January 11, 2010

Trial challenging same-sex marriage ban begins today

Posted: 02:56 PM ET

Note: Tomorrow night - Larry King Live will have an EXCLUSIVE interview with the attorneys challenging Proposition 8: Theodore Olson and David Boies. We'll also talk to Dustin Lance Black, Academy Award winning screenwriter of the 2008 film, "Milk."

By Mallory Simon and Dan Simon

San Francisco, California (CNN) - They've been committed to each other for eight years and have four sons together, but there's a component missing in one Berkeley, California, couple's life that's out of reach for them: getting married.

Kristin Perry and Sandra Stier's partnership is one that has taken center stage because of the ongoing debate on same-sex marriage in California.

On Monday, the spotlight will be even brighter, when a trial challenging California's Proposition 8, which bans same-sex marriage, begins in U. S. District Court in San Francisco. Demonstrators are expected to be out in force.

Plans had been made to have a camera in the courtroom, and the proceedings distrubuted on YouTube, but the ballot initiative's sponsors prevailed in their 11th-hour bid to persuade the U.S. Supreme Court to restrict distribution of video of the trial - at least temporarily.

The justices wrote in their terse order that they need until at least Wednesday afternoon to consider the camera issue.

Perry and Stier, along with Jeffrey Zarrillo and Paul Katami, of Los Angeles, are the two couples at the heart of the case, arguing that California's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. They are asking Chief Judge Vaughn R. Walker to issue an injunction against Proposition 8's enforcement.

The case will likely head to the U.S. Supreme Court no matter what the outcome. It is expected to set legal precedents that will shape society for years to come and result in a landmark court decision that settles whether Americans can marry people of the same sex.


Filed under: Larry King Live • Politics • Polls • Same-Sex Marriage

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December 15, 2009

Michelle Obama's popularity on rise in new poll

Posted: 04:25 PM ET

By Mark Preston

Washington (CNN) – Michelle Obama's stock is on the rise as more Americans approve of how she is handling her role as first lady now than they did 10 months ago, according to a new Marist College Poll.

The survey shows that 57 percent of registered voters approve of Obama's performance as first lady, up 7 points from a Marist poll conducted in March. Twenty-four percent said it has been fair, while 10 percent thought she is doing a poor job.

But Obama is not viewed as a transformative first lady. Only 37 percent said she has changed the role for the better, while 46 responded she has done nothing to change it. Another 10 percent said Obama has changed it for the worse, while 7 percent were unsure.

The poll of 858 registered voters was conducted on December 2, 3 and 7. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.

Filed under: Michelle Obama • Politics • Polls

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December 14, 2009

In the rough: 4 in 10 Americans have unfavorable view of Woods

Posted: 12:55 PM ET

via Washington Post

More than four in 10 Americans now hold an unfavorable view of Tiger Woods, and nearly as many say companies should steer clear of using the golf great as a product pitchman, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Woods, broadly popular in polls over the decade, has taken a big public hit in the aftermath of his admission of "personal sins" in response to spiraling allegations of extramarital affairs.

In the new poll, 43 percent say they view Woods unfavorably, with more than one in four seeing him in a "strongly" negative light. About as many, 42 percent, have favorable impressions, but that number has been sliced roughly in half compared to recent years.

Men tilt favorably toward Woods, while women lean negative. (Men are 46 percent favorable, 41 percent unfavorable; women are 39-45.) Among those who count themselves as golf fans, Woods fares a little better, with 62 percent seeing him favorably, but even here in his base, 37 percent now view him negatively.

More than a third of fans and non-fans alike say they think companies should not continue to use Woods to endorse their products and services. One of Madison Avenue's brightest stars, Accenture yesterday severed its six-year contract with Woods, and reports have other companies reconsidering their arrangements with the world's No. 1 golfer.


Filed under: Polls • Sports • Tiger Woods

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November 3, 2009

CNN Poll: 54 percent approve of Obama

Posted: 08:52 AM ET

TUNE IN TONIGHT FOR A SPECIAL LKL at 9pmet & 12amet!  We'll be covering today's elections and want to hear from you!

One year after he won a historical presidential election, a slight majority of Americans approve of the job Barack Obama's doing in the White House.
Fifty-four percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday approve of how Obama is handling his duties as president, with 45 percent saying they disapprove.

"Obama's approval rating of 54 percent is nearly identical to the 53 percent of the vote he won a year ago," notes CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "And in nearly every demographic category, the percent that approve of Obama today is within two to three points of the percent who voted for him in 2008. It's a different story when we turn to ideology. His approval rating among liberals is 7 points higher than the number of liberals who voted for him. But among conservatives, the number who like Obama today is down 10 points compared to his share of the vote among that group in 2008."

The survey suggests that the president's approval rating remains over 50 percent even though most Americans disapprove of how Obama is handling the economy, health care, Afghanistan, Iraq, unemployment, illegal immigration and the federal budget deficit.

How does he do it?

"By retaining a reservoir of goodwill left over from his election to the White House a year ago. Six in 10 say Obama inspires confidence in them; six in 10 also call him a strong leader who is honest and trustworthy. Sixty-three percent say he is not a typical politician. More than half give Obama a thumbs-up on 11 of the 12 personal characteristics tested," adds Holland.

Only 45 percent say he has a clear plan for solving the country's problems - the only item on which a majority has a negative view of him.

(Read more)

Filed under: Larry King Live • Politics • Polls

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October 3, 2009

Posted: 03:05 AM ET
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