Jan. 12, 2010

Blacks Upbeat about Black Progress, Prospects

Summary of Findings A comprehensive new survey of racial attitudes finds that a year after Barack Obama’s election, blacks’ assessments about the state of black progress in America have improved more dramatically than at any time in the last quarter century. The poll finds an upbeat set of black views on a wide range of […]

May. 21, 2009

Section 2: Views of Government and the Social Safety Net

The public takes a somewhat less cynical view of government today than it did in 2007. Americans are less likely to say that government is wasteful and inefficient (57%, compared with 62% in 2007) and more likely to believe that government is “really run for the benefit of all the people” (49%, compared with 45% […]

May. 21, 2009

Section 5: Social and Political Attitudes About Race

Just months after the nation’s first African American president took the oath of office, many Americans see a society making progress in its dealings with race. Still, deep racial and political divisions remain in assessments of the gravity of the problems and how best to address them. And in most cases, attitudes have not changed […]

May. 21, 2009

Section 8: Politics and Political Participation

The public continues to express considerable cynicism about politics and elected officials. More than three-quarters (76%) agree that “elected officials in Washington lose touch with the people pretty quickly.” More than half (51%) agree that “people like me don’t have any say about what the government does.” Overall public opinion about these questions has not […]

Jul. 10, 2008

Section 1: Campaign Interest and Engagement

If current levels of voter engagement and interest in the 2008 campaign are any measure, the 2008 election could have historically high levels of voter turnout. Fully 72% of registered voters say they have given “quite a lot of thought” to the coming presidential election. In June 2004, 58% expressed a comparable level of engagement, […]

Jan. 28, 2008

The South Carolina Democratic Primary in Black and White

The results in Saturday’s Democratic primary in South Carolina offer important evidence — if not yet answers — to three big questions in this campaign: Can Barack Obama solidify all segments of the black vote behind him? Can he be competitive among white voters, especially in the South? And can we trust pre-election polls in […]

Nov. 13, 2007

Blacks See Growing Values Gap Between Poor and Middle Class

Report Summary African Americans see a widening gulf between the values of middle class and poor blacks, and nearly four-in-ten say that because of the diversity within their community, blacks can no longer be thought of as a single race, a new Pew Research Center survey has found. The survey also finds blacks less upbeat […]

Aug. 30, 2007

Black Enthusiasm for Clinton and Obama Leaves Little Room for Edwards

The exceptionally strong support for both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama among black voters (and, for Clinton, among liberal Democratic and lower-income white voters as well), may help explain the relatively limited appeal of presidential hopeful John Edwards, whose populist platform has not translated so far into support from these key segments of the Democratic […]

Apr. 26, 2006

Attitudes Toward Immigration: In Black and White

The issue of immigration leaves many Americans deeply conflicted. But the social and economic cross-pressures may be greatest on African Americans, who express relatively positive opinions of immigrants even as they view them as competitors for scarce job opportunities. Read complete poll analysis at pewresearch.org

Oct. 31, 2005

The Black and White of Public Opinion

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, public opinion surveys as well as media reporting portrayed an America deeply divided along racial lines. In an early September Pew survey, for example, two-thirds of African Americans, but fewer than one-in-five whites, said that the government response would have been faster had most victims been white. This raises […]

Jan. 24, 2005

Politics and Values in a 51%-48% Nation

Summary of Findings This report is an excerpt from chapter one of the book Trends 2005, produced by the Pew Research Center. Public attitudes on national security are now much more strongly associated with partisan affiliation than they were in the late 1990s. A comprehensive study of long-term public values finds that beliefs about national […]

Nov. 5, 2003

Part 3: Foreign Policy, International Threats and Patriotism

The Sept. 11 terrorist attacks profoundly affected the way Americans view national security threats and their own sense of personal safety. But for the most part, the public’s views about global engagement and the role of military power have stayed fairly stable since the Center began its values surveys 16 years ago. The public is […]

Nov. 5, 2003

Part 4: Success, Poverty and Government Responsibility

Americans feel a strong sense of personal empowerment and have long valued the benefits of hard work. If anything, those sentiments are shared even more widely today than when the Center’s values surveys began in 1987. By more than two-to-one (67%-30%), the public rejects the idea that “Success in life is pretty much determined by […]

Nov. 5, 2003

Part 6: Cynicism, Trust and Participation

Americans have long had a cynical view of politics and politicians. But these attitudes are no more widespread today than before the overtime presidential election of 2000. In fact, on several measures, the public is considerably less negative toward politics now than in the mid-1990s, when anti-Washington hostility was rampant. And one important trend continues: […]

Jul. 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 […]

Mar. 20, 2002

Part 1: Religion in America

In the aftermath of Sept. 11, Americans viewed the country in a new light. Not only did broad measures of patriotism, confidence in government, and concern about the safety of friends and family rise, but the vast majority saw religion playing a significantly greater role in American life. In a mid-November Pew Research Center/Pew Forum […]

Mar. 21, 2001

More Important Findings

Split Over Mandatory Sentences Clearly, the public is conflicted on many aspects of the drug war. While most think of drug use as a disease, there is relatively little support for drug treatment programs; just over a third think drug treatment would be a very effective means of reducing drug addiction. These divisions carry over […]

Jun. 11, 2000

Section IV: Attitudes Toward the News

The decline in the number of Americans who say they enjoy the news is a continuation of a long-term trend. In 1995, a majority (54%) said they enjoyed keeping up with the news a lot. That number fell to 50% in 1998 and 45% this year. While Americans remain generally satisfied with the quality of […]

Nov. 11, 1999

Section 4: The 2000 Elections

The campaign for the 2000 elections presents both parties with substantial political challenges. In the presidential race, the two Democratic candidates continue to lag behind GOP frontrunner George W. Bush. Vice President Al Gore, in particular, is struggling with an image problem — while most Americans see him as trustworthy, likable and caring, only one-third […]

Nov. 11, 1999

Section 2: Values

Cynicism Waning Americans are less cynical about politics than they were five years ago. More people now say that they can influence the political process, and fewer people see their elected officials as inattentive to their needs. Almost three-quarters (73%) agree that voting gives them some say in how the government runs things ­ a […]