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 […]

Weekly News Interest Index Aug. 2, 2011

Attention to Debt Debate Grew Steadily in July

The tense negotiations in Washington over legislation to cut the federal deficit and raise the nation’s debt limit topped the public’s news interest and the media’s coverage for the third consecutive week. Four-in-ten (40%) say they followed news about the debt debate more closely than any other news last week, while the fight’s various […]

Survey Reports Aug. 1, 2011

Public Sees Budget Negotiations as “Ridiculous”, “Disgusting”, “Stupid”

From liberal Democrats to Tea Party Republicans, there is broad public consensus that the budget negotiations of recent weeks can be summed up in words such as ridiculous, disgusting, stupid, and frustrating. Nationwide, 72% describe the recent negotiations in negative terms such as these; while very few offer a positive (2%), or even neutral (11%), […]

Survey Reports Jul. 28, 2011

Obama Loses Ground in 2012 Reelection Bid

The sizeable lead Barack Obama held over a generic Republican opponent in polls conducted earlier this year has vanished as his support among independent voters has fallen off.Currently, 41% of registered voters say they would like to see Barack Obama reelected, while 40% say they would prefer to see a Republican candidate win in […]

Weekly News Interest Index Jul. 27, 2011

Debt Stalemate Top Story, But No Surge in Public Interest

With a deadline fast approaching and talk of serious economic consequences without congressional action, the standoff in Washington over raising the debt limit was the top story last week for both the public and the news media. Yet public interest in the federal budget deficit and national debt is not much higher than it […]

Survey Reports Jul. 26, 2011

Public Wants a Debt Ceiling Compromise, Expects a Deal Before Deadline

The public overwhelmingly favors a compromise in the debt ceiling standoff. And even as negotiations aimed at resolving the issue show little progress, a majority thinks that Barack Obama and congressional Republicans will reach a deal before the Aug. 2 deadline on a possible government default. Fully 68% say that lawmakers who share their […]

Commentary Jul. 22, 2011

GOP Makes Big Gains among White Voters

As the country enters into the 2012 presidential election cycle, the electorate’s partisan affiliations have shifted significantly since Barack Obama won office nearly three years ago. In particular, the Democrats hold a much narrower edge than they did in 2008, particularly when the partisan leanings of independents are taken into account. Notably, the GOP […]

Weekly News Interest Index Jul. 19, 2011

Debt Limit Fight Tops News Interest, Coverage

The debate over raising the federal debt limit proved to be the public’s – and the media’s – top news story last week as the federal government neared a possible default and high level deficit-reduction talks produced no agreement. About three-in-ten (31%) say they followed the discussions about how to address the federal deficit […]

Survey Reports Jul. 18, 2011

Obama Draws More Confidence than Boehner, McConnell or Cantor on Debt Ceiling

The public expresses far more confidence in President Obama than it does in congressional leaders of both parties when it comes to the debate over the debt ceiling. Nonetheless, only about half of Americans (48%) have even a fair amount of confidence in Obama to do the right thing when it comes to dealing with […]

Survey Reports Jul. 18, 2011

Public Split Evenly on Urgency of Debt Limit Debate

While administration officials project an economic catastrophe if the debt limit is not raised by Aug. 2, many Americans do not see this deadline as a major problem. Four-in-ten (40%) say that, from what they’ve read and heard, it is absolutely essential that the federal debt limit be raised by Aug. 2 to avoid […]

Commentary Jul. 14, 2011

The Debt Ceiling Showdown – Where the Public Stands

The nation is headed toward a possible government default on Aug. 2 if no agreement is reached to raise the debt ceiling. The public is still coming to grips with this complex issue, but recent Pew Research Center surveys show that opinions are beginning to take shape: The Bottom Line. The public has grown more […]

Weekly News Interest Index Jul. 13, 2011

Casey Anthony Verdict Top Story for Public and Social Networkers

Americans followed news about the verdict in the Casey Anthony murder trial more closely than other top stories by a wide margin last week, but they also kept a watch on news about the nation’s struggling economy and the talks in Washington over raising the federal debt limit. Nearly four-in-ten (37%) say the Florida […]

Survey Reports Jul. 11, 2011

Public Now Divided on Debt Limit Debate

As the debate over the nation’s debt and deficit continues, the public has grown more concerned that failing to raise the debt limit would force the government into default and hurt the economy. Despite this change, however, about as many Americans are concerned by the consequences of raising the nation’s debt limit as by the […]

Weekly News Interest Index Jul. 7, 2011

Interest in Campaign News On Par With 2007

Public interest in the presidential campaign is about as high as it was four years ago, despite the fact that only one party currently has a competitive nomination contest. And while the focus this year has been on the GOP’s race, Democrats express about as much interest in 2012 candidates as do Republicans. Overall, […]

Survey Reports Jul. 7, 2011

Public Wants Changes in Entitlements, Not Changes in Benefits

As policymakers at the state and national level struggle with rising entitlement costs, overwhelming numbers of Americans agree that, over the years, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid have been good for the country. But these cherished programs receive negative marks for current performance, and their finances are widely viewed as troubled. Reflecting these concerns, […]