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 […]

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 […]