Commentary Dec. 20, 2006

What Was — and Wasn’t on the Public’s Mind

Once again, public opinion played a major role in the most important news stories of the year. Some of the strongest 2006 trends in public opinion carried over from previous years — notably growing concern about the Iraq war and mounting dissatisfaction with the performance of the Republican-controlled Congress. In the case of another continuing […]

Survey Reports Dec. 19, 2006

Free Trade Agreements Get a Mixed Review

Summary of Findings The American public continues to have a mixed opinion about free trade agreements such as NAFTA and the WTO. On balance they are seen as a good thing for the country, but Americans are divided over the impact of free trade agreements on their own personal financial situations. About as many people […]

Survey Reports Dec. 14, 2006

Public to ’08 Contenders – It’s Too Early

Summary of Findings Politicians and political reporters are scrambling to book flights for New Hampshire and other presidential primary states, but the public is far from engaged in the jockeying for 2008. About a quarter of Americans (23%) say they have given a lot of thought to candidates who may be running for president, while […]

Survey Reports Dec. 12, 2006

Baker-Hamilton Report Evokes Modest Public Interest

Summary of Findings Despite deep public dissatisfaction with the Iraq war, the highly anticipated report by a bipartisan panel proposing new policy options for Iraq did not register strongly with most Americans. Only about half say they heard even a little about the report released last week by the Iraq Study Group led by James […]

Commentary Dec. 6, 2006

Civil War: What’s in a Name?

IrA mostly insiders-only debate about whether Iraq is in a state of civil war broke out into the open last week when two major news organizations announced that they would henceforth refer to the conflict as a civil war. According to polling in September by the Pew Research Center, much of the public had already […]

Survey Reports Nov. 16, 2006

Public Cheers Democratic Victory

Summary of Findings The Democrats’ big win on Nov. 7 has gotten a highly favorable response from the public. In fact, initial reactions to the Democratic victory are as positive as they were to the GOP’s electoral sweep of Congress a dozen years ago. Six-in-ten Americans say they are happy that the Democratic Party won […]

Commentary Nov. 16, 2006

Election ’06: Big Changes in Some Key Groups

Post-mortems on the election have rightly focused on a few big themes: the impact of the war, opinions about President Bush, and the strong Democratic performance among moderates and independents. But the shifting allegiance of some other important voter groups has gotten relatively less attention. One of the biggest stories is about young people. Another […]

Commentary Nov. 14, 2006

The Real Message of the Midterms

A sweeping election tends to invite sweeping conclusions — and the Democrats’ takeover of both houses of Congress this November provides a tempting array of opportunities for exaggeration or misinterpretation. With that in mind, let’s look at the major lessons to be gleaned from the exit polls and opinion polls about how America voted this […]

Commentary Nov. 8, 2006

Centrists Deliver for Democrats

The political center forcefully asserted itself in Tuesday’s midterms. The national exit poll showed that political independents, who divided their votes evenly between George Bush and John Kerry in 2004, swung decisively in favor of the Democrats. With roughly nine-in-ten Republicans and Democrats casting ballots for representatives of their parties, just as they did two […]

Commentary Nov. 6, 2006

Public Concern About the Vote Count and Uncertainty About Electronic Voting Machines

Commentary Nov. 6, 2006

Democrats and Republicans See Different Realities

Survey Reports Nov. 5, 2006

Republicans Cut Democratic Lead in Campaign’s Final Days

Summary of Findings A nationwide Pew Research Center survey finds voting intentions shifting in the direction of Republican congressional candidates in the final days of the 2006 midterm campaign. The new survey finds a growing percentage of likely voters saying they will vote for GOP candidates. However, the Democrats still hold a 48% to 40% […]

Commentary Nov. 1, 2006

Karl Rove’s Ground War Challenge

Survey Reports Oct. 27, 2006

Lack of Competition in Elections Fails to Stir Public

Summary of Findings The concern among some politicians and political experts over the lack of competitiveness in U.S. elections is generally not shared by the public. Moreover, voters appear to lack a clear sense of whether the elections in their own House districts are competitive or not. The public is only dimly aware of the […]

Commentary Oct. 26, 2006

Can Safe Seats Save the Republicans?

Commentary Oct. 26, 2006

Cell-Only Voters Not Very Different

Methodology Reports Oct. 26, 2006

Cell-Only Voters Not Very Different: Fewer Registered, More First-time Voters

Methodology Reports Oct. 26, 2006

Are National Polls Reliable Predictors of Midterm Elections?

Survey Reports Oct. 26, 2006

Democrats Hold Double-Digit Lead in Competitive Districts

Summary of Findings With less than two weeks to go before the midterm elections, the Democrats not only continue to maintain a double-digit advantage nationally, but also lead by the same margin in the competitive districts that will determine which party controls the House of Representatives. Nationally, the Democrats hold a 49%-38% lead among registered […]

Survey Reports Oct. 18, 2006

Who Votes, Who Doesn’t, and Why

Summary of Findings They vote ­ but not always. Compared with Americans who regularly cast ballots, they are less engaged in politics. They are more likely to be bored with the political process and admit they often do not know enough about candidates to cast ballots. But they are crucial to Republican and Democratic fortunes […]