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

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 […]

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 […]

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. 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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

Nov. 7, 2012

No Consensus View on Election Outcome

Voters had a mixed reaction to the outcome of the 2012 presidential election in the hours immediately following Barack Obama’s victory. Reflecting the narrow vote margin between the candidates, 44% of voters overall said they were happy with the outcome, while 43% said they were unhappy, according to a Pew Research Center report based […]

Nov. 7, 2012

A Comparison of Results from Surveys by the Pew Research Center and Google Consumer Surveys

As internet use grows– whether through a traditional computer, tablet, gaming device or cell phone – new techniques are being developed to conduct social research and measure people’s behavior and opinion while they are online. The Pew Research Center has been exploring these new techniques for measuring public opinion and critically evaluating how they compare […]

Nov. 4, 2012

Obama Gains Edge in Campaign’s Final Days

Barack Obama has edged ahead of Mitt Romney in the final days of the presidential campaign. In the Pew Research Center’s election weekend survey, Obama holds a 48% to 45% lead over Romney among likely voters. The survey finds that Obama maintains his modest lead when the probable decisions of undecided voters are taken […]

Nov. 1, 2012

Nonvoters: Who They Are, What They Think

In the final days before Tuesday’s election, most of the focus will be on those likely to cast votes. But a sizable minority of adults choose not to vote or are unable to vote. By their absence, they also will affect the outcome. Nonvoters are numerous; in 2008, they constituted about 43% of the […]

Oct. 31, 2012

In Deadlocked Race, Neither Side Has Ground Game Advantage

Just as the presidential race is deadlocked in the campaign’s final days, the candidates are also running about even when it comes to the ground game. Voters nationally, as well those in the closely contested battleground states, report being contacted at about the same rates by each of the campaigns. And with a fifth […]

Oct. 29, 2012

Presidential Race Dead Even; Romney Maintains Turnout Edge

As the presidential campaign enters its final week, Barack Obama has failed to regain much of the support he lost in the days following the first presidential debate and the race is now even among likely voters: 47% favor Obama while an identical percentage supports Mitt Romney. The latest national survey by the Pew […]

Oct. 23, 2012

Republicans Increasingly Positive About Campaign

Republicans express increasingly positive opinions about the presidential campaign and are now about as likely as Democrats to view the campaign as interesting and informative. In early September, shortly after the party conventions, far more Democrats than Republicans said the campaign was interesting and informative. The new survey by the Pew Research Center for […]

Oct. 18, 2012

On Eve of Foreign Debate, Growing Pessimism about Arab Spring Aftermath

As next week’s third and final presidential debate on foreign policy approaches, a national survey by the Pew Research Center finds increasing public pessimism about developments in the Middle East and more support for tough policies to deal with Iran’s nuclear program and economic issues with China. However, there is no change in the […]

Oct. 15, 2012

Voters Divided Over Who Will Win Second Debate

On the eve of Tuesday night’s second presidential debate at Hofstra University, voters are divided as to which candidate they think will do the better job: 41% say Obama will do better, while 37% expect Romney to prevail. This stands in stark contrast to expectations prior to the first presidential debate two weeks ago, […]

Oct. 15, 2012

More Say There Is Solid Evidence of Global Warming

The percentage of Americans saying there is solid evidence of global warming has steadily increased over the past few years. Currently, 67% say there is solid evidence that the earth’s average temperature has been getting warmer over the past few decades, up four points since last year and 10 points since 2009. Similarly, an […]

Oct. 12, 2012

Deep Divisions over Debt Reduction Proposals

Public concern over the debt and deficit, already extensive, is only likely to increase as the so-called “fiscal cliff” approaches at the end of the year. Yet among a dozen specific options for reducing the debt and deficit, only two win majority approval from the public – raising taxes on annual incomes over $250,000 […]

Oct. 11, 2012

Broad Support for Photo ID Voting Requirements

Proposals to require voters to show photo identification before being allowed to vote draw overwhelming support. By 77% to 20%, voters favor a requirement that those voting be required to show photo ID. Opinion about this is little changed from six years ago, when 80% of voters supported voter photo ID requirements. Several states […]