Weekly News Interest Index Mar. 29, 2007

Attorney Firings: Important but Not Interesting

Summary of Findings Public interest in the Iraq war remained high last week as the country marked the fourth anniversary of the conflict, and the House of Representatives passed a controversial war funding bill. At the same time the fallout from the firing of eight U.S. attorneys by the Justice Department failed to gain much […]

Survey Reports Mar. 26, 2007

Solid Majority Favors Congressional Troop Deadline

Summary of Findings A solid majority of Americans say they want their congressional representative to support a bill calling for a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq by August 2008. Nearly six-in-ten (59%) say they would like to see their representative vote for such legislation, compared with just 33% who want their representative to oppose […]

Survey Reports Mar. 22, 2007

Trends in Political Values and Core Attitudes: 1987-2007

Summary of Findings Increased public support for the social safety net, signs of growing public concern about income inequality, and a diminished appetite for assertive national security policies have improved the political landscape for the Democrats as the 2008 presidential campaign gets underway. At the same time, many of the key trends that nurtured the […]

Commentary Mar. 22, 2007

Iraq and Vietnam: A Crucial Difference in Opinion

While public opinion with respect to the rightness and progress of the war in Iraq has followed a path not unlike that charted during the Vietnam War, one important difference stands out: public attitudes toward the military. Read full analysis at pewresearch.org

Weekly News Interest Index Mar. 21, 2007

Attorney Firings Stir Limited Public Interest

Summary of Findings The controversy over the firing of eight U.S. attorneys is not attracting strong public interest in spite of intense media coverage of the story. In fact, the story evokes a typical response from the public when compared with news interest in past Washington scandals. Amid calls for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales’ resignation, […]

Weekly News Interest Index Mar. 15, 2007

Public Tunes In to Walter Reed Story

Summary of Findings News about problems with the medical care of wounded Iraq war veterans drew the public’s attention last week. More than three-in-ten Americans (31%) paid very close attention to news about conditions at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and more general reports about how soldiers returning from Iraq are being cared for. And […]

Commentary Mar. 15, 2007

Trends in Public Opinion about War in Iraq, 2003-2007

Four years after the launch of the U.S. led invasion on March 19, 2003, public opinion about the war in Iraq has turned decidedly negative. Most Americans regret the decision to use military force. Majorities believe the war is not going well, and most say that the United States should bring its troops home as […]

Commentary Mar. 14, 2007

America’s Image in the World: Findings from the Pew Global Attitudes Project

Remarks of Andrew Kohut to the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs; Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight

Weekly News Interest Index Mar. 8, 2007

Today’s Journalists Less Prominent

Summary of Findings The increasingly fragmented media landscape has diminished the prominence of the nation’s top journalists. Two decades ago, the vast majority of Americans had a “favorite” journalist or news person, and the top picks were representatives of the big three broadcast television networks. Today, only a slim majority can name the journalist they […]

Commentary Mar. 8, 2007

Foreign Policy: The Public Sends a Muddled Message

Both the White House and Congress face difficult decisions with respect to foreign policy in the final two years of Bush’s term. Yet, the polls suggest that policymakers can expect little in the way of clear guidance from the public. Opinion surveys find much in the way of public frustration, but little in the way […]

Weekly News Interest Index Mar. 1, 2007

Anna Nicole Audience Praises Press Coverage

Summary of Findings Anna Nicole Smith’s death and the bizarre aftermath continue to fascinate a significant segment of the American public and the mainstream media. During the second full week of coverage of the story, interest remained steady and coverage actually increased – as portions of the legal proceedings concerning her body were carried live […]

Survey Reports Feb. 23, 2007

Voters Remain In Neutral As Presidential Campaign Moves Into High Gear

Summary of Findings The 2008 presidential campaign has kicked off earlier than usual with more candidates than usual, but many people appear not to have noticed. Americans are no more likely to say they have given the presidential campaign much thought than they did in December, and just small minorities can name a candidate they […]

Weekly News Interest Index Feb. 23, 2007

Iraq Most Closely Followed and Covered News Story

Summary of Findings The public and the news media divided their attention last week among the top international stories, harsh winter weather, politics and the ongoing saga surrounding the death of Anna Nicole Smith. The Iraq war remained the No. 1 story both in terms of public interest and news coverage, however, the public hung […]

Weekly News Interest Index Feb. 16, 2007

Too Much Anna Nicole, But the Saga Attracts an Audience

Summary of Findings Most Americans feel the press has gone overboard in covering the death of Anna Nicole Smith. Fully 61% believe the Smith story has been overcovered, far more than the number saying that about any other recent story. Even so, a sizable minority (11%) followed Smith’s death more closely than any of last […]

Survey Reports Feb. 15, 2007

War Support Slips, Fewer Expect a Successful Outcome

Summary of Findings Public support for the war in Iraq continues to decline, as a growing number of political independents are turning against the war. Overall, a 53% majority of Americans believe the U.S. should bring its troops home as soon as possible – up five points in the past month and the highest percentage […]

Commentary Feb. 14, 2007

How Reliable Are the Early Presidential Polls?

The flurry of candidate announcements in an open race has spurred media attention to the 2008 presidential contest even earlier in the electoral cycle than usual. But followers of early poll readings on the relative viability of declared candidates should bear in mind some caveats. Early frontrunners for the Republican nomination in most of the […]

Commentary Feb. 7, 2007

Can You Trust What Polls Say about Obama’s Electoral Prospects?

The strong showing of Democrat Barack Obama in early trial heat polls for the 2008 presidential election raises anew the question of whether the American public is ready to support an African American candidate for president. Recent polling points to two significant shifts on this question. Read the full analysis at PewResearch.org

Survey Reports Jan. 24, 2007

Global Warming: A Divide on Causes and Solutions

Summary of Findings President Bush’s mention in his State of the Union Message of the “serious challenge of global climate change” was directed at an American public many of whom remain lukewarm about the importance of the issue. The unusual weather affecting the nation this winter may have reinforced the widely held view that the […]

Survey Reports Jan. 22, 2007

Broad Support for Political Compromise in Washington

Summary of Findings A survey conducted in association with National Public Radio A large majority of the American public thinks the country is more politically polarized than in the past, and an even greater number expresses a strong desire for political compromise. Fully three-quarters say they like political leaders who are willing to compromise, compared […]

Survey Reports Jan. 16, 2007

Broad Opposition to Bush’s Iraq Plan

Summary of Findings President Bush’s plan to send roughly 21,000 additional troops to Iraq has drawn broad opposition from the American public. If anything, the plan has triggered increased partisan polarization on the debate over what to do in Iraq. While most Republicans support Bush’s initiative, Democrats overwhelmingly oppose it, and a solid majority of […]