Sep. 16, 2004

Section 1: Candidate Support

John Kerry’s gains in recent days have helped to bring him back into contention for the support of key voting blocs and to restore his lead among groups that had favored him when the race was deadlocked throughout the summer. But President Bush continues to enjoy a strong advantage among his base supporters. Significantly, the […]

Sep. 16, 2004

Kerry Support Rebounds, Race Again Even

Introduction and Summary Voter opinion in the presidential race has seesawed dramatically in the first two weeks of September. Following a successful nominating convention, George W. Bush broke open a deadlocked contest and jumped out to a big lead over John Kerry. However, polling this past week finds that Bush’s edge over his Democratic rival […]

Sep. 16, 2004

Section 2: Perception of the Candidates

A large majority of voters (72%) believe that Bush and Kerry take different positions from each other on the issues, compared with 19% who see their positions as similar. That is up slightly from June, when 68% saw differences between the candidates’ positions. Far more voters see clear distinctions between the candidates than did so […]

Sep. 16, 2004

Section 3: Views of the Campaign

Views of the campaign, which were already mostly positive in June, have improved over the summer. More voters think the campaign is important (90%) and informative (63%). And the number who say the campaign is interesting, rather than dull, has risen from 35% in June to 50% now. Although voters are more engaged in the […]

Aug. 18, 2004

Part Five: Opinion About the Bush Administration’s Stewardship

President Bush still receives fairly strong marks for his handling of terrorism, particularly when compared with his low ratings on other key components of foreign policy. In the July 8-18 survey, conducted prior to the Democratic convention and the government’s announcement of elevated terrorism alert, a 54% majority approve of Bush’s performance in handling terrorist […]

Aug. 12, 2004

Public Faults Bush on Economy – 55% Say Jobs are Scarce

Summary of Findings With three months to go until the presidential election, the American public remains largely dissatisfied with economic conditions and with President Bush’s stewardship of the economy. Two-thirds rate the national economy as “only fair” or “poor,” while just one-third judge it to be “excellent” or “good.” Accordingly, Bush gets low ratings for […]

Jul. 23, 2004

Bush Holds Modest Advantage Among Veterans

Despite Sen. John Kerry’s military background and his campaign’s concerted efforts to court veterans, he runs no better among this group than Al Gore did four years ago. Based on surveys conducted March, May, June and July, men who have served in the armed forces favor Bush over Kerry by a 49% to 40% margin. […]

Jul. 21, 2004

Democratic Party Image Improvement

Summary of Findings Sen. John Kerry enters the Democratic convention next week bolstered by a number of favorable trends in public opinion, although he remains locked in a statistical tie for voter support with President George W. Bush. His party is dominant on key domestic issues and at least competitive with the Republicans on every […]

Jul. 8, 2004

Voters More Engaged, But Campaign Gets Lukewarm Ratings

Summary of Findings The presidential election is capturing the public’s attention much more now than it did at this point four and eight years ago. Nearly half of Americans (47%) say they are more interested in politics than they were four years ago, up from 38% who expressed that view in June 2000. Public attention […]

Jun. 24, 2004

Swing Vote Smaller Than Usual, But Still Sizable

Summary of Findings There are considerably fewer swing voters now than at this point in the previous three presidential campaigns. But the swing vote, while smaller in relative terms, is still substantial and certainly large enough for a presidential candidate to win a big victory. Pew’s most recent survey, conducted June 3-13, finds 21% of […]

Jun. 17, 2004

Public Support for War Resilient

Summary of Findings Americans are paying markedly less attention to Iraq than in the last two months. At the same time, their opinions about the war have become more positive. The number of Americans who think the U.S. military effort is going well has jumped from 46% in May to 57%, despite ongoing violence in […]

May. 12, 2004

Iraq Prison Scandal Hits Home, But Most Reject Troop Pullout

Summary of Findings Public satisfaction with national conditions has fallen to 33%, its lowest level in eight years, in the wake of revelations of prisoner abuse committed by U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. President Bush’s overall job approval rating also has dropped into negative territory: 44% approve of his job performance, while […]

May. 12, 2004

Why the Polls Don’t Add Up

by Andrew Kohut in The New York Times

Mar. 29, 2004

Bush Support Steady in Wake of Clarke Criticisms

Summary of Findings A week’s worth of criticism of his pre-Sept. 11 record on terrorism has had little impact on President Bush’s support among voters. He is now running even with Sen. John Kerry in a head-to-head match-up among registered voters (47% Kerry- 46% Bush) after trailing Kerry by 52%-43% in mid-March. Voter opinions have […]

Mar. 25, 2004

Far More Voters Believe Election Outcome Matters

Summary of Findings The long general election campaign begins with voters paying much more attention than usual and a decidedly greater number of Americans thinking that it matters who wins in the fall than felt that way four years ago. However, roughly half of Americans already say the campaign is too long, “boring” and “too […]

Mar. 25, 2004

Additional Findings and Analyses

More View Kerry as Liberal As Kerry has emerged as the Democratic nominee, an increasing percentage of the public, especially Republicans, have come to view him as ideologically liberal. On an ideological scale from 1 to 6 (where 1 is the most conservative and 6 is the most liberal), 40% of those able to rate […]

Mar. 3, 2004

Three-in-Ten Voters Open to Persuasion

Summary of Findings Heading into an eight-month marathon to Election Day, President Bush and Sen. John Kerry already command strong support from their respective parties and will now try to win over those in the middle: ­ the estimated three-in-ten voters who have not yet fully committed to either candidate. Overall, 38% of voters support […]

Feb. 19, 2004

Democratic Primary Campaign Impresses Voters

Introduction and Summary So far, the presidential primary campaign has been very good for the Democratic Party. Public interest in the race has been relatively high. Nearly half of Americans (45%) have a positive overall impression of the Democratic field, up from 31% just a month ago. And while a slim majority of the public […]

Feb. 19, 2004

Additional Findings

Democrats Energized, Independents Swayed Americans continue to have mixed views about the effectiveness of the primary process as the best means of selecting nominees, but it is clear that the 2004 primaries have engaged and energized voters, particularly Democrats and independents. Perceptions of the quality of the Democratic field of candidates, as well as the […]

Jan. 30, 2004

Democratic Candidates Face Southern Voters

Southern Democrats More Culturally Conservative, Not So Different Otherwise