Jul. 16, 2012

Raising Taxes on Rich Seen as Good for Economy, Fairness

By two-to-one (44% to 22%), the public says that raising taxes on incomes above $250,00o would help the economy rather than hurt it, while 24% say this would not make a difference. Moreover, an identical percentage (44%) says a tax increase on higher incomes would make the tax system more fair, while just 21% […]

Jul. 12, 2012

Obama Holds Lead; Romney Trails on Most Issues

Despite the stagnant economy and broad dissatisfaction with national conditions, Barack Obama holds a significant lead over Mitt Romney. Currently, Obama is favored by a 50% to 43% margin among registered voters nationwide. Obama has led by at least a slim margin in every poll this year, and there is no clear trend in […]

Jul. 5, 2012

Partisans Agree: Presidential Election Will Be Exhausting

Republicans and Democrats find little to agree on these days, but they have some similar reactions to the 2012 presidential campaign. Nearly identical percentages of Republicans and Democrats say the election will be exhausting. On the positive side, there also is widespread partisan agreement that the campaign will be informative. The national survey by […]

Jul. 2, 2012

Division, Uncertainty over Court’s Health Care Ruling

The public has long been divided in its opinions about the 2010 health care law. There is now a similar division of opinion over last week’s Supreme Court decision to uphold the law – 40% say they disapprove of the decision, while 36% approve and nearly a quarter (24%) offer no opinion. Despite extensive […]

Jun. 21, 2012

GOP Holds Early Turnout Edge, But Little Enthusiasm for Romney

Less than five months before Election Day, voters are not as engaged with the presidential campaign as they were at this point four years ago, when interest in the campaign reached record levels. But voter engagement today generally equals or surpasses levels from the four campaigns prior to 2008, indicating that 2012 could be […]

Jun. 18, 2012

Any Court Health Care Decision Unlikely to Please

The public is unlikely to be satisfied with the Supreme Court’s upcoming ruling on the 2010 Affordable Care Act – no matter what the Court decides. Whether the Court decides to uphold the entire law, overturn the entire law, or reject the “individual mandate” while allowing the rest of the law to remain in […]

Jun. 5, 2012

Perceptions of Economic News Turn More Negative

The public’s perceptions of economic news have taken a turn for the worse. And that could be bad news for Barack Obama, who held a lead over Mitt Romney in polling conducted mostly before last week’s disappointing jobs report and stock market slide. Currently 37% say they are hearing mostly bad news about the […]

Jun. 4, 2012

Partisan Polarization Surges in Bush, Obama Years

As Americans head to the polls this November, their values and basic beliefs are more polarized along partisan lines than at any point in the past 25 years. Unlike in 1987, when this series of surveys began, the values gap between Republicans and Democrats is now greater than gender, age, race or class divides. […]

May. 31, 2012

Public Sees Gas Prices Down A Little Across Much of Nation

About half of Americans say the price of gasoline has gone down over the past month. But West Coast residents are much more likely to see gasoline prices going up, which is consistent with a rise in prices at the pump in that part of the country. In total, 51% of the public says that […]

May. 15, 2012

Assessing the Representativeness of Public Opinion Surveys

For decades survey research has provided trusted data about political attitudes and voting behavior, the economy, health, education, demography and many other topics. But political and media surveys are facing significant challenges as a consequence of societal and technological changes. It has become increasingly difficult to contact potential respondents and to persuade them to […]

May. 14, 2012

Half Say View of Obama Not Affected by Gay Marriage Decision

Roughly half of Americans (52%) say Barack Obama’s expression of support for gay marriage did not affect their opinion of the president. A quarter (25%) say they feel less favorably toward Obama because of this while 19% feel more favorably. There are wide partisan and age differences in reactions to Obama’s expression of support […]

May. 1, 2012

Supreme Court Favorability Reaches New Low

Public assessments of the Supreme Court have reached a quarter-century low. Unlike evaluations over much of the past decade, there is very little partisan divide. The court receives relatively low favorable ratings from Republicans, Democrats and independents alike. The survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted April 4-15, […]

Apr. 26, 2012

Growing Gap in Favorable Views of Federal, State Governments

Just a third of Americans have a favorable opinion of the federal government, the lowest positive rating in 15 years. Yet opinions about state and local governments remain favorable, on balance. As a result, the gap between favorable ratings of the federal government and state and local governments is wider than ever. Ten years […]

Apr. 25, 2012

More Support for Gun Rights, Gay Marriage than in 2008 or 2004

Opinions about a pair of contentious social issues, gun control and gay marriage, have changed substantially since previous presidential campaigns. On gun control, Americans have become more conservative; on gay marriage, they have become more liberal. Currently, 49% of Americans say it is more important to protect the rights of Americans to own guns, […]

Apr. 18, 2012

Most Swing Voters Favor Afghan Troop Withdrawal

Public support for maintaining U.S. forces in Afghanistan has reached a new low. And as the general election campaign begins, swing voters, by nearly two-to-one, favor removing U.S. troops from Afghanistan as soon as possible. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of voters who say they are certain to support Barack Obama in the general election favor […]

Apr. 17, 2012

With Voters Focused on Economy, Obama Lead Narrows

With voters continuing to focus on economic issues, Barack Obama holds a slim 49% to 45% advantage over Mitt Romney in the latest Pew Research Center survey of nearly 2,400 registered voters nationwide. Obama’s lead has narrowed since last month, when he had a 12-point advantage, though it is comparable to margins from earlier […]

Apr. 11, 2012

What the Public Knows about the Political Parties

Most Americans can correctly identify the relative positions of the Republican and Democratic parties on the major issues of the day. But a review of what Americans know about the political parties shows that the public is better informed about the partisan affiliations of two popular recent presidents – Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton […]

Apr. 9, 2012

74% of Republicans Say Romney ’Definitely’ the Nominee

Following primary victories in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia last Tuesday, Mitt Romney is clearly seen as the inevitable GOP nominee, and Republicans now see continued primaries as bad for the party. In the latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, conducted April 5-8, 2012, […]

Apr. 2, 2012

Hearings Hurt Public Regard for both Health Care Law and Supreme Court

While most Americans say last week’s Supreme Court hearings on the 2010 health care law did not change their views of the law or of the Court, they did more harm than good to the image of both. In the latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and […]

Mar. 22, 2012

Top One-Word Reactions to GOP Candidates

When Americans are asked what one word comes to mind when thinking about Mitt Romney, no single term stands out. The most frequent responses are “no” or “no way,” and “rich.” That represents a shift from October and December 2011. In both of those surveys, far more mentioned the Republican presidential candidate’s Mormon faith than […]