Survey Reports Feb. 11, 2013

Little Change in Views of Importance of State of the Union

A plurality of the public (43%) views Barack Obama’s upcoming State of the Union as about as important as past years’ addresses. About a third (32%) say Obama’s speech will be more important than those in past years, while 15% say it will be less important. State of the Union Primer Public Views of […]

Survey Reports, Weekly News Interest Index Feb. 6, 2013

Public Hearing Better News about Housing and Financial Markets

As Barack Obama begins his second term in office, the public is hearing a mix of good and bad news about the economy, as it has for much of the past four years. Views of news about real estate values and financial markets have improved and are as positive as they have been in […]

Survey Reports Feb. 5, 2013

What the Public Knows – In Pictures, Maps, Graphs and Symbols

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 Jan. 31, 2013

Majority Says the Federal Government Threatens Their Personal Rights

As Barack Obama begins his second term in office, trust in the federal government remains mired near a historic low, while frustration with government remains high. And for the first time, a majority of the public says that the federal government threatens their personal rights and freedoms. The latest national survey by the Pew […]

Survey Reports Jan. 29, 2013

Broad Support for Combat Roles for Women

The public broadly supports the military’s decision to lift restrictions on women in combat. Two-thirds (66%) support allowing women in the military to serve in ground units that engage in close combat, while just 26% are opposed. Opinion on this question is little changed from a Washington Post/ABC News survey two years ago. The […]

Survey Reports Jan. 24, 2013

Deficit Reduction Rises on Public’s Agenda for Obama’s Second Term

When Barack Obama took office four years ago, reducing the budget deficit was a middle-tier item on the public’s agenda. Only about half of Americans (53%) viewed it as a top policy priority in January 2009, placing it ninth on a list of 20 policy goals. But as Obama begins his second term, only […]

Survey Reports, Weekly News Interest Index Jan. 22, 2013

Mixed Reactions to Obama’s Gun Proposals

With the public paying close attention to the national debate over gun control, Barack Obama’s gun proposals receive a mixed rating from the public. A 39% plurality say Obama’s proposals are about right while another 13% say they do not go far enough. About three-in-ten (31%) say the president’s proposals go too far; 17% […]

Jan. 17, 2013

Obama’s Approval Ratings Over his First Term

President Obama is in a strong position at the start of his second term. At 52%, his job approval rating is among the highest since the earliest months of his presidency. But it has certainly had its ups and downs. Our chart below displays Obama’s job approval ratings from Pew Research Center polls combined with […]

Survey Reports Jan. 17, 2013

Obama in Strong Position at Start of Second Term

As he prepares for his second inauguration, Barack Obama is in a stronger position with the public than he was over much of his first term. At 52%, his job approval rating is among the highest since the early months of his presidency. His personal favorability, currently 59%, has rebounded from a low of […]

Survey Reports Jan. 16, 2013

Roe v. Wade at 40: Most Oppose Overturning Abortion Decision

Survey Reports Jan. 14, 2013

In Gun Control Debate, Several Options Draw Majority Support

While the issue of gun control remains divisive, there are clear areas of agreement when it comes to a number of gun policy proposals. Fully 85% of Americans favor making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks, with comparable support from Republicans, Democrats and independents. Similarly, 80% support laws […]

Commentary Jan. 8, 2013

As Hagel Fight Begins, Wide Partisan Differences in Support for Israel

For decades, the public has sympathized more with Israel than the Palestinians in the Middle East conflict. However, the partisan gap in sympathies, while little changed in recent years, is as large as it has been in more than three decades of polling. Discussion of the U.S.-Israeli relationship is likely to come to the fore […]

Survey Reports Jan. 7, 2013

Obama Viewed as Fiscal Cliff Victor; Legislation Gets Lukewarm Reception

Barack Obama is viewed as the clear political winner in the fiscal cliff negotiations, but the legislation itself gets only a lukewarm reception from the public: As many disapprove as approve of the new tax legislation, and more say it will have a negative than positive impact on the federal budget deficit, the national […]

Dec. 21, 2012

Timeline: Hillary Clinton’s Career

Over the course of her long political career, Hillary Clinton truly has been a comeback kid. On four separate occasions over the past 20 years, Clinton’s favorability ratings have fallen sharply – but each time they recovered. It is rare for a political figure to accomplish that feat once in a career, much less four […]

Survey Reports Dec. 21, 2012

Hillary Clinton’s Career of Comebacks

Over the course of her long political career, Hillary Clinton truly has been a comeback kid. On four separate occasions over the past 20 years, Clinton’s favorability ratings have fallen sharply – but each time they recovered. It is rare for a political figure to accomplish that feat once in a career, much less […]

Dec. 20, 2012

Timeline: Top News Stories of 2012

Here’s a look at the public’s top 15 news stories of 2012, according to Pew Research Center’s News Interest Index.

Commentary Dec. 20, 2012

Election, Tragedies Dominate Top Stories of 2012

The public’s news interests were very much focused on domestic developments this year, with the election outcome, last week’s horrific school shooting and Hurricane Sandy leading the list of the top stories of 2012. With the exception of the attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya in September, which became a bitterly debated campaign issue, […]

Survey Reports Dec. 20, 2012

After Newtown, Modest Change in Opinion about Gun Control

The public’s attitudes toward gun control have shown only modest change in the wake of last week’s deadly shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Currently, 49% say it is more important to control gun ownership, while 42% say it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns. This […]

Survey Reports Dec. 18, 2012

Continued Pessimism about Fiscal Cliff Deal

With less than two weeks to go before the nation goes over the fiscal cliff, the public remains pessimistic about the possibility that the president and Congress will reach an agreement by the Jan. 1 deadline. In fact, opinions about the likelihood of a deal remain largely unchanged since early November, when negotiations between […]

Survey Reports Dec. 17, 2012

Public Divided over What Newtown Signifies

The shootings at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. on Friday have drawn widespread public interest. A weekend survey finds that 57% of Americans say they followed news about the tragedy there very closely. That is higher than interest in the shootings at an Aurora, Colo. movie theater in July (49% very closely), though […]