Commentary, Methodology Reports Jul. 9, 2009

Accurately Locating Where Wireless Respondents Live Requires More Than A Phone Number

Survey Reports Jul. 9, 2009

Public Praises Science; Scientists Fault Public, Media

Americans like science. Overwhelming majorities say that science has had a positive effect on society and that science has made life easier for most people. Most also say that government investments in science, as well as engineering and technology, pay off in the long run. And scientists are very highly rated compared with members […]

Weekly News Interest Index Jul. 8, 2009

Public Hearing More Negative News About Economy

Summary of Findings From January through May, a growing proportion of Americans said they were hearing a mix of good and bad news about the economy. More recently, however, there has been a steady increase in the share saying that the economic news is mostly bad. Currently, 41% say they are hearing mostly bad news […]

Weekly News Interest Index Jul. 1, 2009

Coverage of Jackson’s Death Seen As Excessive

Summary of Findings The public closely tracked the sudden death of pop superstar Michael Jackson last week, though nearly two-in-three Americans say news organizations gave too much coverage to the story. At the same time, half say the media struck the right balance between reporting on Jackson’s musical legacy and the problems in his personal […]

Commentary, Methodology Reports Jun. 25, 2009

Perils of Polling in Election ’08

Commentary, Methodology Reports Jun. 24, 2009

Pollwatch: Comparing the Polls on Spending and the Deficit

Weekly News Interest Index Jun. 24, 2009

Strong Public Interest in Iranian Election Protests

Summary of Findings The dramatic events in Iran last week captured the attention of both the public and the media as Americans tracked news about post-election protests in Tehran nearly as closely as they followed news about the troubled U.S. economy. Two-in-ten say they followed news about the street protests over disputed election results – […]

Survey Reports Jun. 24, 2009

Romney’s Image Improves; Palin Well Regarded by Republican Base

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney has seen his favorability ratings improve and now enjoys a positive balance of opinion among the general public: 40% rate him favorably, 28% unfavorably. This marks a reversal of opinion from February 2008, during the latter stages of the GOP primary campaign, when just 30% viewed him favorably and […]

Survey Reports Jun. 19, 2009

Public More Optimistic About the Economy, But Still Reluctant to Spend

The public is increasingly optimistic that the nation’s economy will improve in the next year, while a growing number also expect their personal finances to get better. But this has not caused people to open their wallets: The proportion saying they have cut back on personal spending remains as high as it was earlier […]

Survey Reports Jun. 18, 2009

Obama’s Ratings Remain High Despite Some Policy Concerns

A solid majority of Americans (61%) continue to approve of Barack Obama’s job performance, although they express mixed views of several of his policies. An important positive sign for Obama is the public’s continued optimism that his policies will improve the economy – fully 65% express this view. A smaller majority (55%) is optimistic […]

Weekly News Interest Index Jun. 17, 2009

Employment News Seen As Overwhelmingly Bad

Summary of Findings Americans by a wide margin say they are hearing mostly negative news about the nation’s job situation, though they are more likely to sense a mix of good and bad news about other elements of the economy. With the jobless rate climbing, seven-in-ten (71%) say they are hearing mostly bad news about […]

Weekly News Interest Index Jun. 11, 2009

Week’s Major News Stories Draw Different Audiences

Summary of Findings Americans divided their attention among several major stories last week as President Obama reached out to the Muslim world in a major speech, a jetliner crashed into the Atlantic Ocean and General Motors filed for bankruptcy protection. At the same time, they continued to keep a close watch on news about the […]

Commentary Jun. 5, 2009

Gen Next Squeezed By Recession, But Most See Better Times Ahead

Weekly News Interest Index Jun. 4, 2009

First Impressions of Sotomayor Mostly Positive

Summary of Findings Americans who have learned at least a little about Judge Sonia Sotomayor are more likely to offer traits or aspects they like about President Obama’s first Supreme Court nominee than things they do not like about the federal appellate court judge from New York. Asked if there was anything they have learned […]

Commentary Jun. 2, 2009

Public Backs Affirmative Action, But Not Minority Preferences

Weekly News Interest Index May. 28, 2009

Public Tracks Economy, Media Focuses on Terror Debate

Summary of Findings Americans continued to closely track news about the struggling economy and the spread of the swine flu last week, though the media devoted the largest share of coverage to the sharp debate in Washington over how best to protect the nation from terrorism. About a quarter of the public (24%) says they […]

Survey Reports May. 21, 2009

Independents Take Center Stage in Obama Era

Centrism has emerged as a dominant factor in public opinion as the Obama era begins. The political values and core attitudes that the Pew Research Center has monitored since 1987 show little overall ideological movement. Republicans and Democrats are even more divided than in the past, while the growing political middle is steadfastly mixed […]

Weekly News Interest Index May. 20, 2009

Public Stays Focused on the Economy

Summary of Findings Americans followed reports about the U.S. economy more closely than other major stories last week as President Obama pushed for new restrictions on the credit card industry and automakers announced plans to cut ties with some 1,900 dealerships nationwide. More than four-in-ten (44%) say they followed economic news very closely, according to […]

Weekly News Interest Index May. 13, 2009

Public Sees News About Economy Less Glum

Summary of Findings Most Americans say they are hearing a mix of good and bad news about the U.S. economy, a stark change from the start of the year when a sizable majority said they were hearing mostly bad economic news. The latest weekly News Interest Index survey, conducted May 8-11 by the Pew Research […]

Commentary May. 7, 2009

Top of the Mind Impressions of Obama