Mar. 2, 2010

Support for Alternative Energy and Offshore Drilling

The public continues to favor a wide range of government policies to address the nation’s energy supply. More than three-quarters of the public (78%) favors increasing federal funding for research on wind, solar and hydrogen technology. A large majority (70%) also favors spending more on subway, rail and bus systems. Both measures are little […]

Feb. 23, 2010

Favorability Ratings of Labor Unions Fall Sharply

Favorable views of labor unions have plummeted since 2007, amid growing public skepticism about unions’ purpose and power. Currently, 41% say they have a favorable opinion of labor unions while about as many (42%) express an unfavorable opinion. In January 2007, a clear majority (58%) had a favorable view of unions while just 31% […]

Feb. 12, 2010

Midterm Election Challenges for Both Parties

Summary of Findings Nine months ahead of the midterm elections, voters have conflicted attitudes about both political parties. Opinions of the Republican Party have improved significantly, and for the first time in years the GOP’s favorable ratings nearly equal the Democratic Party’s. Voting intentions for the fall elections also remain closely divided. However, the Democratic […]

Jan. 28, 2010

Senate Legislative Process A Mystery To Many

The public has consistently expressed strong interest in the health care debate, but relatively few Americans can correctly answer two key questions related to the Senate’s consideration of health care legislation. In the latest installment of the Pew Research Center’s News IQ Quiz, just 32% know that the Senate passed its version of the […]

Jan. 25, 2010

Public’s Priorities for 2010: Economy, Jobs, Terrorism

Summary of Findings As Barack Obama begins his second year in office, the public’s priorities for the president and Congress remain much as they were one year ago. Strengthening the nation’s economy and improving the job situation continue to top the list. And, in the wake of the failed Christmas Day terrorist attack on a […]

Jan. 20, 2010

Most View Census Positively, But Some Have Doubts

As the federal government gears up for its decennial count of the country’s population, most Americans think the census is very important and say they will definitely participate. But acceptance of and enthusiasm for the census are not universal. Certain segments of the population such as younger people, Hispanics and the less well educated […]

Jan. 14, 2010

Obama Image Unscathed By Terrorism Controversy

Summary of Findings In the aftermath of the failed Christmas Day terrorist attack on a Detroit-bound airliner, the government’s ratings for reducing the threat of terrorism have slipped. In addition, 33% now say that the ability of terrorists to launch a major attack on the U.S. is greater than it was at the time of […]

Jan. 12, 2010

Blacks Upbeat about Black Progress, Prospects

Summary of Findings A comprehensive new survey of racial attitudes finds that a year after Barack Obama’s election, blacks’ assessments about the state of black progress in America have improved more dramatically than at any time in the last quarter century. The poll finds an upbeat set of black views on a wide range of […]

Dec. 21, 2009

Current Decade Rates as Worst in 50 Years

As the current decade draws to a close, relatively few Americans have positive things to say about it. By roughly two-to-one, more say they have a generally negative (50%) rather than a generally positive (27%) impression of the past 10 years. This stands in stark contrast to the public’s recollection of other decades in […]

Dec. 16, 2009

Mixed Views of Obama at Year’s End

Public opinion about President Barack Obama and his major polices continues to be divided as the year comes to a close. His overall approval rating is 49%, which is largely unchanged from November (51%). However, the percentage expressing at least a fair amount of confidence in Obama to do the right thing when it […]

Dec. 3, 2009

U.S. Seen as Less Important, China as More Powerful

The general public and members of the Council on Foreign Relations are apprehensive and uncertain about America’s place in the world. Growing numbers in both groups see the United States playing a less important role globally, while acknowledging the increasing stature of China. And the general public, which is in a decidedly inward-looking frame […]

Dec. 1, 2009

GOP Seen as Friendlier to Religion than Democrats

More Americans continue to view the Republican Party as friendly toward religion (48%) than rate the Democratic Party that way (29%). President Barack Obama’s administration, however, is seen as friendly toward religion by more people (37%) than the Democratic Party as a whole. And all three get higher ratings for friendliness toward religion than […]

Nov. 19, 2009

Abortion Plays Small Role in Health Reform Opposition

While most Americans oppose government funding of abortion, a new Pew Research Center survey finds that concern about abortion funding plays only a small role in driving opposition to the health care reform legislation under consideration by Congress. When health care opponents are asked in an open-ended question to describe their main reason for […]

Nov. 18, 2009

Modest Rise in Concern About Islamic Extremism

The public continues to express concern about the rise of Islamic extremism in the United States and abroad, but a survey taken shortly after the deadly Nov. 5 shootings at the Fort Hood Army base shows only a modest increase in these concerns since 2007. Just more than half (52%) of Americans say they […]

Nov. 16, 2009

Faith-Based Programs Still Popular, Less Visible

More than eight years after former President George W. Bush unveiled his faith-based initiative to make it easier for religious groups to receive government funding to provide social services, the policy continues to draw broad public support. But as was the case when Bush first announced the initiative, many Americans express concerns about blurring […]

Nov. 11, 2009

A Year Out, Widespread Anti-Incumbent Sentiment

The mood of America is glum. Two-thirds of the public is dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country. Fully nine-in-ten say that national economic conditions are only fair or poor, and nearly two-thirds describe their own finances that way – the most since the summer of 1992. An increasing proportion of […]

Oct. 22, 2009

Fewer Americans See Solid Evidence of Global Warming

There has been a sharp decline over the past year in the percentage of Americans who say there is solid evidence that global temperatures are rising. And fewer also see global warming as a very serious problem – 35% say that today, down from 44% in April 2008. The latest national survey by the […]

Oct. 14, 2009

Well Known:Public Option, Sonia Sotomayor Little Known: Cap and Trade, Max Baucus

The U.S. government has a lot on its plate right now, which means that the American public has a lot to keep up with in the news. The Pew Research Center’s latest News IQ Quiz finds a mixed picture of public awareness on key issues, with majorities aware of some key facts on health […]

Oct. 9, 2009

Majority Continues to Support Civil Unions

A clear majority of Americans (57%) favors allowing gay and lesbian couples to enter into legal agreements with each other that would give them many of the same rights as married couples, a status commonly known as civil unions. This finding marks a slight uptick in support for civil unions and appears to continue […]

Oct. 8, 2009

Mixed Views of Economic Policies and Health Care Reform Persist

Public opinion is conflicted regarding the two major domestic issues of the day – the economy and health care reform. On the economy, most Americans remain optimistic that Barack Obama’s policies will help, but the public expresses mixed views of the steps he has taken so far and sees no clear signs of recovery […]