Commentary Oct. 19, 2011

Public and Occupy Wall Street Movement Agree on Key Issues

For more debate on Occupy Wall Street click here. The American public is beginning to take notice of the “Occupy movement.” The Pew Research Center’s polling this week finds a growing number of people paying attention to news about the movement. And the Gallup Poll found that among the minority of its respondents who are […]

Oct. 18, 2011

Top One-Word Reaction to Cain Is a Number: 9-9-9

When Americans are asked to describe Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain in a single word, they most frequently offer a series of numbers: “9-9-9.” Cain’s tax proposal is mentioned more often than his background as a businessman. For Mitt Romney, the most frequently used single word is his religion – “Mormon.” And the most frequently […]

Survey Reports Oct. 17, 2011

A Third in GOP Have Seen a Presidential Debate

About a quarter of the public (27%) says they have watched one or more of the Republican presidential debates so far this year. Most debate watchers say the televised sessions have been helpful in learning about the candidates (61%) and a third (34%) say the debates have led them to change their minds about […]

Weekly News Interest Index Oct. 12, 2011

Wall Street Protests Receive Limited Attention

Americans continued to closely track news about the nation’s struggling economy last week, and paid only modest attention to a fast- growing media story – the anti-Wall Street protests in New York and other cities. About a quarter (27%) say news about the condition of the U.S. economy was their top story, while just […]

Commentary Oct. 7, 2011

Strong on Defense and Israel, Tough on China

The Tea Party has emerged as a political force on domestic issues, especially the national debt and the size and role of the federal government. Republican supporters of the Tea Party movement also have a distinct approach to national security and America’s role in the world. Tea Party Republicans favor an assertive foreign policy, are […]

Survey Reports Oct. 6, 2011

Obama Motivates Supporters, Opponents in Early 2012 Matchups

Barack Obama is a leading driver of voter preferences in possible 2012 matchups, among both his supporters and opponents. Currently, Obama is running a close race in hypothetical matchups against Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. Against both GOP candidates, most of Obama’s supporters view their vote as a vote for the president, while most […]

Weekly News Interest Index Oct. 5, 2011

GOP Candidates Hardly Household Names

As in previous Republican presidential campaigns, most Americans (54%) are able to name at least one of the GOP candidates unprompted. However, smaller percentages name the leading candidates than in previous Republican races. Just 28% name Texas Gov. Rick Perry and 27% name former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. At this point in the race […]

Survey Reports Sep. 29, 2011

No Consensus About Whether Nation Is Divided Into ’Haves’ and ’Have-Nots’

Despite an extended economic downturn, the public’s impression of whether the nation is economically divided remains relatively stable. While 45% say American society is divided between “haves” and “have-nots,” 52% say it is incorrect to think of the country this way. This is comparable to the balance of opinion a year ago. The percentage of […]

Weekly News Interest Index Sep. 28, 2011

Economy Again Top Story for Public and News Media

Amid continued uncertainty at home and abroad, economic news was once again the top story last week for both the public and the news media. Three-in-ten (31%) say they followed news about the condition of the U.S. economy more closely than any other news last week, according to the latest weekly News Interest Index […]

Survey Reports Sep. 26, 2011

Obama Draws More Confidence than GOP Leaders on Deficit

As the nation prepares for another round of deficit reduction debates, the public’s confidence in congressional leaders, particularly Republican leaders in Congress, has plummeted. Just 35% say they have a great deal or fair amount of confidence in Republican leaders in Congress to do the right thing when it comes to dealing with the […]

Survey Reports Sep. 22, 2011

Press Widely Criticized, But Trusted More than Other Information Sources

Negative opinions about the performance of news organizations now equal or surpass all-time highs on nine of 12 core measures the Pew Research Center has been tracking since 1985. However, these bleak findings are put into some perspective by the fact that news organizations are more trusted sources of information than are many other […]

Weekly News Interest Index Sep. 21, 2011

Economic Stories Top Public Interest and Coverage

Amid continued worries about the health of the nation’s economy and persistent unemployment, the debate in Washington over President Obama’s jobs legislation topped the public’s news interest last week. Nearly a quarter of the public (23%) says they followed the back and forth over Obama’s proposal more closely than any other news last week, […]

Survey Reports Sep. 20, 2011

Palestinian Statehood: Mixed Views, Low Visibility

Americans express mixed opinions about a possible independent Palestinian state, an issue that has so far drawn little attention from the press or the public. More favor (42%) than oppose (26%) the United States recognizing Palestine as an independent nation, while nearly a third (32%) express no opinion. Yet the public’s sympathies in the Middle […]

Weekly News Interest Index Sep. 13, 2011

9/11 Commemorations Capture Public Attention

The 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks topped the public’s news interest last week, but Americans also continued to closely track news about the nation’s struggling economy. About a quarter (27%) say they followed coverage of the solemn 9/11 anniversary more closely than any other news. Nearly as many (23%) say they […]

Survey Reports Sep. 12, 2011

More Now See GOP as Very Conservative

Though voters’ views of the ideologies of the political parties have shifted little since the summer of 2010, an increasing number see the Republican Party as very conservative, while slightly fewer see the Democratic Party as very liberal. In 2010, somewhat more, on balance, viewed the Democratic Party as very liberal than said the […]

Survey Reports Sep. 8, 2011

Libya: Steady Views, Declining Interest

Despite the apparent success of NATO-supported rebel troops, public views about the decision to conduct air strikes in Libya remain mixed and have changed little since the U.S. and allies launched military operations there in late March. Over the same period, public attentiveness to the events in Libya has declined substantially – even as […]

Commentary Sep. 8, 2011

Jobs vs. Deficit — Where the Public Stands

When President Obama goes before a joint session of Congress on Thursday to lay out a plan for spurring jobs creation, one of the political and policy dynamics at work will be the tension that animated the debate in Washington all this year:  the push to reduce federal spending and the government’s deficit competing against […]

Weekly News Interest Index Sep. 7, 2011

Irene Aftermath Top Story for Public, Media

The aftermath of Hurricane Irene was the top story for the public and the media last week, as flooding worsened in many East Coast states well after the storm winds had died down. More than a third of the public (36%) say that the impact of the hurricane was the news they followed most […]

Survey Reports Sep. 7, 2011

Few See Job Proposals Having Much Effect

When asked which economic issue worries them most, nearly twice as many Americans cite the job situation as the federal budget deficit (43% to 22%). There is less clarity in the public’s views about ideas to address the job situation – many are seen as helping at least a little, but no specific proposal emerges […]

Survey Reports Sep. 6, 2011

Most Plan to Watch Obama Jobs Speech

Nearly six-in-ten Americans (58%) say they plan to watch President Obama’s speech Thursday night to a joint session of Congress about his plans to spur job growth and help the struggling national economy. Not surprisingly, fewer plan to watch Wednesday night’s debate in California among the candidates for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Four-in-ten […]