Aug. 3, 2005

Abortion and Rights of Terror Suspects Top Court Issues

Summary of Findings Abortion has dominated the early skirmishing over President Bush’s nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court. But the public takes a more expansive view of the court’s agenda. Indeed, about as many Americans rate the rights of detained terrorist suspects as a very important issue for the Supreme Court as say […]

Jul. 1, 2005

Abortion Wild Card In Battle Over O’Connor’s Successor

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s decision to step down from the Supreme Court sets up a possible next chapter in the nation’s culture wars. If the debate over O’Connor’s replacement turns into a referendum on Roe vs. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision establishing a woman’s right to abortion, the argument is likely to galvanize a significant […]

Jun. 15, 2005

Supreme Court’s Image Declines as Nomination Battle Looms

Summary of Findings With an aging Supreme Court possibly facing major changes, the court’s public image has eroded significantly. Currently, 57% of Americans have a favorable opinion of the Supreme Court, with 30% expressing an unfavorable view. In the past, favorable views of the court typically surpassed 70%; even in January 2001, shortly after the […]

May. 10, 2005

Part 6: Issues and Shifting Coalitions

The extensive divisions within the two parties over fundamental political values are mirrored in disagreements over contemporary issues. Economic issues tend to divide Republican typology groups, while social issues split the Democrats. On many national security issues, especially the war in Iraq, internal partisan fissures are overshadowed by the vast gulf dividing Republicans and Democrats. […]

Apr. 23, 2004

Abortion a More Powerful Issue for Women

Public divisions over access to abortion are long-standing, and have changed only slightly over the past two decades. Currently, 58% say they oppose making it more difficult for a woman to get an abortion, while 36% are in favor of further restrictions. This is virtually unchanged from polling conducted in the early 1990s. In 1987, […]

Feb. 27, 2004

Gay Marriage a Voting Issue, But Mostly for Opponents

Summary of Findings Gay marriage has surpassed other major social issues like abortion and gun control in its influence on voters. Four-in-ten voters say they would not vote for a candidate who disagrees with them on gay marriage, even if they agree with the candidate on most other issues. By comparison, 34% say they would […]

Nov. 5, 2003

Part 8: Religion in American Life

America remains an intensely religious nation and, if anything, the trend since the late 1980s has been toward stronger religious belief. Eight-in-ten Americans (81%) say that prayer is an important part of their daily lives, and just as many believe there will be a Judgment Day when people will be called before God to answer […]

Jan. 16, 2003

Public Wants Proof of Iraqi Weapons Programs

Summary of Findings A two-thirds majority of the public continues to express qualified support for the idea of using military force to end the rule of Saddam Hussein. But the Bush administration may face a major challenge in winning public support for the use of force if U.N. weapons inspections yield anything less than evidence […]

Nov. 11, 1999

Section 6: Issues

Morality Top Concern, Social Security Top Priority Concerns about the moral climate in this country now top the list of national problems. Fully 35% of the public cites moral concerns — ranging from lack of family values to teen violence — when asked in an open-ended format to name the most important problem facing the […]

May. 23, 1997

Other Important Findings and Analyses

Budget Agreement Clearly, Bill Clinton’s continued high ratings, despite Whitewater and the DNC fund raising scandal, seem more tied to a reduction in economic anxiety than to success with the budget. News interest in the budget debate once again edged down at the very time the President and Republican leaders had come to their historic […]