CommentaryApril 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 […]

Featured ReportMarch 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. […]

PublicationsFebruary 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 […]

PublicationsFebruary 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 […]

Featured ReportJanuary 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 […]

Multi-section ReportsJanuary 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 […]

Featured ReportDecember 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 […]

Pew Research/Washington Post SurveysDecember 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 […]

Featured ReportNovember 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 […]

Multi-section ReportsNovember 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 […]

PublicationsOctober 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 […]

Pew Research/Washington Post SurveysSeptember 29, 2011

No Consensus About Whether Nation Is Divided Into ’Haves’ and ’Have-Nots’

Despite an extended economic downturn, the public’s impression of whether the nation is economically divided remains relatively stable. While 45% say American society is divided between “haves” and “have-nots,” 52% say it is incorrect to think of the country this way. This is comparable to the balance of opinion a year ago. The percentage of […]

Featured ReportSeptember 26, 2011

Obama Draws More Confidence than GOP Leaders on Deficit

As the nation prepares for another round of deficit reduction debates, the public’s confidence in congressional leaders, particularly Republican leaders in Congress, has plummeted. Just 35% say they have a great deal or fair amount of confidence in Republican leaders in Congress to do the right thing when it comes to dealing with the […]

Pew Research/Washington Post SurveysSeptember 20, 2011

Palestinian Statehood: Mixed Views, Low Visibility

Americans express mixed opinions about a possible independent Palestinian state, an issue that has so far drawn little attention from the press or the public. More favor (42%) than oppose (26%) the United States recognizing Palestine as an independent nation, while nearly a third (32%) express no opinion. Yet the public’s sympathies in the Middle […]

PublicationsSeptember 6, 2011

Most Plan to Watch Obama Jobs Speech

Nearly six-in-ten Americans (58%) say they plan to watch President Obama’s speech Thursday night to a joint session of Congress about his plans to spur job growth and help the struggling national economy. Not surprisingly, fewer plan to watch Wednesday night’s debate in California among the candidates for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Four-in-ten […]

Featured ReportAugust 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 […]

Pew Research/Washington Post SurveysAugust 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 […]

Pew Research/Washington Post SurveysAugust 1, 2011

Public Sees Budget Negotiations as “Ridiculous”, “Disgusting”, “Stupid”

From liberal Democrats to Tea Party Republicans, there is broad public consensus that the budget negotiations of recent weeks can be summed up in words such as ridiculous, disgusting, stupid, and frustrating. Nationwide, 72% describe the recent negotiations in negative terms such as these; while very few offer a positive (2%), or even neutral (11%), […]

PublicationsJuly 28, 2011

Obama Loses Ground in 2012 Reelection Bid

The sizeable lead Barack Obama held over a generic Republican opponent in polls conducted earlier this year has vanished as his support among independent voters has fallen off.Currently, 41% of registered voters say they would like to see Barack Obama reelected, while 40% say they would prefer to see a Republican candidate win in […]

PublicationsMay 9, 2011

Obama Bump Recedes a Bit

Barack Obama’s job approval rating has fallen slightly since the day after Osama bin Laden’s death was announced. But the balance of opinion regarding Obama’s job performance remains more positive than it was in early April. There also continues to be more optimism about the U.S. achieving its goals in Afghanistan than there was […]