Jun. 21, 2012

Section 2: Assessing Obama and Romney’s Support

  All indications suggest that the 2012 vote will be a very close one. Barack Obama has never trailed Romney in head-to-head matchups with Romney over the past nine months. Obama currently holds a four-point advantage (50% to 46%) among all registered voters, which is not statistically significant. And if the higher engagement and interest […]

Jun. 21, 2012

Section 3: Candidate Traits and Images

Barack Obama holds a distinct edge over Mitt Romney on several personal traits, particularly when it comes to connecting with ordinary Americans. By about two-to-one, voters are more likely to say the phrase “connects well with ordinary Americans” better describes Obama (59%) than Romney (28%). Obama holds a wide lead as the candidate more willing […]

Jun. 21, 2012

GOP Holds Early Turnout Edge, But Little Enthusiasm for Romney

Less than five months before Election Day, voters are not as engaged with the presidential campaign as they were at this point four years ago, when interest in the campaign reached record levels. But voter engagement today generally equals or surpasses levels from the four campaigns prior to 2008, indicating that 2012 could be […]

May. 14, 2012

Half Say View of Obama Not Affected by Gay Marriage Decision

Roughly half of Americans (52%) say Barack Obama’s expression of support for gay marriage did not affect their opinion of the president. A quarter (25%) say they feel less favorably toward Obama because of this while 19% feel more favorably. There are wide partisan and age differences in reactions to Obama’s expression of support […]

Apr. 17, 2012

Section 1: General Election Preferences

As the general election campaign gets underway, Obama’s slim 49% to 45% edge over Mitt Romney is based on his continued support among women, college graduates, blacks, Latinos and lower-income voters. Obama leads Romney by 13 points among women, which is identical to his victory margin over McCain among women four years ago, according to […]

Apr. 17, 2012

With Voters Focused on Economy, Obama Lead Narrows

With voters continuing to focus on economic issues, Barack Obama holds a slim 49% to 45% advantage over Mitt Romney in the latest Pew Research Center survey of nearly 2,400 registered voters nationwide. Obama’s lead has narrowed since last month, when he had a 12-point advantage, though it is comparable to margins from earlier […]

Apr. 16, 2012

Obama vs. Romney: Which One Can Defy Political History to Win?

With the focus now fully on the campaign between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, commentary about the issues, the voting blocs and the strategies of the two campaigns dominates political discourse. But having polled on the last 10 presidential elections, I’m struck by a meta-question about each candidate’s viability that may trump all else. Obama […]

Mar. 14, 2012

Section 3: Obama Job Approval

For the first time since shortly after the killing of Osama bin Laden, half of all Americans (50%) say they approve of Barack Obama’s job performance, while just 41% disapprove. Over the course of 2012, Obama’s job approval has improved from 44% in January to 47% in February to 50% today. For the second month […]

Mar. 14, 2012

Section 2: The General Election

With rising job approval and favorability ratings, Barack Obama also holds a growing advantage in voter preferences as they look toward November. Among registered voters, he currently leads Mitt Romney by 12 points and Rick Santorum by 18 points. The difference between Romney and Santorum at the head of the GOP ticket mainly affects independents. […]

Mar. 14, 2012

Romney Leads GOP Contest, Trails in Matchup with Obama

Mitt Romney has retaken a significant lead nationally in the race for the Republican presidential nomination, even as he has fallen further behind Barack Obama in a general election matchup. Moreover, Obama’s own job approval rating has reached 50% for the first time since last May, shortly after the killing of Osama bin Laden. […]

Feb. 16, 2012

Public More Optimistic about Economy, But Concerns Persist

Optimism about the national economy, which sagged in 2011, has rebounded in the first two months of this year. Currently, 44% say they expect economic conditions to be better a year from now, up from 34% last month and 28% in December. Moreover, 54% say either that the economy is already recovering (25%) or […]

Feb. 13, 2012

Santorum Catches Romney in GOP Race

Rick Santorum’s support among Tea Party Republicans and white evangelicals is surging, and he now has pulled into a virtual tie with Mitt Romney in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. In polling conducted Feb. 8-12, 30% of Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters favor Santorum while 28% favor Romney. As recently as a […]

Jan. 30, 2012

GOP Voters Continue to Give Field Subpar Ratings

Amid a bruising primary campaign, Republicans remain unimpressed with their party’s presidential field. In fact, more Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters say the GOP field is only fair or poor (52%) than did so in early January (44%). By comparison, just 46% of Republican voters have positive opinions of the GOP field, according to the […]

Jan. 19, 2012

Obama: Weak Job Ratings, But Positive Personal Image

Barack Obama begins his fourth year in office facing a struggling economy, an unhappy public, and a lower job approval rating than most of his recent predecessors at a comparable point in their presidencies. In fact, Obama’s job rating today is a bit more negative than it was in December: 48% disapprove of his […]

Jan. 19, 2012

Section 4: Favorability of Obamas, Clinton, Biden

Barack Obama’s favorability rating has slipped over the course of his first three years in office. But Michelle Obama continues to be viewed very positively. Two-thirds (66%) of Americans say they have a favorable opinion of the first lady while just 21% have an unfavorable opinion. These views have changed little over the past year […]

Dec. 13, 2011

Gingrich Leads, But Likely GOP Primary Voters Have Not Ruled Out Romney

Newt Gingrich holds a substantial 35% to 21% lead over Mitt Romney among Republican and Republican-leaning independent voters who say they are very likely to vote in the GOP primaries or caucuses. But clear majorities say there is at least a chance they would vote for either Gingrich or Romney in Republican primaries in […]

Dec. 6, 2011

Nomination Race Hurting GOP, But Not Helping Obama

As the fight for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination unfolds, more Americans say their impression of the GOP field is worsening than improving. Those views, however, have not resulted in a better view of President Barack Obama at this point. By a margin of two-to-one, more say that their impression of the GOP field is […]

Nov. 17, 2011

Obama Job Approval Improves, GOP Contest Remains Fluid

With much of the recent political focus on the ever-changing Republican presidential nomination race, Barack Obama’s job rating has improved modestly over the past month. And a majority of Americans continue to hold a favorable personal opinion of Obama. This is not the case for his main GOP rivals, whom he mostly bests in […]

Nov. 17, 2011

Section 2: Views of Obama and Congressional Leaders

A year out from the 2012 election, as many Americans approve of the job Obama is doing as president (46%) as disapprove (46%). This marks a modest improvement from August and October when slightly more disapproved than approved of Obama’s job performance. Obama continues to enjoy the support of young people and non-whites: Majorities of […]

Nov. 17, 2011

Section 1: The 2012 Election

Mitt Romney continues to run even with Barack Obama in a hypothetical matchup for the 2012 presidential election. Among all registered voters, 49% say they would back Obama, 47% Romney, virtually unchanged from a month ago when 48% supported each candidate. By contrast, Obama holds double-digit leads over Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry. […]