Commentary Jun. 16, 2000

Is Gore Like Bush…or is Bush Like Kennedy?

Political analysts looking for historical parallels can’t decide whether the 2000 presidential race looks more like a rerun of 1988 or 1960. Will Vice President Al Gore take a page from Vice President George Bush’s play book, when he overcame a big deficit in the early polls and soundly defeated Michael Dukakis? At a comparable […]

Survey Reports 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 […]

Commentary May. 12, 2000

Gore, Bush and Guns

As a million moms get set to march on behalf of gun control this weekend, it’s not clear how this issue will play in voter decisions in the fall. The conventional wisdom has held for a long time that while proponents of more restrictions on firearms outnumber opponents, it’s intensity that counts at the ballot […]

Survey Reports 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 […]

Survey Reports May. 9, 2000

McCain Could Add a Lot To the Gop Ticket

While it is too early to say how John McCain’s endorsement of George W. Bush will affect the presidential race, it is clear that a Bush-McCain ticket tests very strongly. Bush is currently in a statistical dead-heat with Al Gore (leading among registered voters 46%-45%). But with McCain as the vice-presidential nominee, the GOP ticket […]

Survey Reports Apr. 30, 2000

Self Censorship: How Often and Why

Introduction and Summary A Survey of Journalists in Association with Columbia Journalism Review Self-censorship is commonplace in the news media today, according to a survey of nearly 300 journalists and news executives by the Pew Research Center and the Columbia Journalism Review. About one-quarter of the local and national journalists say they have purposely avoided […]

Commentary Apr. 25, 2000

The Public Affairs Gender Gap

In addition to regularly tracking news interest, the Pew Research Center has periodically tested the public’s knowledge of news and current events by including “information” questions on many of its surveys. These information questions are designed to provide insight into how extensively major news stories are understood and absorbed by the public. They cover a […]

Survey Reports Apr. 19, 2000

A Year After Columbine Public Looks To Parents More Than Schools To Prevent Violence

Introduction and Summary A year after the massacre at Colorado’s Columbine High School, the vast majority of the public believes it is the responsibility of parents to ensure that such tragedies are not repeated. In fact, a plurality identifies poor parenting — not peer pressure or violence in the media — as the primary cause […]

Commentary Apr. 14, 2000

So Who’s Ahead?

Voters are having a hard time making up their minds about the presidential candidates and it is showing up in the divergent results of the horse race polls. Unlike four years ago, at this point in the campaign the national polls provide little insight as to who will win the White House in November. The […]

Survey Reports 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 […]

Survey Reports Mar. 29, 2000

A Year Later, More Doubts About Kosovo Mission

Introduction and Summary A year after the United States launched military operations in the Balkans, the public has more doubts about the efforts of the U.S. and its NATO allies to bring peace to Kosovo. Americans are also wary of possible military action against China, with a solid majority opposed to using force to defend […]

Survey Reports 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 […]

Commentary Mar. 15, 2000

The Two Strains of Swing Voters

With all eyes now firmly focused on a general election match-up between Al Gore and George W. Bush, the big question is which way independents will go — particularly those independents who have been supporting John McCain. While McCain’s popularity has focused more attention on this crucial bloc, independents are the swing voters in every […]

Commentary Mar. 12, 2000

What ’McCain Voter’?

For Al Gore and George W. Bush, the McCain vote has become the holy grail of the presidential race, the swing vote each man thinks he needs to put him over the top. But this line of reasoning has one big problem: there is no “McCain vote” — the exit data from the primaries show […]

Survey Reports Mar. 2, 2000

Post-Seattle Support for WTO

Introduction and Summary Most Americans continue to support free trade, in spite of last fall’s destructive protests in Seattle against the World Trade Organization (WTO). But the public wants international trade agreements to protect jobs and economic growth at home, and improve the global environment. And while the nation backs free trade in principle, there […]

Commentary Mar. 1, 2000

The Religious Landscape in Upcoming GOP Primary States

The religious profile of Republicans and independents who lean to the Republican Party suggests that Senator John McCain’s attack on certain Christian Right leaders may cloud his chances to succeed in Southern states, as well as certain Midwestern and Western states where white evangelicals(1) make up the largest religious bloc of voters. This group comprises […]

Survey Reports 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, […]

Commentary Feb. 8, 2000

A Gender War at the Ballot Box

Usually, the differences between Republican and Democratic voters in the primaries are socioeconomic. Republicans, it can safely be said, are generally richer and better educated. But that was not the big difference in the New Hampshire primary. The parties split principally along gender lines: men flocked to the Republican primary, while women chose to vote […]

Survey Reports 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, […]

Commentary Feb. 2, 2000

Bush Faces Stature Gap, Bradley a Gender Gap

Notes from the New Hampshire Exit Polls