Aug. 26, 2010

Five Years After Katrina, Most Say Nation is Not Better Prepared

Five years after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, a majority of Americans (57%) say that the nation is no better prepared for hurricanes and other natural disasters than it was in 2005. However, the public does see progress in rebuilding New Orleans and the Gulf region: 69% say there has […]

Aug. 24, 2010

Public Remains Conflicted Over Islam

The public continues to express conflicted views of Islam. Favorable opinions of Islam have declined since 2005, but there has been virtually no change over the past year in the proportion of Americans saying that Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence. As was the case a year ago, slightly more […]

Aug. 19, 2010

Growing Number of Americans Say Obama is a Muslim

A substantial and growing number of Americans say that Barack Obama is a Muslim, while the proportion saying he is a Christian has declined. More than a year and a half into his presidency, a plurality of the public says they do not know what religion Obama follows. A new national survey by the […]

Aug. 10, 2010

Republicans Faring Better with Men, Whites, Independents and Seniors

The Republican Party’s prospects for the midterm elections look much better than they did four years ago at this time, while the Democrats’ look much worse. Voter preferences for the upcoming congressional elections remain closely divided (45% support the Democratic candidate or lean Democratic, while 44% favor the Republican or lean Republican). In polling […]

Jul. 16, 2010

Voters Rate the Parties’ Ideologies

Summary of Findings In broad terms, voters view the Democratic Party’s ideology as the opposite of the Republican Party’s: 58% say the Democratic Party is either very liberal or liberal while 56% say the GOP is either very conservative or conservative. However, more voters view the Democratic Party as very liberal than see the Republican […]

Jul. 15, 2010

Well Known: Twitter; Little Known: John Roberts

An overwhelming proportion of Americans are familiar with Twitter, the online information-sharing network. Perhaps more surprisingly, a large majority also knows that children who are born to illegal immigrants in the United States are automatically U.S. citizens. Yet the public continues to struggle in identifying political figures, foreign leaders and even knowing facts about […]

Jul. 9, 2010

Republicans Less Positive Toward Supreme Court

Republicans’ opinions of the Supreme Court have become less favorable during the Obama administration. As a result, more Democrats than Republicans now express a positive opinion of the Supreme Court – the first time this has occurred since the Clinton administration. Overall opinions of the Supreme Court are unchanged since February, at 58% favorable, […]

Jul. 1, 2010

Voting Intentions Even, Turnout Indicators Favor GOP

With four months to go before Election Day, voting intentions for the House remain closely divided, and neither party has gained or lost much ground over the course of 2010. However, Republicans are much more engaged in the coming election and more inclined to say they are certain to vote than are Democrats. This […]

Jun. 24, 2010

Obama’s Ratings Little Affected by Recent Turmoil

Since the beginning of this year, President Obama has signed a controversial health care measure, coped with a stubbornly high jobless rate, and struggled to manage the largest environmental disaster in the nation’s history. In that period, Obama’s overall job approval rating has moved from 49% to 48%. On major issues, ranging from the […]

Jun. 22, 2010

Public Sees a Future Full of Promise and Peril

Imagine a future in which cancer becomes a memory, ordinary people travel in space, and computers carry on conversations like humans. Now imagine a darker future – a world beset by war, rising temperatures and energy shortages, one where the United States faces a terrorist attack with nuclear weapons. Most Americans think that these […]

May. 12, 2010

Broad Approval For New Arizona Immigration Law

The public broadly supports a new Arizona law aimed at dealing with illegal immigration and the law’s provisions giving police increased powers to stop and detain people who are suspected of being in the country illegally. Fully 73% say they approve of requiring people to produce documents verifying their legal status if police ask […]

May. 11, 2010

Oil Spill Seen As Ecological Disaster; Government, BP Responses Faulted

A majority of Americans see the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico as a major environmental disaster, but nearly as many voice optimism that efforts to control the spill will succeed. The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted May 6-9 among 994 adults, […]

May. 4, 2010

“Socialism” Not So Negative, “Capitalism” Not So Positive

“Socialism” is a negative for most Americans, but certainly not all Americans. “Capitalism” is regarded positively by a majority of the public, though it is a thin majority. There are certain segments of the public – notably, young people and Democrats – where both “isms” are rated about equally. And while most Americans have […]

Apr. 28, 2010

Pessimistic Public Doubts Effectiveness of Stimulus, TARP

The public remains doggedly downbeat about the condition of the national economy, even as many experts and economists see signs of recovery. As has been the case for most of the past two years, about nine-in-ten (88%) rate national economic conditions as only fair or poor, and over the past year there has been […]

Apr. 18, 2010

Distrust, Discontent, Anger and Partisan Rancor

By almost every conceivable measure Americans are less positive and more critical of government these days. A new Pew Research Center survey finds a perfect storm of conditions associated with distrust of government – a dismal economy, an unhappy public, bitter partisan-based backlash, and epic discontent with Congress and elected officials. Rather than an […]

Apr. 7, 2010

Broad Criticism of Pope Benedict’s Handling of Sex Abuse Scandal

Amid new revelations of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI’s job ratings for handling the scandal have plummeted. Only about one-in-ten (12%) say the pope has done an excellent (3%) or good job (9%) in addressing the sex abuse scandal; 71% say he has done a poor (44%) or only fair […]

Apr. 1, 2010

Public Support For Legalizing Medical Marijuana

With a growing number of states moving to legalize medical marijuana, nearly three-quarters of Americans (73%) say they favor their state allowing the sale and use of marijuana for medical purposes if it is prescribed by a doctor, while 23% are opposed. Support for legalizing medical marijuana spans all major political and demographic groups, […]

Mar. 23, 2010

Public Divided Over State, Local Laws Banning Handguns

The public is divided over whether state and local governments should be able to pass laws banning the sale and possession of handguns. The Supreme Court is expected to rule in the next few months on the constitutionality of a 28-year-old Chicago law prohibiting handgun ownership in that city. Half of the public (50%) […]

Mar. 18, 2010

Gloomy Americans Bash Congress, Are Divided on Obama

As the day of reckoning for health care reform approaches, Americans have little to cheer about. Nearly everyone (92%) gives the national economy a negative rating. Closer to home, 85% say that jobs are hard to find in their community. A majority (54%) now says that someone in their household has been without a […]

Mar. 16, 2010

With Growing Awareness of Census, Most Ready to Fill Out Forms

As forms for the 2010 U.S. Census arrive in households across the nation this week, a new Pew Research Center survey finds nearly universal awareness of the census, with 94% of Americans saying they have heard of the census and 79% having heard something recently about it. Nearly nine-in-ten Americans (87%) now say they […]