Dec. 16, 1999

Campaign Incidents Have Little Punch

Introduction and Summary The rhetoric and events of the presidential campaign so far are having little impact on the attitudes of voters nationwide. Voter preferences are being shaped more by general impressions of the candidates than by what they are saying or by what is happening to them along the campaign trail. While many Americans […]

Nov. 11, 1999

Retro-Politics

Foreword and Overview Foreword In 1987, we embarked on an ambitious project to better understand the nature of American politics. We identified a broad range of beliefs and values that underlie common political labels and that ultimately drive political action. A voter typology emerged from this effort which classifies the electorate into distinct groupings, defined […]

Oct. 24, 1999

Optimism Reigns, Technology Plays Key Role

Introduction and Summary Americans anticipate many perils in the next century, but none of them, no matter how grave, can dim the public’s positive view of the future. Despite consensus forecasts of natural disasters, environmental calamities and international terrorism, Americans are near unanimous in their confidence that life will get better for themselves, their families […]

Sep. 15, 1999

Too Much Money, Too Much Media Say Voters

Introduction and Summary Americans are showing signs of disaffection with a presidential campaign that is just beginning. The public thinks the press and large campaign contributors are having too much influence on who gets nominated, and a 60% majority thinks voters themselves have too little say. The latest Pew Research Center survey, conducted on the […]

Jul. 22, 1999

Third Party Chances Limited

Introduction and Summary The prospects for a third party presidential candidate appear dim. Americans are reasonably satisfied with the existing field of candidates for the 2000 presidential election, and overwhelming numbers say they would not consider voting for outsiders Jesse Ventura or Ross Perot. Three-in-four people say they would be satisfied with a contest between […]

Jul. 3, 1999

Technology Triumphs, Morality Falters

Introduction and Summary Americans see the 20th century as a time of great economic, social and technological progress. As individuals, as families, as members of various social and demographic groups, nearly two-thirds of Americans say they have improved their circumstances since the 1950s, and even larger numbers see economic and social gains for many segments […]

Jun. 16, 1999

It’s Still Too Early for the Voters

Introduction and Summary The early presidential primary season may have front-loaded candidate announcements, political advertising and the media roadshow, but it’s all background noise to the average American voter. Nearly two-thirds of the public is paying little or no attention to the 2000 election, and knowledge of the presidential candidates and opinions about them are […]

Apr. 17, 1999

Clinton Fatigue Undermines Gore Poll Standing

Introduction and Summary Personal image problems and fallout from Clinton administration scandals are contributing to Al Gore’s declining favorability ratings and his poor showing in early horse race polls. As the vice president has inched closer to the Democratic presidential nomination, his favorability ratings have fallen and he has slipped further behind GOP frontrunner George […]

Mar. 30, 1999

Striking the Balance, Audience Interests, Business Pressures and Journalists’ Values

Introduction and Summary Journalists increasingly agree with public criticism of their profession and the quality of their work. Overwhelmingly, news media professionals say the lines have blurred between commentary and reporting and between entertainment and news. A growing number of reporters, editors and news executives also say that news reports are full of factual errors […]

Feb. 25, 1999

Public Votes for Continuity and Change in 2000

Introduction and Summary The anomalies of American public opinion continue even as the impeachment trial fades into history. Today, the public view of the state of the nation is much improved, despite the fact that a major component of that view — trust in government — remains low. Politically, the public expresses negative views of […]

Jan. 14, 1999

The Internet News Audience Goes Ordinary

Introduction and Summary The Internet audience is not only growing, it is getting decidedly mainstream. Two years ago, when just 23% of Americans were going online, stories about technology were the top news draw. Today, with 41% of adults using the Internet, the weather is the most popular online news attraction. Increasingly people without college […]