Survey Reports May. 20, 2013

Partisan Interest, Reactions to IRS and AP Controversies

So far, public interest in a trio of controversies connected to the Obama administration has been limited. Roughly a quarter (26%) of Americans say they are very closely following reports that the IRS targeted conservative groups. About the same number (25%) are tracking the Benghazi investigation very closely, and even fewer (16%) are very […]

Commentary May. 19, 2013

Race and Voting

In the next several weeks the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the constitutionality of the requirement that several states, mostly in the South, get “pre-clearance” from the Justice Department before they make any changes to their election laws. The requirement was part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was an emergency […]

Survey Reports May. 13, 2013

Benghazi Investigation Does Not Reignite Broad Public Interest

The public paid limited attention to last week’s congressional hearings on Benghazi. Fewer than half (44%) of Americans say they are following the hearings very or fairly closely, virtually unchanged from late January when Hillary Clinton testified. Last October, 61% said they were following the early stages of the investigation at least fairly closely. […]

Survey Reports May. 9, 2013

Most Say Immigration Policy Needs Big Changes

Americans overwhelmingly say the nation’s immigration policy is in need of sweeping changes. Overall, 75% say immigration policy needs at least major changes, with 35% saying it needs to be “completely rebuilt”—among the highest of seven policy areas tested. Yet the broad public agreement that immigration policy should be revamped is not matched by […]

Survey Reports May. 8, 2013

Obama Maintains Approval Advantage, but GOP Runs Even on Key Issues

President Obama continues to hold a substantial advantage over congressional Republicans in public regard. Obama’s job approval is back in positive territory at 51%, after slipping to 47% in March. By comparison, just 22% approve of the job Republican leaders in Congress are doing, among the lowest approval rating for congressional leaders from either […]

Survey Reports May. 7, 2013

After Boston, Little Change in Views of Islam and Violence

The public’s views of whether Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence have changed little in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings. Currently, 42% say Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence among its believers, while 46% say Islam does not encourage violence more than other religions. […]

Survey Reports May. 1, 2013

Division, Uncertainty over New Immigration Bill

As Congress debates a bill to overhaul the nation’s immigration policy, much of the public has yet to form an opinion about the legislation. About as many say they favor (33%) as oppose (28%) the immigration bill before Congress, but fully 38% say they don’t know what they think of the legislation. At this […]

Survey Reports Apr. 29, 2013

Modest Support for Military Force if Syria Used Chemical Weapons

By a 45% to 31% margin, more Americans favor than oppose the U.S. and its allies taking military action against Syria, if it is confirmed that Syria used chemical weapons against anti-government groups. Public interest in the Syrian conflict remains low, and nearly a quarter of Americans (23%) have no opinion about the use […]

Survey Reports Apr. 29, 2013

Political Blame for Flight Delays Spread Evenly

As Washington sprang into action late last week to end the furlough of federal air-traffic controllers and delays at airports across the country, the public blamed both sides for the situation. Nearly equal percentages say congressional Republicans (34%) and the Obama administration (32%) are more to blame for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) budget […]

Survey Reports Apr. 24, 2013

Mixed Reactions to Senate Gun Vote

The key Senate vote that halted gun control legislation last week is drawing a mixed reaction from the American public: 47% express negative feelings about the vote while 39% have a positive reaction to the Senate’s rejection of gun control legislation that included background checks on gun purchases. Overall, 15% say they are angry […]

Survey Reports Apr. 23, 2013

Most Expect ’Occasional Acts of Terrorism’ in the Future

Last week’s bombings at the Boston Marathon attracted broad public interest: 63% of Americans say they followed the story very closely, among the highest interest in any news story in the past decade. And the bombings drew far more public attention than any terrorist event since Sept. 11, 2001, which 78% reported following very […]

Survey Reports Apr. 22, 2013

Public’s Knowledge of Science and Technology

Report Before you read the report, test your own News IQ by taking the interactive knowledge quiz. The short quiz includes many of the questions that were included in a national poll. Participants will instantly learn how they did on the quiz in comparison with the general public as well as with people like them. […]

Survey Reports Apr. 15, 2013

State Governments Viewed Favorably as Federal Rating Hits New Low

Even as public views of the federal government in Washington have fallen to another new low, the public continues to see their state and local governments in a favorable light. Overall, 63% say they have a favorable opinion of their local government, virtually unchanged over recent years. And 57% express a favorable view of […]

Survey Reports Apr. 11, 2013

A Third of Americans Say They Like Doing Their Income Taxes

Report As April 15 approaches, a majority of Americans (56%) have a negative reaction to doing their income taxes, with 26% saying they hate doing them. However, about a third (34%) say they either like (29%) or love (5%) doing their taxes. The national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted April 4-7 among 1,003 […]

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Apr. 11, 2013

How Do Americans Feel About Doing Their Taxes?

Ben Franklin once said that nothing in life is certain, but death and taxes. More than two centuries later, taxes remain a yearly ritual for most Americans. Most say they dislike – or even hate – doing their taxes, but about a third say they like it – or even love it. Click through the […]

Survey Reports Apr. 9, 2013

Public Divided over North Korea’s Intentions, Capability

A majority of Americans say that the United States should take North Korea’s nuclear threats very seriously. At the same time, the public is divided over whether North Korea’s leadership is willing and capable of following through on its threats against the United States. The national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted April […]

Weekly News Interest Index Apr. 8, 2013

Gun Debate Draws More Interest than Immigration Policy Debate

As Congress returns to Washington to resume work on gun control and immigration legislation, the public is paying far closer attention to news about the gun control debate than news about the debate over immigration policy. A national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted April 4-7 among 1,003 adults, finds 37% say they […]

Apr. 4, 2013

Marijuana in America: Shifting Attitudes, Events and Laws

Survey Reports Apr. 4, 2013

Majority Now Supports Legalizing Marijuana

Report For the first time in more than four decades of polling on the issue, a majority of Americans favor legalizing the use of marijuana. A national survey finds that 52% say that the use of marijuana should be made legal while 45% say it should not. Support for legalizing marijuana has risen 11 points […]

Survey Reports Apr. 2, 2013

Keystone XL Pipeline Draws Broad Support

As the Obama administration approaches a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, a national survey finds broad public support for the project. Two-thirds of Americans (66%) favor building the pipeline, which would transport oil from Canada’s oil sands region through the Midwest to refineries in Texas. Just 23% oppose construction of the pipeline. Support […]