Commentary May. 11, 2011

Bush Lost Battle Over the Surplus, But Won Tax Cut War

A decade ago, Washington grappled with a problem that seems unreal in today’s economic climate – what to do with the budget surplus? In 2000, George W. Bush had campaigned on a pledge to return part of the surplus to taxpayers in the form of an across-the-board tax cut. Bush’s opponent, Al Gore, countered with […]

Weekly News Interest Index May. 11, 2011

Death of bin Laden: More Coverage than Interest

While the killing of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan by U.S. military forces attracted a near-record amount of news coverage, public interest in the story has been comparatively modest. Just more than four-in-ten (42%) say they followed news about the Al Qaeda leader’s  killing more closely than any other news last week. One-in-five (20%) […]

Survey Reports May. 9, 2011

Obama Bump Recedes a Bit

Barack Obama’s job approval rating has fallen slightly since the day after Osama bin Laden’s death was announced. But the balance of opinion regarding Obama’s job performance remains more positive than it was in early April. There also continues to be more optimism about the U.S. achieving its goals in Afghanistan than there was […]

Survey Reports May. 5, 2011

Why Are Gas Prices Rising? A Mix of Reasons

As gas prices soar, many Americans pin the blame on greed or a push for higher profits among oil companies, speculators and oil-producing nations. About three-in-ten (31%) offer a variation on this theme – greed, oil companies or speculation – when asked what they think is the main reason gasoline prices have gone up recently, […]

May. 4, 2011

How We Identified Your Group

Identifying which group is the best fit for you involved matching the pattern of your answers to the political value questions and party affiliation to the responses of people who took the 2011 typology national survey. This entailed a two step process: first creating the typology groups for the survey and then identifying which typology […]

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 […]