Commentary Aug. 23, 2012

A Closer Look at the Parties in 2012

As the 2012 party conventions approach, the Democratic Party continues to maintain an advantage in party identification among voters, but its lead is much smaller than it was in 2008. In more than 13,000 interviews conducted so far in 2012, 35% of registered voters identify with the Democratic Party, 28% with the Republican Party and […]

Commentary Aug. 22, 2012

The Complicated Politics of Abortion

Abortion has emerged as an issue in the 2012 presidential race, following Missouri GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin’s controversial comments about abortion and “legitimate rape.” In recent years, narrow majorities of the public have consistently said that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. The Democratic Party is widely favored over the GOP […]

Commentary Aug. 22, 2012

Conventions Still Draw Sizable Audience, Boost Campaign Interest

Despite limited primetime coverage, the Republican and Democratic conventions still give the parties a chance to define their presidential candidates and spark public interest in the campaign. In 2008, notably, both conventions attracted sizable audiences, especially among their own partisans. In a Pew Research Center survey conducted after the Republican convention in St. Paul, Minn., […]

Survey Reports Aug. 21, 2012

Medicare Voucher Plan Remains Unpopular

Paul Ryan’s selection to the Republican ticket has put the issue of Medicare squarely on the 2012 campaign agenda. And the latest Pew Research Center survey continues to find the public is aware of a proposal to gradually shift Medicare to a system of vouchers and is, on balance, more opposed than supportive of […]

Survey Reports Aug. 16, 2012

Further Decline in Credibility Ratings for Most News Organizations

For the second time in a decade, the believability ratings for major news organizations have suffered broad-based declines. In the new survey, positive believability ratings have fallen significantly for nine of 13 news organizations tested. This follows a similar downturn in positive believability ratings that occurred between 2002 and 2004. The falloff in credibility […]

Commentary Aug. 13, 2012

Older Americans Have Been Highly Resistant to Medicare Changes

Older Americans are wary of changes to Medicare. Compared with younger people, they are more positive about the way the program operates, less apt to think that changes are needed and far less disposed towards Paul Ryan’s proposal to reshape Medicare. A Pew Research survey in May of 2011 found that those 65 and older […]

Survey Reports Aug. 10, 2012

What Voters Know about Campaign 2012

Before you read the report, test your own News IQ by taking the interactive knowledge quiz. The short quiz includes many of the questions that were included in a national poll. Participants will instantly learn how they did on the quiz in comparison with the voting public as well as with people like them. […]

Survey Reports Aug. 7, 2012

Public Continues to Hear Mixed Economic News

Public views of economic news—both overall and across most sectors—are little changed in recent months. Today, about half of Americans (53%) say they are hearing a mix of good and bad news about the economy, while 41% say they are hearing mostly bad news and just 3% say they are hearing mostly good news. […]

Survey Reports Aug. 6, 2012

Eight-in-Ten Following Olympics on TV or Digitally

Large majorities of Americans are following coverage of the Olympic Games in London. Nearly eight-in-ten (78%) say they have watched or followed Olympic coverage either on television, online or on social networks. Television remains far-and-away the leading platform for Olympic coverage; 73% say they have watched coverage on television. Still, 17% say they have […]

Commentary Aug. 3, 2012

Party Affiliation and Election Polls

In every campaign cycle, pollwatchers pay close attention to the details of every election survey. And well they should. But focusing on the partisan balance of surveys is, in almost every circumstance, the wrong place to look. The latest Pew Research Center survey conducted July 16-26 among 1,956 registered voters nationwide found 51% supporting Barack […]

Survey Reports Aug. 2, 2012

Romney’s Personal Image Remains Negative

2012 Election Voter Preference Trends Track voter preferences for Obama vs. Romney overall and by demographic group. By a 52% to 37% margin, more voters say they have an unfavorable than favorable view of Mitt Romney. The poll, conducted prior to Romney’s recent overseas trip, represents the sixth consecutive survey over the past nine […]

Survey Reports Aug. 2, 2012

Little Public Awareness of Outside Campaign Spending Boom

The public is hearing little about increased spending by outside groups in the 2012 election. Just 25% have heard a lot about outside spending by groups not associated with the candidates or campaigns, while three-quarters are hearing a little (36%) or nothing at all (39%) about this. In fact, the term “super PAC” itself is […]

Weekly News Interest Index Aug. 1, 2012

Colorado Rampage Tops News Interest for July

In the final two weeks of July, Americans kept a close watch on news about a deadly shooting rampage at a Colorado movie theater, but they also closely tracked news about two long-running stories – the condition of the nation’s economy and the 2012 presidential campaign. News about the shootings, which left 12 dead […]

Survey Reports Aug. 1, 2012

Catholics Share Bishops’ Concerns about Religious Liberty

Survey Reports Jul. 31, 2012

Two-Thirds of Democrats Now Support Gay Marriage

Survey Reports Jul. 30, 2012

Views on Gun Laws Unchanged After Aurora Shooting

There has been no significant change in public views on the issue of gun control and gun rights following the July 20th shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Currently, 47% say it is more important to control gun ownership, while 46% say it is more important to protect the rights of Americans […]

Survey Reports Jul. 26, 2012

Little Voter Discomfort with Romney’s Mormon Religion

Survey Reports Jul. 24, 2012

Most Say They Already Know Enough about the Candidates

With more than three months to go before Election Day, most voters already feel that there’s little left to learn about the presidential candidates. When it comes to Barack Obama, 90% say they already pretty much know what they need to know about him; just 8% say they need to learn more. A substantial […]

Commentary Jul. 24, 2012

Romney’s Overseas Trip a Chance to Burnish Foreign Policy Credentials

Mitt Romney’s trip to Europe and Israel this week highlights a potential weakness of his candidacy. The former Massachusetts governor trails Barack Obama by eight points among registered voters as the candidate best able to handle foreign policy and 12 points as best able to defend against terrorist attacks, according to the Pew Research Center’s […]

Weekly News Interest Index Jul. 23, 2012

Colorado Shootings Capture Public’s Interest

About half of the public says they very closely followed news about the deadly shooting rampage shortly after midnight Friday morning in a movie theater in Colorado, making this one of the most closely followed stories so far in 2012. Fully 48% say they followed this news very closely, according to the latest survey […]