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, […]

Commentary Jul. 5, 2011

Are Republicans Ready Now for a Mormon President?

By Carroll Doherty, Associate Director, Pew Research Center. Special to the New York Times.  For more debate on Mormon candidates in the 2012 election click here. Overall, being a Mormon is hardly an asset for presidential candidates, but it is not a deal-breaker for most Americans. A quarter of Americans say they would be less […]

Survey Reports Jul. 5, 2011

Majority Sees U.S. Leadership in Space as Essential

On the eve of the final mission of the U.S. space shuttle program, most Americans say the United States must be at the forefront of future space exploration. Fifty years after the first American manned space flight, nearly six-in-ten (58%) say it is essential that the United States continue to be a world leader […]

Commentary Jun. 30, 2011

U.S. Seen as Among the Greatest Nations, But Not Superior to All Others

Despite the struggling economy and broad dissatisfaction with national conditions, the public has a positive view of the United States’ global standing. But more think that the U.S. is one of the greatest countries in the world than say it stands above all other countries. Slightly more than half (53%) say that the United States […]

Survey Reports Jun. 29, 2011

Four Years After Walter Reed, Government Still Faulted for Troop Support

As President Obama begins to draw down U.S. forces in Afghanistan, most Americans continue to say that government support for troops returning from war is falling short. The public remains divided over whether the American people give enough support to soldiers who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Opinions on this tilt more negative, […]

Weekly News Interest Index Jun. 29, 2011

Economy, Afghanistan Top News Interest, Coverage

Americans focused most closely last week on news about the nation’s struggling economy and President Obama’s plans to draw down U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Two-in-ten (20%) say the economy was their top story, while 16% say they followed the discussions in Washington about troop levels in Afghanistan more closely than any other top story, […]

Survey Reports Jun. 27, 2011

Little Change in Views of Obama’s Approach for Afghanistan Troop Withdrawal

Following Barack Obama’s June 22 speech about the Afghanistan war, there has been little change in public opinion about the president’s plans for drawing down the number of U.S. combat troops in that country. As in early March, a plurality (44%) says they think Obama will remove troops at about the right pace. About three-in-ten […]

Survey Reports Jun. 23, 2011

Pessimism About National Economy Rises, Personal Financial Views Hold Steady

With a growing number of Americans saying they have been hearing “mostly bad” economic news, opinions about the current state of the national economy remain grim. Positive expectations regarding future economic conditions, which remained high even during the depths of the recession, have declined and now stand at their lowest point since mid-2008. Yet […]

Weekly News Interest Index Jun. 22, 2011

Economy, Weiner Top Public’s News Interests

Americans last week followed news about the struggling economy and the resignation of Rep. Anthony Weiner from Congress more closely than other top stories, while the early stages of the 2012 presidential election led news coverage for this first time this year. Two-in-ten (20%) say they followed reports about the condition of the U.S. […]

Survey Reports Jun. 21, 2011

Record Number Favors Removing U.S. Troops from Afghanistan

As President Obama prepares to announce his policy for drawing down U.S. forces in Afghanistan, the percentage of Americans who favor removing the troops as soon as possible has reached an all-time high in Pew Research Center surveys. For the first time, a majority (56%) says that U.S. troops should be brought home as […]

Survey Reports Jun. 20, 2011

More Say GOP Would Be Mainly Responsible If No Increase In Debt Limit

More Americans believe Republicans in Congress, rather than the Obama administration, would be mainly responsible if the two sides cannot agree on a plan to increase the federal debt limit. About four-in-ten (42%) say Republicans would bear the most responsibility if the debt limit is not raised and the government is unable to borrow more […]