tausanovich have been deep in the throes of Nationscape data gathering since summer 2019, conducting about 6,250 interviews each week. By election time, they will have done 500,000 interviews asking people about policy questions and their opinions about the attributes of elected officials. The way the data is presented allows respondents to really think about what they care about most, and also consider what they are willing to give up to get it. Researchers are also tracking how those attitudes might change over time.

The USA Today story that posted Feb. 28 reveals a wealth of information on voter attitudes about gun control, immigration, middle class tax cuts, health care and more.

There are issues where attitudes overlap between Democrats and Republicans — background checks for gun ownership and middle class tax cuts — while topics like building a border wall shows a starker split based on party affiliation.

A tax cut for families who make less than $100,000 is a particularly fertile ground for commonality. According to Nationscape, 79% of Democrats agree with cutting taxes for families that make less than $100,000 per year, while 10% disagree. Among Republicans, 70% agreed, while 18% disagreed.

When it comes to Americans who are most likely to vote Democrat, the policy with the widest variance of support is Medicare for All, according to Nationscape data released last week.

For supporters of all the Democratic candidates still in play for Super Tuesday, a majority of these likely voters agree with the idea of Medicare for All, regardless of their chosen candidate. Sentiments run strongest among supporters of Bernie Sanders for whom it is a signature campaign issue, with 87% of his voters agreeing with Medicare for All. For Elizabeth Warren, 67% of her supporters agree with the policy. When it comes to Joe Biden and Mike Bloomberg, 58% and 57% of their supporters, respectively, agree with Medicare for All.

A photo of Coronavirus in lungs.

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for the UCLA campus community

A photo of Coronavirus in lungs.

Coronavirus in lungs

STATUS: No confirmed cases of COVID-19 on the UCLA campus at this time.

12:28 p.m., March 13

Dear Bruins:

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block wanted you to know that he is self-quarantining at home for the next 14 days after learning this morning that he came in contact with an individual with a confirmed case of COVID-19. While he is currently asymptomatic and continues his duties running the campus, he felt it was important to keep the UCLA community aware and informed. He knows there are many of you who are similarly self-quarantining and wants you to know that you have the support of the entire Bruin community.

 

UCLA Chancellor Gene Block sent a message to the campus community today informing everyone about the following changes to limit the spread of COVID-19 effective March 11.

  • UCLA will suspend in-person classes wherever possible and transition to online platforms through April 10, which is the end of the second week of Spring Quarter.
  • Winter Quarter final exams will be offered remotely. Instructors are asked to communicate with students how final exams, if applicable, will be offered without the need to assemble in person (for example, take home, online or other alternative formats).
  • Students are encouraged to start the Spring Quarter remotely from home. University housing will remain open through Spring Break and beyond for those who need it.
  • UCLA is transitioning over the next few days to cancel nonessential gatherings of more than 100 people through April 10.
  • Campus remains open, including housing, hospitals, clinics and research laboratories.

Click here to read the full message.


FAQ​

How do I prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Public health officials recommend the following steps to prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses, including influenza and COVID-19.

  • Wash your hands frequently and for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cough into your elbow or a tissue and not your hands. Dispose of the tissue.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work and school.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home and do not travel or report to work.
  • Practice healthy habits: Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food.

How does maintaining a “safe distance” from other people help prevent the disease from spreading? And what is a “safe distance”?

The best way to limit the spread of COVID-19 or any contagious disease, according to health experts, is to maintain a safe distance from other people. Remaining six feet away from others, wherever possible, can help prevent infections transmitted by an uncovered cough or sneeze and also by touching a contaminated surface. Avoiding large groups in crowded spaces is a scientifically proven way to lower the infection risk and the spread of a virus.

What if I develop flu-like symptoms?

Flu symptoms include fever, cough and difficulty breathing. If you develop symptoms consistent with the flu or are concerned that you may have been exposed to COVID-19:

  • Students: Call the Ashe Center Infection Control Line at 310-206-6217. Callers will speak with a registered nurse who will determine the need for further testing and treatment. Students should stay at home, avoid attending classes, and not eat in the dining halls until they are cleared by the Ashe Center.
  • Faculty and staff: Seek medical care from your health care provider. Please call ahead so that the facility may plan ahead to minimize potential spread.

Should I wear a facemask?

There is no need to wear a facemask unless you have symptoms of an airborne infectious disease or are in prolonged close contact (about 3 feet) with a contagious person. Outside of these circumstances, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend use of a facemask by members of the general public.

What if I see someone whom I suspect has COVID-19?

While the vast majority of the infections have occurred in Wuhan, China, we must not stigmatize anyone in our community based on national origin. Someone who has a cough or a fever does not necessarily have coronavirus.

Video FAQ with Dr. Daniel Uslan, clinical chief of the division of infectious diseases at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. Recorded on Feb. 7.

Click here to read the FAQ with Uslan.

This article originally appeared in the UCLA Newsroom.