Commentary 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)

Survey Reports Aug. 3, 2005

Abortion and Rights of Terror Suspects Top Court Issues

Summary of Findings Abortion has dominated the early skirmishing over President Bush’s nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court. But the public takes a more expansive view of the court’s agenda. Indeed, about as many Americans rate the rights of detained terrorist suspects as a very important issue for the Supreme Court as say […]

Commentary 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 […]

Survey Reports Jul. 26, 2005

Views of Muslim-Americans Hold Steady After London Bombings

Summary of Findings The July 7 terrorist bombings in London drew considerable public attention and raised fears of another attack in the United States, but these concerns do not translate into less favorable opinions of either Muslim-Americans or Islam. And compared with 2003, fewer now say that Islam is more likely than other religions to […]

Survey Reports Jul. 21, 2005

More Say Iraq War Hurts Fight Against Terrorism

Summary of Findings A growing number of Americans believe that the war in Iraq has undermined the U.S. struggle against terrorism. Nearly half (47%) say the war in Iraq has hurt the war on terrorism, the highest percentage expressing that view since the war began in March 2003. Nonetheless, public support for an immediate withdrawal […]

Survey Reports Jul. 19, 2005

Republicans Uncertain on Rove Resignation

Summary of Findings Only about half of the American public is paying close attention to news reports that White House aide Karl Rove may have leaked classified information about a CIA agent. But 39% of the public ­ and a solid majority of those closely following the reports (58%) ­ believe that Rove should resign […]

Survey Reports Jul. 11, 2005

Tempered Public Reaction to London Attacks

Summary of Findings The American public has had a measured reaction to last week’s terrorist bombings in London. Interest in news reports on the bombings is at about the same level as for the Madrid terrorist attacks in March 2004, while concerns over another terrorist attack in this country are somewhat higher than after the […]

Commentary 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 […]

Survey Reports Jun. 26, 2005

Public More Critical of Press, But Goodwill Persists

Summary of Findings Public attitudes toward the press, which have been on a downward track for years, have become more negative in several key areas. Growing numbers of people question the news media’s patriotism and fairness. Perceptions of political bias also have risen over the past two years. Yet despite these criticisms, most Americans continue […]

Survey Reports Jun. 15, 2005

Supreme Court’s Image Declines as Nomination Battle Looms

Summary of Findings With an aging Supreme Court possibly facing major changes, the court’s public image has eroded significantly. Currently, 57% of Americans have a favorable opinion of the Supreme Court, with 30% expressing an unfavorable view. In the past, favorable views of the court typically surpassed 70%; even in January 2001, shortly after the […]

Survey Reports Jun. 13, 2005

Iraq News Increases Calls for Troop Withdrawal

Summary of Findings The steady drip of negative news from Iraq is significantly undermining support for the U.S. military operation there. With the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq exceeding 1,700, there is widespread awareness of the rising American death toll. As a consequence, baseline public attitudes toward the war are gradually turning more […]

Survey Reports Jun. 1, 2005

Economic Concerns Fueled by Many Woes

Summary of Findings The public continues to be wary in its assessments of the health of the U.S. economy, despite recent improvement in some key economic indicators. Only about one-in-three Americans think the national economy is in good shape, and optimism about the future is markedly lower than it has been over the past three […]

Commentary 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 […]

Survey Reports May. 19, 2005

Economy, Iraq Weighing Down Bush Popularity

Summary of Findings Americans are critical of President Bush’s job performance in many policy areas, but negative opinions of his handling of the economy and Iraq are doing the most damage to his overall approval rating, which now stands at 43%. Just 35% approve of the president’s handling of the economy, down from 43% in […]

Survey Reports May. 16, 2005

Disengaged Public Leans Against Changing Filibuster Rules

Summary of Findings As the Senate prepares for a showdown on the use of the filibuster against some of President Bush’s judicial nominees, the issue remains mostly off the public’s radar. But public opinion ­ especially among the roughly one-third of the public who has paid at least fairly close attention to the issue ­ […]

Survey Reports May. 10, 2005

Beyond Red vs. Blue

Part 1: Principal Findings Coming out of the 2004 election, the American political landscape decidedly favored the Republican Party. The GOP had extensive appeal among a disparate group of voters in the middle of the electorate, drew extraordinary loyalty from its own varied constituencies, and made some inroads among conservative Democrats. These advantages outweighed continued […]

Commentary 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 […]

Survey Reports Apr. 19, 2005

Support for Tougher Indecency Measures, But Worries About Government Intrusiveness

Introduction and Summary Americans have ambivalent views about the appropriate role for government in curbing sex, violence and indecency in the entertainment media. They have doubts about the effectiveness of government action, and believe that public pressure ­ in the form of complaints and boycotts ­ is a better way of dealing with the problem. […]

Survey Reports Apr. 6, 2005

The Dean Activists: Their Profile and Prospects

Introduction Although former Vermont governor Howard Dean failed to win the Democratic presidential nomination, his campaign left a strong imprint on the political world. It assembled a network of over a half-million active supporters and contributors, raised over $20 million in mostly small donations online, and demonstrated the power of the internet as a networking […]

Survey Reports Mar. 24, 2005

Disapproval of GOP Congressional Leaders, But Democrats Fare No Better

Summary of Findings The American public is not happy with the nation’s political leadership. President Bush’s approval rating remains below 50%, and just 39% approve of the job performance of Republican congressional leaders. Despite the paltry ratings for GOP leaders, however, Democrats have failed to benefit. The public has about the same low regard for […]