Mar. 14, 2006

Do Deficits Matter Anymore? Apparently Not to the Public

Mar. 7, 2006

Independents Sour on Incumbents

Feb. 28, 2006

Both Reds and Blues Go Green on Energy

Feb. 21, 2006

Youth and War

Feb. 13, 2006

Midterm Match-Up: Partisan Tide vs. Safe Seats

At the start of this midterm election year, two heavyweight political trends are poised for a head-on collision. One is fueled by the low standing in the polls that the president and his party currently register, a position that invariably spells trouble for the “in party” in congressional elections. The other is driven by the […]

Feb. 3, 2006

Bush’s Concern Over Isolationism Reflects More Than Just Rhetoric

When President Bush delivered a strong warning against isolationism in Tuesday’s State of the Union address, he was speaking to a recent and dramatic turn in public opinion. A recent Pew Research survey found a decided revival of isolationist sentiment among the public, to levels not seen since post-Cold War 1990s and the post-Vietnam 1970s. […]

Dec. 27, 2005

What Was – and Wasn’t on the Public’s Mind…

Public opinion played a major role in the most important news stories of the year, from President Bush’s battle with an increasingly restive opposition, to the public’s mounting anxiety about the war in Iraq, to the sharp public rebuke of Congress for its intervention in the Terry Schiavo affair. Many of the strongest trends in […]

Nov. 2, 2005

Public Opinion Supports Alito on Spousal Notification Even as It Favors Roe v. Wade

Of all the opinions that Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. has handed down during 15 years on the federal bench, the one drawing the most attention since his nomination to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court is his support in a 1991 case for a provision in a Pennsylvania law that required women, with few […]

Oct. 31, 2005

The Black and White of Public Opinion

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, public opinion surveys as well as media reporting portrayed an America deeply divided along racial lines. In an early September Pew survey, for example, two-thirds of African Americans, but fewer than one-in-five whites, said that the government response would have been faster had most victims been white. This raises […]

Oct. 27, 2005

Budget Cuts Look Cheaper Out of Focus

How does the public want to pay for cleaning up after Hurricane Katrina and her disruptive relatives? As politicians grapple with the costs of disaster relief following a string of major hurricanes along the Gulf Coast, there is no clear public consensus over where the money should come from. In particular, while most Americans believe […]

Oct. 3, 2005

Abortion, the Court and the Public

The confirmation hearings for Harriet Miers to become a justice of the Supreme Court will once again highlight a complex web of issues related to abortion, on which she may become the swing vote. While activists on both sides describe abortion as an issue on which there is no middle ground, decades of polling have […]

Sep. 28, 2005

Reading the Polls on Evolution and Creationism

This week in federal district court, a group of parents is challenging the Dover, Pa. school board’s decision to require the teaching of “intelligent design” in science classes, on the grounds that this policy violates the principle of separation of church and state. The case is just the latest in a long series of court […]

Sep. 22, 2005

Katrina Has Only Modest Impact on Basic Public Values

As the Hurricane Katrina recovery effort unfolds along the Gulf Coast, there has been considerable speculation about the disaster’s possible impact on fundamental public attitudes on such questions as the role of government, the plight of the poor and the extent of racial progress in the U.S. On the left, some have expressed the hope […]

Sep. 6, 2005

Political Division Multipliers

President Bush’s margin last year over Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts, 2.4 percentage points, was the smallest of any victorious presidential incumbent in history. He won a very close election. But in most of the country, the 2004 race wasn’t even close to being close. A Pew Research Center analysis shows that in the majority […]

Aug. 9, 2005

Stuck in Second

As Washington shuts down for August, President Bush’s report card from the public for the first half-year of his second term is not a good one compared with how the public graded Presidents Reagan and Clinton at a similar point in time. View chart (New York Times)

Aug. 2, 2005

GOP Makes Gains Among The Working Class, While Democrats Hold On To The Union Vote

Last week’s historic split in the House of Labor was driven, at least in part, by disagreements over whether the AFL-CIO should be focusing more on union organizing drives or electoral politics. Much is at stake, not just for the union movement but also for the political parties. Working class voters are a key swing […]

Jul. 1, 2005

Abortion Wild Card In Battle Over O’Connor’s Successor

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s decision to step down from the Supreme Court sets up a possible next chapter in the nation’s culture wars. If the debate over O’Connor’s replacement turns into a referendum on Roe vs. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision establishing a woman’s right to abortion, the argument is likely to galvanize a significant […]

May. 23, 2005

More See Benefits of Stem Cell Research

Coming on the heels of last week’s announcement that South Korean scientists had cloned a human embryo, the U.S. House is nearing a vote on expanding federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. President Bush has threatened to veto the legislation if it passes. Surveys last year by the Pew Research Center for the People […]

Apr. 29, 2005

Did the President Score on Social Security?

President Bush’s proposals on Social Security resonate with the public opinion in some respects but are off key in others. The public is squarely with the president on the urgency of the issue. Pew Research Center polling in February found nearly three-quarters of Americans wanting action on fixing Social Security, either right away or in […]

Mar. 23, 2005

A Political Victory That Wasn’t

by Andrew Kohut in the New York Times