Oct. 25, 2000

Voter Opinions Stalled

Introduction and Summary With two weeks to go until Election Day, voters still can’t choose between Al Gore and George W. Bush. The perceived strengths and weaknesses of both candidates continue to drive voter indecision. People have a better opinion of the Texas governor personally than they had in September, prior to the debates. At […]

Oct. 15, 2000

Media Seen As Fair, But Tilting to Gore

Introduction and Summary Voters generally believe the media has been fair to both major presidential candidates, but more say the press has been fair to Al Gore than to George W. Bush. Fully 74% of voters say the vice president has gotten fair press treatment, while 65% say the same about Bush. Nearly six-in-ten voters […]

Oct. 10, 2000

Presidential Debate Clouds Voters’ Choice

Introduction and Summary Al Gore’s personality may be costing him votes. Although a plurality of voters believe he won the first presidential debate, he has lost his small September lead over George W. Bush. As the race has narrowed, an increasing number of voters who oppose the vice president say they dislike his personality. On […]

Sep. 14, 2000

Issues and Continuity Now Working for Gore

Introduction and Summary With voters focusing more on the issues than on personal evaluations of the candidates and continuity factors increasingly favoring the Democrats, Al Gore holds a small but significant lead over George W. Bush. A survey of nearly 2,000 registered voters, conducted Aug. 24 – Sept. 10, finds Gore leading Bush by a […]

Jul. 27, 2000

Voters Unmoved By Media Characterizations of Bush and Gore

Introduction and Summary American voters, who continue to divide their support equally between Al Gore and George W. Bush, have not been strongly influenced by the way the American news media have covered the personal character of the presidential candidates. As the conventions approach there is ample opportunity for the campaigns to make powerful appeals […]

Jul. 13, 2000

Voter Turnout May Slip Again

Introduction and Summary Americans are more satisfied with their choice of presidential candidates this year than in 1996 and 1992, and they are, if anything, less critical of the way the campaigns are being conducted and covered by the news media than they were at comparable points in those elections. Yet voters are more disengaged […]

Jun. 11, 2000

Internet Sapping Broadcast News Audience

Introduction and Summary Traditional news outlets are feeling the impact of two distinct and powerful trends. Internet news has not only arrived, it is attracting key segments of the national audience. At the same time, growing numbers of Americans are losing the news habit. Fewer people say they enjoy following the news, and fully half […]

May. 11, 2000

Voter Preferences Vacillate

Introduction and Summary George W. Bush has repaired some of the damage he endured during the Republican primaries, and is now running dead-even with Al Gore. Since mid-March, Bush has regained substantial support among men and recovered modestly among independents. More voters now than six weeks ago support the Texas governor because of his stand […]

Apr. 12, 2000

Performance and Purpose; Constituents Rate Government Agencies

Introduction and Summary Americans have long been ambivalent, if not downright conflicted, in their attitudes toward the federal government. They rail against the government’s inefficiency, but clamor for government programs that benefit them. Since the era of Vietnam and Watergate, a majority of Americans have said they can seldom trust the government to do the […]

Mar. 23, 2000

Bush Pays Price for Primary Victory

Introduction and Summary The presidential primary season may prove to be a decisive factor in Campaign 2000, not only for who won, but for the way the winners emerged from the process in the eyes of the voters. Al Gore was clearly helped, and George W. Bush was just as clearly hurt. The vice president […]

Feb. 17, 2000

McCain Appeals To Pivotal Older Voters and Independents

Introduction and Summary The outcome of the New Hampshire primary has changed candidate support patterns that last year seemed all but cast in stone. Al Gore has drawn into a statistical dead-heat with George W. Bush in a general-election ballot test, largely because core Democrats are rallying behind the vice president. At the same time, […]

Feb. 5, 2000

The Tough Job of Communicating with Voters

Introduction and Summary American voters are hard to reach and hard to move. They rely on a kaleidoscope of media outlets, old and new, to follow news about the presidential campaign — virtually all of which are given a mixed review for political objectivity. And most voters say that political endorsements by celebrities, local newspapers, […]

Jan. 19, 2000

Gore Gains, Bradley Looks More Liberal

Introduction and Summary With the start of the new year, the presidential campaign has begun in earnest for many Americans. More people are paying attention now than in the fall, and the back and forth between candidates has started to change voter perceptions. In particular, Al Gore has begun to redefine himself and challenger Bill […]

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 […]