16 November 2022
In the American state of Massachusetts, Democrats and Republicans could find an issue to agree on: letting bars have happy hours. Happy hours are times at bars and restaurants when there are lower prices for drinks.
Massachusetts law bans bars and restaurants from having special discounts for alcoholic drinks. But a public opinion study, or survey, carried out by The Associated Press shows that about 6 in 10 people support the state legalizing happy hour.
The news agency calls its survey AP VoteCast. It asked U.S. voters their opinions on some of the most important issues affecting the nation. But the survey also covered other parts of society.
For example, AP VoteCast also explored Alabama college football, what Mississippi voters think about former football star Brett Favre and whether Tennessee voters like Taylor Swift.
These questions were part of a larger effort to understand how politics and culture are related. The survey covered topics ranging from state political issues to questions about the Bible.
In Alabama, college football can feel like a religion. One of its senators, Tommy Tuberville, coached at Alabama's Auburn University. The University of Alabama's Crimson Tide has won 18 national championships.
The AP survey found that about half of Alabama voters say they are Crimson Tide fans, compared with about 2 in 10 who favor Auburn. About 1 in 10 say they support both teams. But 25 percent of Alabama voters say they do not support either team.
In Iowa, the survey explored voters' feelings about being the first state in the nation to choose their party's next presidential nominee. The process is called the Iowa caucus. It does not involve direct votes, but a series of speeches and open debate to decide which candidate to support. The process created problems in 2020 because Democrats had a delay in reporting results.
Six in 10 Iowa voters say they want their state to continue to hold caucuses rather than change to holding a direct vote. Voters for Democrats are about evenly divided following their party's caucus problems two years ago.
Pop singer Taylor Swift has criticized Republican lawmakers in Tennessee. She called one of that state's senators, Marsha Blackburn, "Trump in a wig," in a 2020 documentary.
But many Tennessee voters do not seem to care. About 4 in 10 have favorable feelings toward Swift. The AP survey found about 3 in 10 voters do not support the singer, most of them Republicans. But another 3 in 10 said they did not know enough to say how they felt about Swift. The music star recently had 10 songs in the top 10 positions of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
In Mississippi, Hall of Fame football player Brett Favre is not as popular with voters. An investigation this year showed he had misused $8 million meant for welfare programs. He even contacted the governor to see if the money could help build a football practice building at his former school, the University of Southern Mississippi.
About 2 in 10 Mississippi voters said they had a favorable opinion of Favre, with most saying they support Republicans. About 4 in 10 had an unfavorable opinion of Favre, a group that was divided between voters supporting Democratic and Republican candidates.
President Joe Biden was similarly rated in Mississippi. By 2-1, voters said they had more unfavorable than favorable opinions about both the Democratic president and the famous football player.
I'm Dan Novak.
Dan Novak adapted this story for VOA Learning English based on reporting by The Associated Press.
Words in This Story
discount — n. an amount taken off a regular price
caucus — n. a meeting of members of a political party for the purpose of choosing candidates for an election
wig — n. artificial hair that you wear on your head because you are bald or in order to change your appearance
documentary — n. a movie or television program that tells the facts about actual people and events
welfare — n. a government program for poor or unemployed people that helps pay for their food, housing, medical costs, etc.