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 […]

Survey Reports Sep. 1, 2011

United in Remembrance, Divided over Policies

Ten years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the events of that day retain a powerful hold on the public’s collective consciousness. Virtually every American remembers what they were doing at the moment the attacks occurred. Substantial majorities say that 9/11 had a profound personal impact and that the attacks changed the […]

Weekly News Interest Index Aug. 30, 2011

Hurricane Irene Top Story for Public

 Overview Hurricane Irene was the public’s top news story last week in a busy seven days that included an unusual and widely-felt East Coast earthquake and major developments in Libya. About four-in-ten (41%) say that Irene was the news story they followed most closely last week, according to the latest weekly News Interest Index survey, […]

Survey Reports Aug. 30, 2011

Muslim Americans: No Signs of Growth in Alienation or Support for Extremism

As the 1oth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks approaches, a comprehensive public opinion survey finds no indication of increased alienation or anger among Muslim Americans in response to concerns about home-grown Islamic terrorists, controversies about the building of mosques and other pressures that have been brought to bear on this high-profile minority group in recent years.

Survey Reports Aug. 25, 2011

Obama Leadership Image Takes a Hit, GOP Ratings Decline

The public is profoundly discontented with conditions in the country, its government, political leadership and several of its major institutions. Fully 79% are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country. Even more (86%) say they are frustrated or angry with the federal government. Favorable ratings for both political parties are in […]

Weekly News Interest Index Aug. 23, 2011

Troubled Economy Top Story for Public and Media

Americans focused most closely last week on news about the nation’s troubled economy amid concerns about the stalled recovery and fears of a possible new recession. About four-in-ten (42%) say they followed reports about the condition of the U.S. economy more closely than any other news. That is three times the number saying their […]

Weekly News Interest Index Aug. 17, 2011

Deadly Afghanistan Crash Tops Public’s News Interest

News about the crash of a military helicopter in Afghanistan that killed 30 Americans last week refocused public attention on the long-running war there. About a quarter of the public (27%) says they followed news about the troop deaths in Afghanistan – which included members of the elite force that killed Osama bin Laden […]

Weekly News Interest Index Aug. 10, 2011

Number Hearing Mostly Bad Economic News Soars

Negative views of economic news have risen sharply since last month and now stand at their highest level in well more than two years. Fully 67% say they are hearing “mostly bad” news about the economy, up 18 points in the last month alone and more than 40 points since the start of 2011. […]

Survey Reports Aug. 10, 2011

Democrats Not Eager for an Obama Challenger

Despite speculation that the Democratic base has become increasingly disillusioned with Barack Obama, rank-and-file Democrats are not eager to see other candidates challenge him for their party’s nomination in 2012. Just 32% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say they would like other Democrats to take on Obama for the nomination, while 59% say they would […]

Survey Reports Aug. 9, 2011

Views of Tea Party Supporters in Congress Grow More Negative

More Americans now think that members of Congress who support the Tea Party are having a negative effect than said that in January, at the start of the new Congress. Currently, 29% judge the impact of Tea Party supporters as mostly negative compared with 22% who see their impact as mostly positive. At the beginning […]