Sep. 24, 2012

Fewer Satisfied with Candidates than in Any Campaign Since 1992

Approaching the first presidential debate, voters offer tepid ratings of the 2012 field. Just over half (54%) say they are either very or fairly satisfied with the presidential choices this year, while 40% say they are not too or not at all satisfied. The percentage expressing satisfaction with the candidates is now lower than it […]

Sep. 24, 2012

For Voters It’s Still the Economy

As Barack Obama and Mitt Romney prepare for their first debate on Oct. 3, the issues at the top of the voters’ agenda have changed little since 2008. Fully 87% of registered voters say that the economy will be very important to their vote, while 83% say jobs will be very important to their […]

Sep. 19, 2012

Section 4: Views of Vice Presidential Candidates, Candidate Spouses, Former Presidents

Voters offer a mixed view of both candidates’ vice-presidential nominees, which stands in contrast to the positive reception most recent running mates have received. In fact, across the seven most recent presidential elections, only one was not viewed favorably on balance in September: Dan Quayle in 1992. Joe Biden’s public image has suffered substantially over […]

Sep. 19, 2012

Section 2: Interest and Engagement

Less than two months before Election Day, voter engagement remains relatively high. Interest is lower than in 2008, but on par with 2004 and 1992 – all elections with high turnout levels. Voters are more engaged than they were in 1996 and 2000; when turnout in November was much lower. Seven-in-ten voters have given a […]

Sep. 19, 2012

Section 1: The Obama-Romney Matchup

The current preferences among voter groups are strikingly similar to those seen on Election Day four years ago. Barack Obama generally leads Mitt Romney among the same groups that favored him in 2008, and he trails among the groups that supported Republican John McCain. Obama’s greatest support is found among African American registered voters, who […]

Sep. 12, 2012

Democrats Now More Positive on Campaign 2012

In the wake of the party conventions, Democrats express increasingly positive views of the presidential campaign. And today, substantially more Democrats than Republicans view the campaign as interesting and informative. The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Sept. 7-9 among 1,012 adults, finds that 66% […]

Sep. 10, 2012

Democratic Convention Highlights: Clinton Outshines Obama

Like Mitt Romney, Barack Obama was not the highlight of his party’s convention. Among those who watched at least a little coverage of the Democratic convention, 29% say the highlight was Bill Clinton’s speech, while 16% name Obama’s speech as the highlight. About as many (15%) say that first lady Michelle Obama’s speech was […]

Sep. 7, 2012

Obama, Romney, Biden and Ryan in One Word

Sep. 5, 2012

Obama in a Word: From ‘Inexperienced’ and ‘Change’ to ‘Good’ and ‘Trying’

Four years ago, voters’ descriptions of Barack Obama focused on his newness on the political scene. In September 2008, more voters used the word inexperienced to describe Obama than any other word, while change was the most frequently used positive term. Words like young, charismatic and new were also among the top descriptions. Today, the […]

Sep. 5, 2012

Biden in a Word: ‘Good,’ ‘Idiot’

Asked for their one-word impression of Joe Biden, more people use negative than positive words to describe the vice president. Many of the negative words disparage Biden’s competence and performance, with idiot, incompetent and clown among the terms used most frequently. Of those offering a word to describe Biden, 38% use negative terms, while 23% […]

Sep. 5, 2012

RNC Highlights: Romney Shares Top Billing With Eastwood

The public paid far less attention to this year’s Republican convention than it did to the GOP convention four years ago. Just 37% say they watched all or some of the Republican convention, down from 56% in 2008. And while there has been a modest increase in the percentage saying they view Mitt Romney […]

Aug. 29, 2012

Romney in a Word: ’Honest,’ ’Businessman,’ ’Rich’

As the American public has learned more about Mitt Romney over the course of the past year, his image has changed substantially. Last fall, the one word that came to mind most frequently when people were asked to describe Romney was Mormon. The same question this spring elicited the words rich and no more frequently […]

Aug. 29, 2012

Paul Ryan in a Word: ’Conservative,’ ’Intelligent’

As Paul Ryan prepares to accept his nomination as the GOP’s vice presidential candidate, the American public has a mixed impression of him. When asked what one word comes to mind when thinking about Ryan, the most frequent responses are conservative, intelligent, good, unknown, and young. In the latest national survey by the Pew Research […]

Aug. 27, 2012

More Interest in GOP Platform than Romney’s Speech

As the Republican convention gets underway, more Americans express interest in learning about what’s in the GOP platform than in the speeches by either Mitt Romney or his running mate. About half of the public (52%) is interested in learning about the Republican Party’s platform, while 44% are interested in Romney’s acceptance speech and […]

Aug. 23, 2012

A Closer Look at the Parties in 2012

As the 2012 party conventions approach, the Democratic Party continues to maintain an advantage in party identification among voters, but its lead is much smaller than it was in 2008. In more than 13,000 interviews conducted so far in 2012, 35% of registered voters identify with the Democratic Party, 28% with the Republican Party and […]

Aug. 21, 2012

Medicare Voucher Plan Remains Unpopular

Paul Ryan’s selection to the Republican ticket has put the issue of Medicare squarely on the 2012 campaign agenda. And the latest Pew Research Center survey continues to find the public is aware of a proposal to gradually shift Medicare to a system of vouchers and is, on balance, more opposed than supportive of […]

Aug. 10, 2012

What Voters Know about Campaign 2012

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 voting public as well as with people like them. […]

Aug. 3, 2012

Party Affiliation and Election Polls

In every campaign cycle, pollwatchers pay close attention to the details of every election survey. And well they should. But focusing on the partisan balance of surveys is, in almost every circumstance, the wrong place to look. The latest Pew Research Center survey conducted July 16-26 among 1,956 registered voters nationwide found 51% supporting Barack […]

Aug. 2, 2012

Romney’s Personal Image Remains Negative

2012 Election Voter Preference Trends Track voter preferences for Obama vs. Romney overall and by demographic group. By a 52% to 37% margin, more voters say they have an unfavorable than favorable view of Mitt Romney. The poll, conducted prior to Romney’s recent overseas trip, represents the sixth consecutive survey over the past nine […]

Aug. 2, 2012

Little Public Awareness of Outside Campaign Spending Boom

The public is hearing little about increased spending by outside groups in the 2012 election. Just 25% have heard a lot about outside spending by groups not associated with the candidates or campaigns, while three-quarters are hearing a little (36%) or nothing at all (39%) about this. In fact, the term “super PAC” itself is […]