PublicationsJune 19, 2009

Public More Optimistic About the Economy, But Still Reluctant to Spend

The public is increasingly optimistic that the nation’s economy will improve in the next year, while a growing number also expect their personal finances to get better. But this has not caused people to open their wallets: The proportion saying they have cut back on personal spending remains as high as it was earlier […]

PublicationsJune 18, 2009

Obama’s Ratings Remain High Despite Some Policy Concerns

A solid majority of Americans (61%) continue to approve of Barack Obama’s job performance, although they express mixed views of several of his policies. An important positive sign for Obama is the public’s continued optimism that his policies will improve the economy – fully 65% express this view. A smaller majority (55%) is optimistic […]

DatasetsJune 18, 2009

June 2009 Political Survey

PublicationsJune 17, 2009

Employment News Seen As Overwhelmingly Bad

Summary of Findings Americans by a wide margin say they are hearing mostly negative news about the nation’s job situation, though they are more likely to sense a mix of good and bad news about other elements of the economy. With the jobless rate climbing, seven-in-ten (71%) say they are hearing mostly bad news about […]

PublicationsJune 11, 2009

Week’s Major News Stories Draw Different Audiences

Summary of Findings Americans divided their attention among several major stories last week as President Obama reached out to the Muslim world in a major speech, a jetliner crashed into the Atlantic Ocean and General Motors filed for bankruptcy protection. At the same time, they continued to keep a close watch on news about the […]

PublicationsJune 5, 2009

Gen Next Squeezed By Recession, But Most See Better Times Ahead

PublicationsJune 4, 2009

First Impressions of Sotomayor Mostly Positive

Summary of Findings Americans who have learned at least a little about Judge Sonia Sotomayor are more likely to offer traits or aspects they like about President Obama’s first Supreme Court nominee than things they do not like about the federal appellate court judge from New York. Asked if there was anything they have learned […]

PublicationsJune 2, 2009

Public Backs Affirmative Action, But Not Minority Preferences

PublicationsMay 28, 2009

Public Tracks Economy, Media Focuses on Terror Debate

Summary of Findings Americans continued to closely track news about the struggling economy and the spread of the swine flu last week, though the media devoted the largest share of coverage to the sharp debate in Washington over how best to protect the nation from terrorism. About a quarter of the public (24%) says they […]

PublicationsMay 21, 2009

Independents Take Center Stage in Obama Era

Centrism has emerged as a dominant factor in public opinion as the Obama era begins. The political values and core attitudes that the Pew Research Center has monitored since 1987 show little overall ideological movement. Republicans and Democrats are even more divided than in the past, while the growing political middle is steadfastly mixed […]

DatasetsMay 21, 2009

1987-2009 Values Surveys (combined dataset)

PublicationsMay 20, 2009

Public Stays Focused on the Economy

Summary of Findings Americans followed reports about the U.S. economy more closely than other major stories last week as President Obama pushed for new restrictions on the credit card industry and automakers announced plans to cut ties with some 1,900 dealerships nationwide. More than four-in-ten (44%) say they followed economic news very closely, according to […]

PublicationsMay 13, 2009

Public Sees News About Economy Less Glum

Summary of Findings Most Americans say they are hearing a mix of good and bad news about the U.S. economy, a stark change from the start of the year when a sizable majority said they were hearing mostly bad economic news. The latest weekly News Interest Index survey, conducted May 8-11 by the Pew Research […]

PublicationsMay 7, 2009

Top of the Mind Impressions of Obama

PublicationsMay 6, 2009

Local TV A Top Source For Swine Flu News

Summary of Findings Americans tracked news about the fast-moving swine flu virus more closely than any other story last week, with most turning to television for details on its spread. Still, when people were asked to name which information source was most useful, the largest share chose the internet. The latest weekly News Interest Index […]

PublicationsApril 30, 2009

Public Takes Conservative Turn on Gun Control, Abortion

Public attitudes on a pair of contentious national issues – gun control and abortion – have moved in a more conservative direction over the past year. In both cases, the changes have been driven in part by relatively large shifts among men, while opinions among women have not changed very much. For the first […]

PublicationsApril 29, 2009

GOP Party Identification Slips Nationwide and in Pennsylvania

PublicationsApril 29, 2009

Public Sees Too Much Personal Coverage of Obama

Summary of Findings Most Americans say that the news media has devoted too much coverage to Barack Obama’s family and personal life during his first months as president, but the right amount of coverage to his leadership style and his policy proposals. The latest weekly News Interest Index survey, conducted April 24-27 by the Pew […]

PublicationsApril 28, 2009

Support for Free Trade Recovers Despite Recession

Despite the economic recession, public support for free trade agreements has recovered after declining a year ago. Currently, 44% say that free trade agreements like NAFTA and the policies of the World Trade Organization are good for the country, up from 35% a year ago. Slightly more than a third (35%) say that such […]

PublicationsApril 23, 2009

Obama at 100 Days: Strong Job Approval, Even Higher Personal Ratings

As he approaches the 100-day mark of his presidency, Barack Obama’s job approval ratings are higher than those of his most recent predecessors. However, the 44th president is even more distinguished by his strong personal popularity. Fully 73% of Americans – including as many as 46% of Republicans – hold a favorable view of […]