Survey Reports May. 4, 2011

Beyond Red vs. Blue: The Political Typology

With the economy still struggling and the nation involved in multiple military operations overseas, the public’s political mood is fractious. In this environment, many political attitudes have become more doctrinaire at both ends of the ideological spectrum, a polarization that reflects the current atmosphere in Washington. Yet at the same time, a growing number […]

Weekly News Interest Index May. 3, 2011

Too Much Coverage: Birth Certificate, Royal Wedding

Summary of Findings Majorities of Americans say news organizations focused too much last week on both the royal wedding in England and the release of the long-form version of Barack Obama’s birth certificate. Nearly two-thirds (64%) say the press gave too much coverage to the April 29 wedding in London of Prince William and Kate […]

Survey Reports May. 3, 2011

More Optimism about Afghanistan, But No Boost in Support for Troop Presence

The killing of Osama bin Laden has bolstered the public’s confidence on two fronts: that the government can prevent a possible terrorist attack, and that the U.S. will succeed in achieving its goals in Afghanistan. However, the public’s basic views about U.S. forces in Afghanistan and the threat of terrorism in the United States […]

Survey Reports May. 3, 2011

Public “Relieved” By bin Laden’s Death, Obama’s Job Approval Rises

The public is reacting to the killing of Osama bin Laden with relief, happiness and pride. And Americans overwhelmingly credit the U.S. military and the CIA for the success of the operation. An overnight survey of 654 adults, conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and The Washington Post […]

Weekly News Interest Index Apr. 27, 2011

Modest Interest in Run-Up to Royal Wedding

Summary of Findings The public has expressed modest interest in the run-up to the royal wedding. And while news coverage of the royal wedding is now ramping up, nearly two-thirds of the public (64%) say they think it has gotten too much coverage. Just 8% say they followed news about the upcoming wedding of England’s […]

Survey Reports Apr. 26, 2011

Deficit: More Concern, Less Optimism

The public increasingly views the federal budget deficit as a major problem the country must address now. But fewer predict the country will achieve significant progress in reducing the deficit in five years than did so in December. A new survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and The Washington […]

Weekly News Interest Index Apr. 20, 2011

Trump Most Visible Among Possible GOP Contenders

Summary of Findings Donald Trump has drawn a lot of attention in a slow-starting race for the GOP nomination. Roughly a quarter of all Americans (26%) name Trump as the possible Republican presidential candidate they have heard most about lately, far more than volunteer any other candidate. Among Republicans, 39% name Trump as most visible […]

Commentary Apr. 12, 2011

The Deficit Debate – Where the Public Stands

With the initial skirmishing over this year’s budget now settled, President Obama and Congress are preparing for the main event – figuring out how to make substantial inroads on the country’s $1.5 trillion deficit.  In a number of surveys over the past several months, the Pew Research Center has shown where the public stands on the […]

Weekly News Interest Index Apr. 12, 2011

Public Follows Both Japan, Shutdown Fight Closely

  Summary of Findings The public divided its attention last week between two major stories: the aftermath of the deadly earthquake and tsunami in Japan and the budget battle in Washington that nearly led to a government shutdown. About a third say they followed news about the aftermath of the disasters in Japan (34%) or […]

Survey Reports Apr. 11, 2011

Budget Negotiations in a Word – “Ridiculous”

The public has an overwhelmingly negative reaction to the budget negotiations that narrowly avoided a government shutdown. A weekend survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Washington Post finds that “ridiculous” is the word used most frequently to describe the budget negotiations, followed by “disgusting,” “frustrating,” “messy,” […]

Survey Reports Apr. 8, 2011

Civil War at 150: Still Relevant, Still Divisive

As the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War approaches, most Americans say the war between the North and South is still relevant to American politics and public life today. More than half of Americans (56%) say the Civil War is still relevant, according to the latest national survey by the Pew […]

Commentary Apr. 8, 2011

Tea Party: Better Known, Less Popular

As the Tea Party has evolved from a grass-roots movement to become a major force on Capitol Hill, public views of the Tea Party have grown more negative. Slightly more disagree with the Tea Party than agree with the movement – a reversal in public evaluations from a year ago. The latest national survey by […]

Survey Reports Apr. 7, 2011

Economic Views Sag, Obama Rating Slips

With the public growing more anxious about the economy and concerned about overseas commitments, Barack Obama’s job rating has edged lower. About as many now approve (47%) as disapprove (45%) of the way Obama is handling his job as president. In March, opinions about Obama’s job performance were more positive; 51% approved of his job […]

Weekly News Interest Index Apr. 6, 2011

Public Sees Better News about Jobs, But Not Prices

Summary of Findings With the employment picture slowly improving in recent months, fewer Americans say they are hearing mostly bad news about the job situation. At the same time, perceptions of news about prices – especially gas prices – remain overwhelmingly negative. Currently, 43% say they are hearing mostly bad news about the job situation […]

Survey Reports Apr. 5, 2011

Goal of Libyan Operation Less Clear to Public

Two weeks after U.S. and NATO forces began military operations in Libya, the public’s reaction to the situation remains mixed. Half (50%) say the United States and its allies made the right decision in conducting airstrikes in Libya, while 37% say it was the wrong decision – a balance of opinion virtually unchanged from […]

Survey Reports Apr. 4, 2011

Public Would Blame Both Sides if Government Shuts Down

With an April 8 deadline approaching for a possible shutdown of the federal government, the public was divided over whether congressional Republicans or the Obama administration would be more to blame if a shutdown occurs.

Survey Reports Mar. 31, 2011

Well Known: Clinton and Gadhafi; Little Known: Who Controls Congress

Take News IQ Quiz Before you read the report, we invite you to test your own News IQ by taking the latest interactive knowledge quiz now available on the Pew Research Center website. The short quiz includes many of the questions that were included in a national poll. Participants will instantly learn how they […]

Weekly News Interest Index Mar. 30, 2011

Public Stays Focused on Japan as Media Turns to Libya

Summary of Findings The public’s news interests this week are far out of sync with the news media’s coverage: While the aftermath of the Japan earthquake and tsunami was the public’s top story by a wide margin, news organizations devoted far more coverage to the military conflict in Libya. Nearly six-in-ten Americans (57%) say they […]

Survey Reports Mar. 28, 2011

Modest Support for Libya Airstrikes, No Clear Goal Seen

After several days of airstrikes on Libya by the United States and its allies, the public has mixed reactions to the military operation. Nearly half of Americans (47%) say the United States made the right decision in conducting air strikes in Libya while 36% say it was the wrong decision. Fully one-in-six (17%) express […]

Survey Reports Mar. 23, 2011

Obama Tests Well at Start of Reelection Run

Barack Obama currently fares as well against a generic opponent in the upcoming presidential election as George W. Bush did in April 2003, a time when Bush’s job approval rating was much higher than Obama’s is today. He also tests considerably better than Bill Clinton did in March 1995. Nearly half (47%) of registered […]