Feb. 21, 2013

If No Deal is Struck, Four-in-Ten Say Let the Sequester Happen

After a series of fiscal crises over the past few years, the public is not expressing a particular sense of urgency over the pending March 1 sequester deadline. With little more than a week to go, barely a quarter have heard a lot about the scheduled cuts, while about as many have heard nothing […]

Feb. 20, 2013

Hagel Better Known, Viewed More Negatively

Unfavorable opinions of Chuck Hagel have increased over the past month as he has faced a bruising confirmation battle to become President Obama’s secretary of defense. A national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Feb. 14-17 among 1,003 adults, finds that 22% have a favorable opinion of Hagel while 28% have an unfavorable […]

Feb. 14, 2013

Most Approve of Ending Saturday Mail Delivery

A majority of Americans (54%) approve of the U.S. Postal Service’s recent decision to halt Saturday delivery of letters, while 32% disapprove of the decision. The planned end of Saturday mail delivery is a rare government decision that garners bipartisan support – 58% of independents approve of the action, as do 57% of Republicans […]

Feb. 11, 2013

Continued Support for U.S. Drone Strikes

While U.S. drone strikes have faced new scrutiny in recent weeks, a majority of the public continues to support the program. Overall, 56% approve of the U.S. conducting missile strikes from pilotless aircraft to target extremists in countries such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia; just 26% say they disapprove. Opinion is largely unchanged from […]

Feb. 11, 2013

Little Change in Views of Importance of State of the Union

A plurality of the public (43%) views Barack Obama’s upcoming State of the Union as about as important as past years’ addresses. About a third (32%) say Obama’s speech will be more important than those in past years, while 15% say it will be less important. State of the Union Primer Public Views of […]

Feb. 6, 2013

Public Hearing Better News about Housing and Financial Markets

As Barack Obama begins his second term in office, the public is hearing a mix of good and bad news about the economy, as it has for much of the past four years. Views of news about real estate values and financial markets have improved and are as positive as they have been in […]

Feb. 5, 2013

What the Public Knows – In Pictures, Maps, Graphs and Symbols

Before you read the report, test your own News IQ by taking the interactive knowledge quiz. The short quiz includes many of the questions that were included in a national poll. Participants will instantly learn how they did on the quiz in comparison with the general public as well as with people like them. […]

Jan. 31, 2013

Majority Says the Federal Government Threatens Their Personal Rights

As Barack Obama begins his second term in office, trust in the federal government remains mired near a historic low, while frustration with government remains high. And for the first time, a majority of the public says that the federal government threatens their personal rights and freedoms. The latest national survey by the Pew […]

Jan. 29, 2013

Broad Support for Combat Roles for Women

The public broadly supports the military’s decision to lift restrictions on women in combat. Two-thirds (66%) support allowing women in the military to serve in ground units that engage in close combat, while just 26% are opposed. Opinion on this question is little changed from a Washington Post/ABC News survey two years ago. The […]

Jan. 24, 2013

Deficit Reduction Rises on Public’s Agenda for Obama’s Second Term

When Barack Obama took office four years ago, reducing the budget deficit was a middle-tier item on the public’s agenda. Only about half of Americans (53%) viewed it as a top policy priority in January 2009, placing it ninth on a list of 20 policy goals. But as Obama begins his second term, only […]

Jan. 22, 2013

Mixed Reactions to Obama’s Gun Proposals

With the public paying close attention to the national debate over gun control, Barack Obama’s gun proposals receive a mixed rating from the public. A 39% plurality say Obama’s proposals are about right while another 13% say they do not go far enough. About three-in-ten (31%) say the president’s proposals go too far; 17% […]

Jan. 17, 2013

Obama in Strong Position at Start of Second Term

As he prepares for his second inauguration, Barack Obama is in a stronger position with the public than he was over much of his first term. At 52%, his job approval rating is among the highest since the early months of his presidency. His personal favorability, currently 59%, has rebounded from a low of […]

Jan. 16, 2013

Roe v. Wade at 40: Most Oppose Overturning Abortion Decision

Jan. 14, 2013

In Gun Control Debate, Several Options Draw Majority Support

While the issue of gun control remains divisive, there are clear areas of agreement when it comes to a number of gun policy proposals. Fully 85% of Americans favor making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks, with comparable support from Republicans, Democrats and independents. Similarly, 80% support laws […]

Jan. 7, 2013

Obama Viewed as Fiscal Cliff Victor; Legislation Gets Lukewarm Reception

Barack Obama is viewed as the clear political winner in the fiscal cliff negotiations, but the legislation itself gets only a lukewarm reception from the public: As many disapprove as approve of the new tax legislation, and more say it will have a negative than positive impact on the federal budget deficit, the national […]

Dec. 21, 2012

Hillary Clinton’s Career of Comebacks

Over the course of her long political career, Hillary Clinton truly has been a comeback kid. On four separate occasions over the past 20 years, Clinton’s favorability ratings have fallen sharply – but each time they recovered. It is rare for a political figure to accomplish that feat once in a career, much less […]

Dec. 20, 2012

After Newtown, Modest Change in Opinion about Gun Control

The public’s attitudes toward gun control have shown only modest change in the wake of last week’s deadly shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Currently, 49% say it is more important to control gun ownership, while 42% say it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns. This […]

Dec. 18, 2012

Continued Pessimism about Fiscal Cliff Deal

With less than two weeks to go before the nation goes over the fiscal cliff, the public remains pessimistic about the possibility that the president and Congress will reach an agreement by the Jan. 1 deadline. In fact, opinions about the likelihood of a deal remain largely unchanged since early November, when negotiations between […]

Dec. 17, 2012

Public Divided over What Newtown Signifies

The shootings at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. on Friday have drawn widespread public interest. A weekend survey finds that 57% of Americans say they followed news about the tragedy there very closely. That is higher than interest in the shootings at an Aurora, Colo. movie theater in July (49% very closely), though […]

Dec. 14, 2012

Public Says U.S. Does Not Have Responsibility to Act in Syria

As fighting in Syria rages on between government forces and anti-government groups, the public continues to say that the U.S. does not have a responsibility to do something about the fighting there. And there continues to be substantial opposition to sending arms to anti-government forces in Syria. The latest national survey by the Pew […]