Dec. 18, 2003

After Hussein’s Capture…

Summary of Findings The public holds more positive opinions of President Bush and the decision to go to war in Iraq in response to the capture of Saddam Hussein. Bush has made significant gains with the public, and more importantly with voters. In historical terms, the president’s job approval gain (from 50% in November to […]

Dec. 8, 2003

Primary Preview: Surveys in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina

Summary of Findings Voter opinion is still fluid in the early Democratic primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire and especially South Carolina. As with the candidates themselves, there are significant disagreements among likely primary voters in these pivotal states on such key issues as how to deal with the postwar situation in Iraq, gay marriage […]

Nov. 18, 2003

Religious Beliefs Underpin Opposition to Homosexuality

Introduction and Summary Opposition to gay marriage has increased since the summer and a narrow majority of Americans also oppose allowing gays and lesbians to enter legal agreements that fall short of marriage. Moreover, despite the overall rise in tolerance toward gays since the 1980s, many Americans remain highly critical of homosexuals ­ and religious […]

Nov. 5, 2003

The 2004 Political Landscape

Over the past four years, the American electorate has been dealt a series of body blows, each capable of altering the political landscape. The voting system broke down in a presidential election. A booming economy faltered, punctuated by revelations of one of the worst business scandals in U.S. history. And the country endured a […]

Oct. 21, 2003

President’s Criticism of Media Resonates, But Iraq Unease Grows

Summary of Findings Many Americans agree with President Bush that news reports from Iraq are making the situation there seem worse than it really is, but that has not stemmed rising public uneasiness over the U.S. military presence in Iraq. By contrast, the trend in economic attitudes presents a much less mixed ­ and much […]

Sep. 25, 2003

Once Again, Voters Say: It’s the Economy

Introduction and Summary President Bush is facing an electorate that is almost as focused on the economy as it was in the fall of 1991, when rising economic concern began to unravel his father’s reelection chances. In an open-ended format, nearly half (49%) of Americans volunteer the economy or jobs as the single issues they […]

Sep. 23, 2003

Give UN Control in Order to Get More Foreign Troops

Introduction Concerned by the rising costs and growing casualties of the U.S. military operation in Iraq, Americans are looking to the United Nations to assume a greater role in the country, even if that means ceding some authority over military decisions to the world body. Just over half (51%) believe that the United States should […]

Sep. 4, 2003

Two Years Later, the Fear Lingers

Summary of Findings As the second anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks approaches, heightened public concern about international threats persists. Fully three-quarters of Americans see the world as a more dangerous place than a decade ago, up from 53% in a Pew survey conducted in early September 2001, just prior to the terrorist strikes […]

Aug. 14, 2003

California, Kobe and Gay Marriages Spark Little Public Interest

Summary of Findings Four months after the fall of Baghdad, developments in Iraq continue to top the public’s news agenda. Nearly half of Americans (45%) say they are following news about the current situation in Iraq very closely, while another 39% say they are following the story fairly closely. But many fewer Americans are paying […]

Aug. 7, 2003

Bush Approval Slips – Fix Economy, Say Voters

Introduction and Summary As President Bush shows increasing political vulnerability, the Democratic presidential field is beginning to come into focus. Bush’s overall approval rating has declined to pre-Iraq war levels and his lead in a match-up with a hypothetical Democrat has narrowed to five points (43%-38%). Nearly six-in-ten Americans (57%) now say the economy – […]

Jul. 24, 2003

Religion and Politics: Contention and Consensus

Introduction and Summary Religion is a critical factor these days in the public’s thinking about contentious policy issues and political matters. An increasing number of Americans have come to view Islam as a religion that encourages violence while a declining number say Islam has a lot in common with their own religion. The public remains […]

Jul. 13, 2003

Strong Opposition to Media Cross-Ownership Emerges

Summary of Findings Opposition to a Federal Communications Commission decision to loosen media cross-ownership restrictions has increased sharply since February, as more Americans have learned about the plan. Overall, half say the FCC decision would have a negative impact on the country, up from 34% in February. Just 10% believe the effect of the rules […]

Jul. 8, 2003

Americans More Critical of Bush’s Efforts at Home, More Anxious Over Situation in Iraq

Summary of Findings As presidential campaign activities start to pick up steam, President Bush is facing increasing public criticism of his efforts to deal with domestic issues and greater wariness of the military situation in Iraq. At the same time, his potential Democratic rivals show little early appeal and the Democratic party has lost significant […]

Jun. 12, 2003

66% Expect Bush Victory, But Democrats More Optimistic Than In ’91

Summary of Findings Most Americans believe President Bush will win reelection next fall, but Democrats are holding out hope for their party’s chances for success in 2004. Overall, two-thirds of registered voters (66%) think Bush will be reelected, compared with 22% who expect the Democratic candidate to prevail. In the fall of 1991, more than […]

Jun. 3, 2003

Views of a Changing World 2003

Introduction and Summary The speed of the war in Iraq and the prevailing belief that the Iraqi people are better off as a result have modestly improved the image of America. But in most countries, opinions of the U.S. are markedly lower than they were a year ago. The war has widened the rift between […]

May. 14, 2003

Conflicted Views of Affirmative Action

Summary of Findings As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares for what could be a landmark ruling on the issue of racial preferences in college admissions, a new Pew Research Center nationwide survey finds a growing majority of the public supporting the general idea of affirmative action. But the poll results also reflect the public’s complicated […]

May. 7, 2003

Americans More Optimistic About Economy, But Not Bush Tax Cut

Summary of Findings With the war in Iraq over, Americans are feeling more optimistic about a turnaround in the national economy, and a greater number than at the beginning of the year think that President Bush is doing as much as he can to improve economic conditions. But the president’s tax cut proposal continues to […]

Apr. 18, 2003

Modest Bush Approval Rating Boost at War’s End

Summary of Findings President Bush’s overall job approval rating has risen only slightly in recent days, even as increasing numbers believe that the war in Iraq has been won. The president’s current rating is 72%, statistically unchanged from 74% immediately after the fall of Baghdad, but notably higher than his prewar approval rating of 55%. […]

Apr. 10, 2003

60% War’s Going Very Well – 69% We Haven’t Won Yet

Summary of Findings Pictures of cheering Baghdad crowds greeting U.S. forces notwithstanding, Americans are not popping champagne bottles quite yet. A Pew Research Center tracking survey over the past two nights finds a modest increase in the percentage believing that the military effort is going very well, compared to earlier this week. And most Americans […]

Apr. 9, 2003

War Coverage Praised, But Public Hungry for Other News

Summary of Findings The public is paying close attention to the war and continues to give news organizations high marks for their coverage. But a sizable minority of Americans (39%) feel the news media is focusing too heavily on the war, and significant numbers believe the media is undercovering other major stories like the tax […]