Featured ReportSeptember 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 […]

PublicationsMarch 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 […]

CommentaryJanuary 26, 2010

It’s All About Jobs, Except When It’s Not

PublicationsJuly 8, 2003

Americans More Critical of Bush’s Efforts at Home, More Anxious Over Situation in Iraq

Summary of Findings As presidential campaign activities start to pick up steam, President Bush is facing increasing public criticism of his efforts to deal with domestic issues and greater wariness of the military situation in Iraq. At the same time, his potential Democratic rivals show little early appeal and the Democratic party has lost significant […]

Multi-section ReportsJanuary 11, 2001

Clinton Nostalgia Sets in, Bush Reaction Mixed

Introduction and Summary As the country awaits the formal transfer of presidential power, Bill Clinton has never looked better to the American public, while his successor George W. Bush is receiving initial reviews that are more mixed, though still positive. The president leaves office with 61% of the public approving of the way he is […]

PublicationsJanuary 26, 1999

Support for Clinton, But Not for Social Security Funds in Market

Introduction and Summary The American people had a mixed reaction to events in Washington last week. They continue to support Bill Clinton and all but ignore his Senate impeachment trial, which 88% describe as providing little that is new or interesting. But by a 52%-34% margin they also reject Clinton’s surprise proposal to put some […]

PublicationsDecember 14, 1998

Support for Clinton Unchanged By Judiciary Vote

Introduction and Summary Public support for the continuance of the Clinton presidency is unchanged by the deliberations and decisions of the House Judiciary Committee, but Americans appear unrattled by news of the President’s possible impeachment. Majorities say that their opinions about whether Bill Clinton should be removed from office were not swayed either by the […]

Multi-section ReportsNovember 13, 1998

Clinton Leadership Position Enhanced

Introduction and Summary In the wake of the congressional elections earlier this month, President Clinton’s job approval ratings inched upward, sentiment for impeachment remained low, and by almost a two-to-one margin Americans said that Clinton — not the Republican leaders in Congress — should now take the lead in solving the nation’s problems. This is […]

PublicationsNovember 1, 1998

Democrats Erase GOP Congressional Lead

Introduction and Summary A nationwide Pew Research Center survey finds voting intentions shifting significantly in favor of Democratic congressional candidates going into the final days of the 1998 midterm election campaign. For the first time this fall, the new survey shows likely voters equally divided between the two parties.1 In three previous surveys since late […]

CommentaryOctober 7, 1998

The Generic House Ballot and Committed Views on Clinton

Several September polls show Republicans with more support than Democrats among likely voters in House races nationwide. But Pew Research Center trend studies find no clear evidence that the White House sex scandal has Democratic voters any more dispirited about voting this fall than they were earlier in the year or in 1994, the last […]

PublicationsSeptember 23, 1998

Backlash Softens Clinton Slide

Introduction and Summary Televised release of President Clinton’s grand jury testimony is stemming a decline in his public support. Strong opposition to the release of the grand jury videotape and increased disapproval of Republican congressional leadership accompany the reversal of the trend against Clinton. However, on balance, those who viewed the testimony have a negative […]

PublicationsSeptember 17, 1998

Clinton Moral Authority Slips

Summary of Findings Phone Calls, Not Polls, May Sway Congress FINDING 1: The percentage of Americans saying President Clinton has the moral standing to lead the country fell in the wake of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr’s report, leaving the country divided: 48% of the public say yes; 43% say no. In late August, a solid […]

Multi-section ReportsSeptember 10, 1998

GOP Image Improves, But Congressional Race Remains Close

Introduction and Summary American voters divided their support for Republican and Democratic congressional candidates nearly equally in the weeks between President Clinton’s televised admission that he had an improper relationship with Monica Lewinsky and news of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr’s report to Congress on the matter. But with two months to go until the midterm […]

Multi-section ReportsAugust 27, 1998

It’s Still the Economy They Say

Introduction and Summary Americans credit a strong economy and, to a lesser extent, a good foreign policy as reasons why they approve of the president’s job performance, even though they increasingly dislike Bill Clinton personally. Further, strong public criticism of the way he has handled the Monica Lewinsky matter has failed to shake Clinton’s approval […]

PublicationsAugust 13, 1998

Lewinsky Testimony – A Yawn

Summary of Findings Monica Lewinsky’s testimony in the investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against Bill Clinton failed to spark any new interest in the scandal. Similarly, American attitudes toward the importance of the story or the merits of impeachment were unaffected by reports that she recanted her denial of a relationship with Clinton.

PublicationsAugust 4, 1998

Americans Unmoved by Prospect of Clinton, Lewinsky Testimony

Introduction and Summary Public interest in the White House sex scandal has not increased at all with the news that President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky will soon give grand jury testimony. Only 29% of Americans are following news of the controversy very closely, despite a torrent of media coverage. News interest is nearly identical to […]

Multi-section ReportsApril 3, 1998

Democratic Congressional Chances Helped by Clinton Ratings

Introduction and Summary President Clinton’s lofty performance ratings are benefiting the Democratic Party, which is now in a stronger position with American voters than it has been for some time. In contrast, continuing negative perceptions of Republican congressional leaders are hamstringing the image of their party. By the biggest margin of the decade, the public […]

Multi-section ReportsFebruary 6, 1998

Popular Policies and Unpopular Press Lift Clinton Ratings

Introduction and Summary A strong State of the Union address combined with public anger at the news media fueled President Clinton’s unexpected lift to a 71% approval rating — even as allegations of a White House sex scandal consumed Washington. When asked in a Pew Research Center re-interview survey why they had changed their minds […]

Multi-section ReportsAugust 15, 1997

When Washington Works, Incumbents Prosper

Introduction and Summary For the first time in a very long time, Americans are happy with the country’s course and it is beginning to pay dividends to the political establishment. Not only are Bill Clinton’s approval ratings approaching Reagan’s at a comparable point, but support for Congressional incumbents is at a decade high, and interest […]

PublicationsFebruary 28, 1997

Widespread Pessimism about Balanced Budget

Survey Findings Despite the new spirit of bipartisanship in Washington and the sense of optimism inside the beltway that a budget agreement may finally be at hand, the American public is extremely bearish about the prospects for a balanced budget. Just 28% believe President Clinton and the GOP Congressional leaders will be able to reach […]