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 […]

Dec. 17, 2012

Pew Research Year in Review

Take a look at Pew Research Center’s top findings of the year that told us a bigger story about the trends shaping our world.

Commentary Dec. 14, 2012

Public Attitudes Toward Gun Control

The Pew Research Center has been tracking attitudes about gun control for nearly 20 years. Our question asks whether it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns, or to control gun ownership. Our most recent survey on the issue, conducted July 26-29, 2012, shortly after a gunman killed 12 people […]

Survey Reports Dec. 14, 2012

Public Says U.S. Does Not Have Responsibility to Act in Syria

As fighting in Syria rages on between government forces and anti-government groups, the public continues to say that the U.S. does not have a responsibility to do something about the fighting there. And there continues to be substantial opposition to sending arms to anti-government forces in Syria. The latest national survey by the Pew […]

Survey Reports Dec. 13, 2012

As Fiscal Cliff Nears, Democrats Have Public Opinion on Their Side

The Democrats are in a strong position with the public as they engage in negotiations to find a solution to the fiscal cliff crisis. Barack Obama’s first post-reelection job approval rating has risen to 55%, up five points since July and 11 points since the start of the year. Obama’s job rating is markedly […]

Survey Reports Dec. 4, 2012

Pessimism About Fiscal Cliff Deal, Republicans Still Get More Blame

With Washington making little apparent progress in efforts to avoid going over the “fiscal cliff,” public opinion about the situation has changed little over the past three weeks. The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and The Washington Post, conducted Nov. 29-Dec. 2 among 1,003 adults, […]

Commentary Nov. 26, 2012

Young Voters Supported Obama Less, But May Have Mattered More

In winning reelection, Barack Obama won 60% of the vote among those younger than 30. That was down somewhat from 2008, when Obama won nearly two-thirds (66%) of the votes of young people. However, Obama’s youth support may have been an even more important factor in his victory this year than it was in 2008. […]

Weekly News Interest Index Nov. 19, 2012

More Following ’Fiscal Cliff’ Debate than Petraeus Investigation

In a busy news week, more Americans say they followed the debate over the “fiscal cliff” very closely than the investigations into the Libya embassy attack, renewed violence in the Middle East or the FBI investigation that led to David Petraeus’s resignation as CIA Director after it found he was having an extra-marital affair. […]

Survey Reports Nov. 15, 2012

Low Marks for the 2012 Election

The 2012 presidential campaign was a frustrating experience for many voters, who say the campaign was more negative than usual and had less discussion of issues than in most previous campaigns. Both Obama and Romney get mixed grades for the job they did reaching out to voters, as do campaign consultants, the press and […]