William Katz:  Urgent Agenda








DISTURBING:  FROM BREITBART:   Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) net favorability rating plunged to an all-time low after his first full month on the presidential campaign trail, a Civiqs poll found.  In December, the Civiqs poll found that DeSantis’s net favorability rating was -1, with 46 percent having a favorable opinion of him compared to 47 percent unfavorable.  As of June 26, DeSantis’s net favorability rating is -22, with just 34 percent of registered voters favoring DeSantis compared to 56 percent who hold an unfavorable opinion. An additional nine percent remained unsure.   Among independents, DeSantis’s favorability has drastically fallen. Compared to December when DeSantis held a +11 favorability rating among the critical voting bloc, he now sits at -22, with just 33 percent of independents holding a favorable view of the Florida governor. The survey also found that 12 percent of independents remain unsure.  DeSantis’s all-time low net favorability rating comes as he has officially been campaigning for president for just over one month.   This is stunning, and potentially alarming.  True, DeSantis has only been a declared candidate for a month, but there is something seriously wrong.  In my view, he is one of the nation's best governors, and would make a fine president.  But fewer and fewer members of the public apparently agree.  Is it his fairly meek speaking style?  Is it his concentration on social values instead of hard issues like the economy, or high crime?  He is widely seen as the heir apparent if Donald Trump should falter.  But if his numbers continue to sink, he will need something, or many somethings, to ignite his campaign.

AH, FAIR HARVARD, OR UNFAIR HARVARD:  FROM COLLEGE FIX:  Shockwaves are moving throughout the behavioral science community after distinguished Professor Francesca Gino of Harvard Business School was recently accused of falsifying data in multiple studies.  Calling the situation a “Clusterfake,” on June 17 a trio of professors published “Part 1” of the multiple allegations of fraud in papers spanning over a decade after examining studies co-authored by Gino, author of the 2018 book “Rebel Talent: Why It Pays to Break the Rules at Work and in Life.”  Professors Joseph Simmons, Uri Simonsohn and Leif Nelson of University of Pennsylvania, Escade Business School in Spain, and University of California, Berkeley, respectively, accused Gino of the fraud on their blog Data Colada.  “Specifically, we wrote a report about four studies for which we accumulated the strongest evidence of fraud,” they wrote, stating they shared their concerns with Harvard Business School.  Notably, a famous article discussing dishonesty was found to contain fabrications, they wrote.  When will we learn that universities are no more honest or ethical than many other institutions? The history of American universities is a history of greatness mixed with pretty sordid policies, like ethnic quotas and preferential treatment of favored groups.  But, of course, the college name on the diploma is the objective, and most students don't care about the rest.

June 28, 2023