Sep. 27, 2010

Obama Viewed as Doing Better than GOP Leaders in Explaining Vision

With just over a month to go before the midterm elections, the public by a wide margin says Barack Obama has done a better job than Republican congressional leaders in explaining his plans and vision for the country. Half (50%) of the public says Obama has done a better job, compared with just 28% […]

Commentary Sep. 27, 2010

A Static America: A Contrarian View of Current U.S. Public Opinion Trends

Survey Reports Sep. 23, 2010

Independents Oppose Party in Power…Again

For the third national election in a row, independent voters may be poised to vote out the party in power. The Republican Party holds a significant edge in preferences for the upcoming congressional election among likely voters, in large part because political independents now favor Republican candidates by about as large a margin as […]

Weekly News Interest Index Sep. 22, 2010

2010 Vote Seen as More Important Than Most

Summary of Findings About two-thirds of the public sees coverage of this year’s elections as focused primarily on strategy and conflict rather than candidate positions, while a comparable percentage says the 2010 congressional elections are more important than most. Nearly six-in-ten (58%) say news coverage of politics makes them angry. Still, few (36%) say election […]

Sep. 20, 2010

Many Say Ending Tax Cuts for Wealthy Would Hurt Economy

Nearly four-in-ten Americans (39%) say that allowing Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy to expire at the end of this year would hurt the economy, while about a quarter each say this would help the economy (26%) or have no effect (26%). The latest Pew Research/National Journal Congressional Connection poll, sponsored by SHRM, conducted […]

Commentary Sep. 20, 2010

Taxed Enough Already?

Survey Reports Sep. 17, 2010

Few Say Religion Shapes Immigration, Environment Views

Many Americans continue to say their religious beliefs have been highly influential in shaping their views about social issues, including abortion and same-sex marriage. But far fewer cite religion as a top influence on their opinions about several other social and political issues, including how the government should deal with immigration, the environment and […]

Weekly News Interest Index Sep. 15, 2010

Koran Burning Plans Grab Media, Public Attention

Summary of Findings As the nation marked the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks last week, many in the public and the media focused more on current tensions over Islam in America – most notably plans by a Florida pastor to burn copies of the Koran. Nearly two-in-ten (17%) say they followed the […]

Sep. 13, 2010

Mixed Views of GOP Proposals on Entitlements

The public has sharply different reactions to major changes in Social Security and Medicare programs being proposed by some leading Republicans. While a majority favors a proposal to allow some private investments in Social Security, there is considerably less support for the idea of ending Medicare and replacing it with a system of vouchers […]

Survey Reports Sep. 12, 2010

Americans Spending More Time Following the News

There are many more ways to get the news these days, and as a consequence Americans are spending more time with the news than over much of the past decade. Digital platforms are playing a larger role in news consumption, and they seem to be more than making up for modest declines in the […]

Weekly News Interest Index Sep. 9, 2010

Perceptions of Economic News Remain Mixed

Summary of Findings The public’s perceptions of economic news remain mixed, but continue to be much more negative than they were earlier this year. About half of the public (54%) says they are hearing a mix of good and bad news about the economy these days, while 41% say they are hearing mostly bad news. […]

Commentary Sep. 2, 2010

Glenn Beck, Christians and Mormons

Weekly News Interest Index Sep. 1, 2010

Mosque Debate, Egg Recall Top Public Interest

Summary of Findings No one story dominated the public’s news interest last week, as several story lines – including the debate over a mosque near Ground Zero in New York and the recall of hundreds of millions of eggs – vied for Americans’ attention. About two-in-ten (19%) say they followed the debate over plans for […]

Survey Reports Aug. 26, 2010

Five Years After Katrina, Most Say Nation is Not Better Prepared

Five years after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, a majority of Americans (57%) say that the nation is no better prepared for hurricanes and other natural disasters than it was in 2005. However, the public does see progress in rebuilding New Orleans and the Gulf region: 69% say there has […]

Weekly News Interest Index Aug. 25, 2010

Mosque Debate Tops Coverage, But Not News Interest

Summary of Findings While the media focused on the emotionally-charged debate over plans to build an Islamic mosque and cultural center near the World Trade Center site in New York City last week, the public continued to track the Gulf oil leak. About a third of the public (34%) says they followed news about the […]

Survey Reports Aug. 24, 2010

Public Remains Conflicted Over Islam

The public continues to express conflicted views of Islam. Favorable opinions of Islam have declined since 2005, but there has been virtually no change over the past year in the proportion of Americans saying that Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence. As was the case a year ago, slightly more […]

Weekly News Interest Index Aug. 19, 2010

Many Say Coverage of the Poor and Minorities Is Too Negative

Summary of Findings In evaluating news coverage of different groups, pluralities of Americans say that coverage of poor people and Muslims is too negative, while somewhat smaller percentages say the same about coverage of blacks and Hispanics. Among eight groups tested, whites and middle-class people are the only groups that majorities say are treated fairly […]

Survey Reports Aug. 19, 2010

Growing Number of Americans Say Obama is a Muslim

A substantial and growing number of Americans say that Barack Obama is a Muslim, while the proportion saying he is a Christian has declined. More than a year and a half into his presidency, a plurality of the public says they do not know what religion Obama follows. A new national survey by the […]

Weekly News Interest Index Aug. 11, 2010

More Hearing Good News about Gulf Spill

Summary of Findings In the days following BP’s latest—and apparently successful—effort to seal the oil well in the Gulf of Mexico, public perceptions of news about the spill have become somewhat more positive. Only a quarter of Americans (25%) say they are hearing mostly good news about the oil spill, but that is more than […]

Survey Reports Aug. 10, 2010

Republicans Faring Better with Men, Whites, Independents and Seniors

The Republican Party’s prospects for the midterm elections look much better than they did four years ago at this time, while the Democrats’ look much worse. Voter preferences for the upcoming congressional elections remain closely divided (45% support the Democratic candidate or lean Democratic, while 44% favor the Republican or lean Republican). In polling […]