Aug. 25, 2011

Section 4: Anger and Distrust in Government

When asked to describe their feelings about the federal government, 86% say either that they are frustrated (60%) or angry (26%). Just 11% say they are basically content with the federal government, by far the lowest percentage in a measure that dates to 1997. The share of Americans who describe themselves as angry with the […]

May. 26, 2011

’Staunch Conservatives’ Are Wary of Wall Street

Nearly three years after the financial crisis that sent the nation’s economy into a tailspin, the public expresses mixed views of Wall Street. Nearly half of Americans (47%) say that Wall Street hurts the U.S. economy more than it helps, while 38% say it helps more than hurts; 15% offer no opinion. These findings, from […]

May. 4, 2011

Section 2: Value Divides Within Party Coalitions

The new political typology provides further evidence of deep and enduring partisan divisions over political attitudes and preferences. Yet an analysis of the typology groups’ fundamental political values also shows significant cleavages within both parties’ core groups and their broader coalitions over attitudes toward business, immigration, religion, the environment and other issues. Looking at the […]

Feb. 17, 2011

Labor Unions Seen as Good for Workers, Not U.S. Competitiveness

The favorability ratings for labor unions remain at nearly their lowest level in a quarter century with 45% expressing a positive view. Yet the public expresses similar opinions about business corporations – 47% have a favorable impression – and this rating is also near a historic low. Americans express mixed views of the impact […]

Apr. 18, 2010

Section 3: Government Challenges, Views of Institutions

While the public is highly critical of government, there is a widespread acknowledgement that government faces more daunting problems today than it did in the past. The public also puts some blame on itself: Most say Americans are unwilling to pay for the things they want government to do. For the most part, people do […]

May. 21, 2009

Section 3: Business, Wall Street and Labor

Over the past few years, the country has suffered through a devastating decline in the housing market, a stock market crash, and spiraling unemployment. Yet the public’s fundamental attitudes about business have changed very little. As in past values surveys, most Americans link the country’s strength to the success of business, yet consistent majorities also […]

Oct. 15, 2008

Section 3: Public Attitudes Toward Government and Business

The findings of two long-term values questions exemplify the public’s nuanced, but fundamentally positive, outlook on the country’s ability to weather the financial crisis. When asked whether there are “no real limits to growth in this country” or whether “people should learn to live with less” the public has shifted decidedly toward the latter. The […]

May. 14, 2008

Federal Government’s Favorable Ratings Slump

Summary of Findings Americans continue to hold their local and state governments in fairly high esteem, but positive views of the federal government are at their lowest point in at least a decade. Only 37% of people say they hold a favorable view of the federal government, while 58% express an unfavorable opinion. By comparison, […]

Dec. 15, 2005

Wal-Mart a Good Place to Shop But Some Critics Too

Summary of Findings As shoppers flock to the stores for holiday gifts, some express mixed feelings about the nation’s largest retailer. Nearly every American lives near enough a Wal-Mart to shop there, and 84% say they have done so in the past year. Praise for the retailer’s low prices, wide selection and convenience flow freely, […]

Oct. 25, 2005

Public Sours on Government and Business

Summary of Findings Americans express increasingly negative views of a wide range major institutions, reflecting strong discontent with national conditions. Over the past year, ratings have tumbled for the federal government and Congress. And it is not just Washington institutions that are being viewed less positively. Favorable opinions of business corporations are at their lowest […]

Nov. 5, 2003

Part 7: Business, Government, Regulation and Labor

The public has long had conflicted attitudes toward the nation’s corporations. There is broad agreement that America’s strength is largely attributable to the success of business. Yet most people also believe corporations are too powerful and more interested in making a profit than in serving the public interest. These attitudes also have remained fairly stable […]

Nov. 5, 2003

The 2004 Political Landscape

Over the past four years, the American electorate has been dealt a series of body blows, each capable of altering the political landscape. The voting system broke down in a presidential election. A booming economy faltered, punctuated by revelations of one of the worst business scandals in U.S. history. And the country endured a […]

Jul. 14, 2002

Increasingly, It’s the Economy That Scares Us

by Andrew Kohut for The New York Times

Jun. 27, 2002

Other Important Findings and Analysis

No Partisan Advantage The two parties continue to run neck and neck in the generic congressional ballot. Overall, 46% of registered voters support or lean toward the Democratic candidate in their district, while 44% favor the Republican. This reflects virtually unanimous support from partisans (93% of Republicans plan to vote Republican, 91% of Democrats plan […]

Feb. 21, 2002

Other Important Findings

Business Views Change Little Interest in the Enron case has been steadily increasing over the past two months, outpacing other news stories such as the Winter Olympics and the congressional debate over the budget and taxes. Currently, 28% say they are following the investigation into the Enron bankruptcy very closely, up from 19% in mid-January, […]

Jul. 24, 2001

Other Important Findings and Analyses

High Marks for Political Institutions The public has generally high regard for major governmental institutions – even those, like the Supreme Court and FBI – that have recently been dogged by controversy. As in the past, the U.S. military is widely popular, with better than eight-in-ten rating it favorably. Seven-in-ten have a positive impression of […]

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 […]

Jul. 8, 1992

Campaign ’92: Survey VIII

Report Summary On the eve of the national political conventions the American electorate is composed of three generations that are likely to play vastly different roles in the coming election. Americans over 50 may be the first generation of older people in modern history to spearhead a political revolution, and middle-aged people, clustered in the […]