Nov. 3, 2011

The Generation Gap and the 2012 Election

In the last four national elections, generational differences have mattered more than they have in decades. According to the exit polls, younger people have voted substantially more Democratic than other age groups in each election since 2004, while older voters have cast more ballots for Republican candidates in each election since 2006. The latest […]

Nov. 3, 2011

Section 2: Generations and the 2012 Election

The age gap in voting, which began to open in the 2004 election and became a major factor in Barack Obama’s 2008 victory over John McCain, is not the political norm. In fact, for most of the past four decades, there was little difference in the voting preferences of younger and older Americans. As recently […]

Oct. 18, 2011

Top One-Word Reaction to Cain Is a Number: 9-9-9

When Americans are asked to describe Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain in a single word, they most frequently offer a series of numbers: “9-9-9.” Cain’s tax proposal is mentioned more often than his background as a businessman. For Mitt Romney, the most frequently used single word is his religion – “Mormon.” And the most frequently […]

Oct. 17, 2011

A Third in GOP Have Seen a Presidential Debate

About a quarter of the public (27%) says they have watched one or more of the Republican presidential debates so far this year. Most debate watchers say the televised sessions have been helpful in learning about the candidates (61%) and a third (34%) say the debates have led them to change their minds about […]

Oct. 6, 2011

Obama Motivates Supporters, Opponents in Early 2012 Matchups

Barack Obama is a leading driver of voter preferences in possible 2012 matchups, among both his supporters and opponents. Currently, Obama is running a close race in hypothetical matchups against Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. Against both GOP candidates, most of Obama’s supporters view their vote as a vote for the president, while most […]

Aug. 25, 2011

Obama Leadership Image Takes a Hit, GOP Ratings Decline

The public is profoundly discontented with conditions in the country, its government, political leadership and several of its major institutions. Fully 79% are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country. Even more (86%) say they are frustrated or angry with the federal government. Favorable ratings for both political parties are in […]

Aug. 25, 2011

Section 2: The 2012 Election

Barack Obama continues to run even with a generic Republican candidate in the 2012 general election. Among registered voters, 43% say they would like to see Obama reelected while 40% say they would prefer that a Republican candidate win the election. Voter preferences are little changed from July, but Obama has lost the advantage he […]

Aug. 10, 2011

Democrats Not Eager for an Obama Challenger

Despite speculation that the Democratic base has become increasingly disillusioned with Barack Obama, rank-and-file Democrats are not eager to see other candidates challenge him for their party’s nomination in 2012. Just 32% of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents say they would like other Democrats to take on Obama for the nomination, while 59% say they would […]

Jun. 16, 2011

In Shift from Bush Era, More Conservatives Say “Come Home, America”

In their first major presidential debate June 13, the Republican candidates sketched out a cautious approach to U.S. global engagement that would represent a departure from the policies of the Bush administration. Yet their ideas are very much in tune with the evolving views of the GOP base. In the Pew Research Center’s political typology […]

Jun. 2, 2011

Section 1: The 2012 Election

Barack Obama continues to fare well against a generic Republican opponent in the 2012 general election. Nearly half (48%) of registered voters say they would like to see Barack Obama reelected, while 37% say they would prefer to see a Republican candidate win in 2012. This is virtually unchanged from March. This 11-point edge is […]

Jun. 2, 2011

Section 2: Candidate Traits and Experience

Military service and past experience as a governor or a business executive are seen as positive traits for a presidential candidate. About half (49%) say they would be more likely to support a candidate who has served in the military, 37% would be more likely to support a candidate who has been a governor, and […]

Jun. 2, 2011

Section 3: Views of Obama

Obama’s job approval ratings are relatively unchanged since early May. Currently, 52% approve of the way Obama is handling his job as president while 39% disapprove. As recently as early April, the public was divided (47% approved, 45% disapproved). Following a significant bump to 56% in the immediate wake of Osama bin Laden’s death, Obama’s […]

Jun. 2, 2011

Republican Candidates Stir Little Enthusiasm

The emerging Republican presidential field draws tepid ratings. Just a quarter of voters (25%) have an excellent or good impression of the possible GOP candidates, and a separate survey conducted jointly with The Washington Post finds that negative descriptions of the field far outnumber positive ones. Asked for a single word to describe the […]

Jun. 1, 2011

Top Reaction to GOP Field – “Unimpressed”

Americans have decidedly negative reactions to the candidates running for the Republican presidential nomination. Asked for a single word to describe the GOP field, the top response is a variation on “unimpressed,” with 42 mentions. Overall, 44% offer negative words to describe the Republican candidates, 19% use neutral words and just 12% use positive words. […]

May. 4, 2011

Section 6: Obama, 2012, and the Tea Party

The typology groups divide sharply along partisan lines in their views of Barack Obama. The core Republican groups and GOP-oriented independent groups are highly critical of Barack Obama and would prefer to see a Republican defeat him next year. Democratic and Democratic-leaning groups largely support the president and favor his reelection. Opinions about some other […]

Mar. 23, 2011

Obama Tests Well at Start of Reelection Run

Barack Obama currently fares as well against a generic opponent in the upcoming presidential election as George W. Bush did in April 2003, a time when Bush’s job approval rating was much higher than Obama’s is today. He also tests considerably better than Bill Clinton did in March 1995. Nearly half (47%) of registered […]

Nov. 11, 2010

Section 1: Reactions to the GOP Victory

Compared with previous changes in the balance of power in Congress, Americans are expressing a muted reaction to the GOP victories this year. Just under half (48%) say they are happy the Republican Party won control of the House, while 34% are unhappy. By contrast, after the Democratic Party’s victories in 2006, 60% of Americans […]

Oct. 25, 2010

Midterm Snapshot: Enthusiasm for Obama Reelection Bid Greater Than for Reagan in 1982

Two years ahead of the next presidential election, the public is divided over whether Barack Obama should run for a second term as president. About half (47%) say they would like to see Obama run again in 2012, while 42% say they would not. This is better than the outlook for Ronald Reagan in […]