Apr. 3, 1998

Democratic Congressional Chances Helped by Clinton Ratings

Introduction and Summary President Clinton’s lofty performance ratings are benefiting the Democratic Party, which is now in a stronger position with American voters than it has been for some time. In contrast, continuing negative perceptions of Republican congressional leaders are hamstringing the image of their party. By the biggest margin of the decade, the public […]

Mar. 27, 1998

Conservative Opinions Not Underestimated, But Racial Hostility Missed

Introduction and Summary A unique survey research experiment finds that public opinion polls, as they are typically conducted, do not understate conservative opinions or support for the Republican Party. Conservative critics of the polls have charged that these surveys are politically biased. A methodological study by the Pew Research Center finds little evidence of this, […]

Mar. 10, 1998

How Americans View Government

Introduction and Summary Americans continue to distrust the government, although there are signs that hostility toward government has begun to diminish. There is also considerable evidence that distrust of government is strongly connected to how people feel about the overall state of the nation. Today, personal satisfaction is soaring, the economy is thriving and confidence […]

Feb. 6, 1998

Popular Policies and Unpopular Press Lift Clinton Ratings

Introduction and Summary A strong State of the Union address combined with public anger at the news media fueled President Clinton’s unexpected lift to a 71% approval rating — even as allegations of a White House sex scandal consumed Washington. When asked in a Pew Research Center re-interview survey why they had changed their minds […]

Jan. 28, 1998

Young, Old Differ On Using Surplus To Fix Social Security

Introduction and Summary President Clinton faces a potentially wide generation gap on his proposal to “fix Social Security first.” Older Americans embrace the idea, but younger people are far more interested in spending any budget surplus on programs that benefit their families today. Fully 82% of those age 50 and older say making Social Security […]

Jan. 23, 1998

Spending Favored Over Tax Cuts or Debt Reduction

Introduction and Summary In his sixth State of the Union next week, President Clinton will face an American public that retains a healthy appetite for government activism — fully two-thirds advocate spending any budget surplus this year. But that enthusiasm is tempered by often sharp generational differences on federal spending priorities. In a clear signal […]