Apr. 11, 2011

Budget Negotiations in a Word – “Ridiculous”

The public has an overwhelmingly negative reaction to the budget negotiations that narrowly avoided a government shutdown. A weekend survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Washington Post finds that “ridiculous” is the word used most frequently to describe the budget negotiations, followed by “disgusting,” “frustrating,” “messy,” […]

Apr. 8, 2011

Civil War at 150: Still Relevant, Still Divisive

As the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War approaches, most Americans say the war between the North and South is still relevant to American politics and public life today. More than half of Americans (56%) say the Civil War is still relevant, according to the latest national survey by the Pew […]

Apr. 7, 2011

Economic Views Sag, Obama Rating Slips

With the public growing more anxious about the economy and concerned about overseas commitments, Barack Obama’s job rating has edged lower. About as many now approve (47%) as disapprove (45%) of the way Obama is handling his job as president. In March, opinions about Obama’s job performance were more positive; 51% approved of his job […]

Apr. 5, 2011

Goal of Libyan Operation Less Clear to Public

Two weeks after U.S. and NATO forces began military operations in Libya, the public’s reaction to the situation remains mixed. Half (50%) say the United States and its allies made the right decision in conducting airstrikes in Libya, while 37% say it was the wrong decision – a balance of opinion virtually unchanged from […]

Apr. 4, 2011

Public Would Blame Both Sides if Government Shuts Down

With an April 8 deadline approaching for a possible shutdown of the federal government, the public was divided over whether congressional Republicans or the Obama administration would be more to blame if a shutdown occurs.

Mar. 31, 2011

Well Known: Clinton and Gadhafi; Little Known: Who Controls Congress

Take News IQ Quiz Before you read the report, we invite you to test your own News IQ by taking the latest interactive knowledge quiz now available on the Pew Research Center website. The short quiz includes many of the questions that were included in a national poll. Participants will instantly learn how they […]

Mar. 28, 2011

Modest Support for Libya Airstrikes, No Clear Goal Seen

After several days of airstrikes on Libya by the United States and its allies, the public has mixed reactions to the military operation. Nearly half of Americans (47%) say the United States made the right decision in conducting air strikes in Libya while 36% say it was the wrong decision. Fully one-in-six (17%) express […]

Mar. 23, 2011

Obama Tests Well at Start of Reelection Run

Barack Obama currently fares as well against a generic opponent in the upcoming presidential election as George W. Bush did in April 2003, a time when Bush’s job approval rating was much higher than Obama’s is today. He also tests considerably better than Bill Clinton did in March 1995. Nearly half (47%) of registered […]

Mar. 21, 2011

Opposition to Nuclear Power Rises Amid Japanese Crisis

Not surprisingly, public support for the increased use of nuclear power has declined amid the ongoing nuclear emergency in Japan. Currently, 39% say they favor promoting the increased use of nuclear power while 52% are opposed. Last October, 47% favored promoting the increased use of nuclear power and the same percentage (47%) was opposed. […]

Mar. 16, 2011

Republicans Are Losing Ground on the Deficit, But Obama’s Not Gaining

As the budget debate moves into a crucial phase, far fewer Americans say that Republicans in Congress have the better approach to the budget deficit than did so in November, shortly after the GOP’s sweeping election victories. The GOP has lost ground on the deficit among political independents and, surprisingly, among key elements of […]

Mar. 14, 2011

Public Wary of Military Intervention in Libya

The public by a wide margin says the United States does not have a responsibility to do something about the fighting between government forces and anti-government groups in Libya. And while opinion is divided over enforcing a no-fly zone over Libya, this view is undercut by the fact that Americans overwhelmingly oppose bombing Libyan […]

Mar. 9, 2011

Continuing Divide in Views of Islam and Violence

The public remains divided over whether Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence among its believers. Currently, 40% say the Islamic religion is more likely than others to encourage violence while 42% say it is not. These opinions have changed little in recent years. But in March 2002, just 25% saw […]

Mar. 8, 2011

Most See Role for Government in Reducing Childhood Obesity

Most Americans say the government should play a significant role in reducing obesity among children. But there is strong opposition to government involvement in this effort among conservative Republicans and Tea Party supporters. The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Feb. 22-March 1 among 1,504 […]

Mar. 3, 2011

Fewer Are Angry at Government, But Discontent Remains High

The public remains deeply frustrated with the federal government, but fewer Americans say they are angry at government than did so last fall. Overall, the percentage saying they are angry with the federal government has fallen from 23% last September to 14% today, with much of the decline coming among Republicans and Tea Party […]

Feb. 28, 2011

More Side with Wisconsin Unions than Governor

By a modest margin, more say they back Wisconsin’s public employee unions rather than the state’s governor in their continuing dispute over collective bargaining rights. Roughly four-in-ten (42%) say they side more with the public employee unions, while 31% say they side more with the governor, Scott Walker, according to the latest Pew Research […]

Feb. 24, 2011

Public Favors Tougher Border Controls and Path to Citizenship

The public continues to favor tough measures to crack down on illegal immigration. Yet Americans see no contradiction in supporting both stepped-up border security and a way for people already in the United States illegally to gain citizenship. The idea of changing the constitution to bar the children of illegal immigrants from becoming citizens […]

Feb. 17, 2011

Labor Unions Seen as Good for Workers, Not U.S. Competitiveness

The favorability ratings for labor unions remain at nearly their lowest level in a quarter century with 45% expressing a positive view. Yet the public expresses similar opinions about business corporations – 47% have a favorable impression – and this rating is also near a historic low. Americans express mixed views of the impact […]

Feb. 15, 2011

Public Remains Divided Over the Patriot Act

Public views of the Patriot Act, whose renewal is being debated by Congress, have changed little since the Bush administration. Currently, 42% say the Patriot Act is a necessary tool that helps the government find terrorists, while somewhat fewer (34%) say the Patriot Act goes too far and poses a threat to civil liberties. […]

Feb. 10, 2011

Fewer Want Spending to Grow, But Most Cuts Remain Unpopular

The public’s views about federal spending are beginning to change. Across a range of federal programs, Americans are no longer calling for increased spending, as they have for many years. For the most part, however, there is not a great deal of support for cutting spending, though in a few cases support for reductions has […]

Feb. 8, 2011

No Consensus on How Egypt Protests Will Affect U.S.

Americans do not have a clear point of view on how the massive anti-government protests in Egypt will affect the United States. More than half (58%) say the protests will not have much of an effect (36%), or offer no response or are noncommittal (22%). Of the minority that thinks the protests will have […]