Survey Reports Mar. 9, 2011

Continuing Divide in Views of Islam and Violence

The public remains divided over whether Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence among its believers. Currently, 40% say the Islamic religion is more likely than others to encourage violence while 42% say it is not. These opinions have changed little in recent years. But in March 2002, just 25% saw […]

Survey Reports Mar. 8, 2011

Most See Role for Government in Reducing Childhood Obesity

Most Americans say the government should play a significant role in reducing obesity among children. But there is strong opposition to government involvement in this effort among conservative Republicans and Tea Party supporters. The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Feb. 22-March 1 among 1,504 […]

Weekly News Interest Index Mar. 8, 2011

As Gas Prices Spike, More See Economic News as Bad

A growing awareness of bad news about gas prices has, at least for now, reversed Americans’ more positive perceptions of economic news in recent months. Nearly four-in-ten (38%) say they are hearing mostly bad news about the economy, up from 29% in February, according to the latest News Interest Index survey conducted March 3-6 among […]

Commentary Mar. 7, 2011

Who’s Winning the Fight Over Public-Employee Unions?

Survey Reports Mar. 3, 2011

Fewer Are Angry at Government, But Discontent Remains High

The public remains deeply frustrated with the federal government, but fewer Americans say they are angry at government than did so last fall. Overall, the percentage saying they are angry with the federal government has fallen from 23% last September to 14% today, with much of the decline coming among Republicans and Tea Party […]

Weekly News Interest Index Mar. 2, 2011

Rising Oil Prices Big News for American Public

Summary of Findings Both the public and the media focused last week on the increasing violence in Libya, but Americans also closely tracked news about a related concern – the impact the crisis in the Middle East is having on oil prices at home. About two-in-ten (21%) say they followed news about the rising price […]

Survey Reports Feb. 28, 2011

More Side with Wisconsin Unions than Governor

By a modest margin, more say they back Wisconsin’s public employee unions rather than the state’s governor in their continuing dispute over collective bargaining rights. Roughly four-in-ten (42%) say they side more with the public employee unions, while 31% say they side more with the governor, Scott Walker, according to the latest Pew Research […]

Survey Reports Feb. 24, 2011

Public Favors Tougher Border Controls and Path to Citizenship

The public continues to favor tough measures to crack down on illegal immigration. Yet Americans see no contradiction in supporting both stepped-up border security and a way for people already in the United States illegally to gain citizenship. The idea of changing the constitution to bar the children of illegal immigrants from becoming citizens […]

Weekly News Interest Index Feb. 24, 2011

Global Trouble Spots Top Public’s News Interests

The public expresses far more interest in news from global hot spots, including Iraq, Afghanistan and North Korea, than in news from many less troubled countries. And while most Americans express interest in what happens in Canada and Great Britain, far fewer are interested in developments from other traditional U.S. allies – notably France. […]

Weekly News Interest Index Feb. 23, 2011

Public Still Focused on Egypt as Coverage Fades

Summary of Findings The public’s interest in developments in Egypt remained high last week as the media focused increasingly on domestic debates over how to deal with the fiscal troubles facing many states and how to bring down the federal deficit. About a third of the public (32%) says they followed news about the situation […]

Commentary Feb. 22, 2011

In Showdown with Air Traffic Controllers, the Public Sided with Reagan

Survey Reports Feb. 17, 2011

Labor Unions Seen as Good for Workers, Not U.S. Competitiveness

The favorability ratings for labor unions remain at nearly their lowest level in a quarter century with 45% expressing a positive view. Yet the public expresses similar opinions about business corporations – 47% have a favorable impression – and this rating is also near a historic low. Americans express mixed views of the impact […]

Weekly News Interest Index Feb. 16, 2011

Interest in Egypt News Surges as Mubarak Departs

Summary of Findings The sudden conclusion to Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year reign in Egypt dominated both news coverage and the public’s news interest last week. Fully 48% say they followed news about Egyptian protests and Mubarak’s resignation more closely than any other story, far surpassing the week’s other stories. The news media devoted 39% of coverage […]

Survey Reports Feb. 15, 2011

Public Remains Divided Over the Patriot Act

Public views of the Patriot Act, whose renewal is being debated by Congress, have changed little since the Bush administration. Currently, 42% say the Patriot Act is a necessary tool that helps the government find terrorists, while somewhat fewer (34%) say the Patriot Act goes too far and poses a threat to civil liberties. […]

Commentary Feb. 11, 2011

Tea Party’s Hard Line on Spending Divides GOP

Survey Reports Feb. 10, 2011

Fewer Want Spending to Grow, But Most Cuts Remain Unpopular

The public’s views about federal spending are beginning to change. Across a range of federal programs, Americans are no longer calling for increased spending, as they have for many years. For the most part, however, there is not a great deal of support for cutting spending, though in a few cases support for reductions has […]

Weekly News Interest Index Feb. 9, 2011

Public Now More Focused on Egypt, but Coverage Far Surpasses Interest

Summary of Findings The public’s interest in news about the massive anti-government protests in Egypt surged last week, but did not keep pace with the growth in media coverage. About a third (32%) of the public says they followed news about the protests in Egypt very closely last week. That’s nearly double the 17% that […]

Survey Reports Feb. 8, 2011

No Consensus on How Egypt Protests Will Affect U.S.

Americans do not have a clear point of view on how the massive anti-government protests in Egypt will affect the United States. More than half (58%) say the protests will not have much of an effect (36%), or offer no response or are noncommittal (22%). Of the minority that thinks the protests will have […]

Commentary Feb. 4, 2011

Historically, Public Has Given Low Priority to Promoting Democracy Overseas

Weekly News Interest Index Feb. 1, 2011

Limited Public Interest in Egyptian Protests

Summary of Findings So far, the extraordinary anti-government protests in Egypt have drawn much more attention from the news media than from the American public. Only about one-in-ten (11%) cite news about protests in Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries as the story they followed most closely last week. By contrast, more than three times […]