PublicationsOctober 10, 2012

Biden Viewed Unfavorably, Divided Opinions about Ryan

Ahead of Thursday’s vice presidential debate, more voters view Joe Biden unfavorably than favorably, while opinions about Paul Ryan are more evenly divided. Biden’s image is far less positive than it was shortly before his 2008 debate with Sarah Palin; Ryan is viewed less favorably than Palin was just prior to the last vice-presidential […]

Featured ReportOctober 8, 2012

Romney’s Strong Debate Performance Erases Obama’s Lead

2012 Election Voter Preference Trends Track voter preferences for Obama vs. Romney overall and by demographic group among registered voters. Mitt Romney no longer trails Barack Obama in the Pew Research Center’s presidential election polling. By about three-to-one, voters say Romney did a better job than Obama in the Oct. 3 debate, and the […]

Pew Research/Washington Post SurveysSeptember 24, 2012

Fewer Satisfied with Candidates than in Any Campaign Since 1992

Approaching the first presidential debate, voters offer tepid ratings of the 2012 field. Just over half (54%) say they are either very or fairly satisfied with the presidential choices this year, while 40% say they are not too or not at all satisfied. The percentage expressing satisfaction with the candidates is now lower than it […]

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 […]

Featured ReportAugust 2, 2012

Romney’s Personal Image Remains Negative

2012 Election Voter Preference Trends Track voter preferences for Obama vs. Romney overall and by demographic group. By a 52% to 37% margin, more voters say they have an unfavorable than favorable view of Mitt Romney. The poll, conducted prior to Romney’s recent overseas trip, represents the sixth consecutive survey over the past nine […]

Featured ReportJune 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 […]

Pew Research/Washington Post SurveysMarch 22, 2012

Top One-Word Reactions to GOP Candidates

When Americans are asked what one word comes to mind when thinking about Mitt Romney, no single term stands out. The most frequent responses are “no” or “no way,” and “rich.” That represents a shift from October and December 2011. In both of those surveys, far more mentioned the Republican presidential candidate’s Mormon faith than […]

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. […]

Featured ReportMarch 5, 2012

GOP Race Is Rallying Democrats

The Republican nomination battle is rallying Democrats behind Barack Obama. Currently, 49% of Democrats say that as they learn more about the GOP candidates, their impression of Obama is getting better. Just 36% of Democrats expressed this view in December, before the Republican primaries began. In contrast, there has been virtually no change in Republicans’ […]

PublicationsJanuary 18, 2012

Unpopular Nationally, Romney Holds Solid GOP Lead

Days ahead of the South Carolina primary, Mitt Romney maintains a substantial lead nationally in the race for the GOP nomination. Yet his image among all voters has slipped since November and he runs no better in a general election matchup with Barack Obama than he did then, despite his advantage as the “electable” […]

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 […]

PublicationsOctober 6, 2008

Post-Debate: Palin Still Seen as Unqualified, a Bump for Biden

While last week’s vice-presidential debate had a larger audience than any other in history, voters’ impressions of Sarah Palin have changed little. A special re-interview this weekend of voters who had been first polled a week ago found that most (55%) continue to have a favorable view of Palin, but most (52%) also still […]

PublicationsOctober 1, 2008

Obama Boosts Leadership Image and Regains Lead Over McCain

Barack Obama has achieved a significant lead over John McCain in the days following the first presidential debate. Pew’s new survey conducted Sept. 27-29 finds that Obama has moved to a 49% to 42% advantage among registered voters. The race was virtually even in mid-September and early August. Obama had not led McCain by […]

Multi-section ReportsMay 29, 2008

McCain’s Negatives Mostly Political, Obama’s More Personal

As the end of the primary season draws near, Barack Obama is the clear favorite of Democratic voters for their party’s presidential nomination. He currently holds a wide 54% to 41% lead over Hillary Clinton. But when the Illinois Democrat is tested against John McCain in a general election matchup, he now runs about […]

CommentaryMay 8, 2008

The Widening Gap

The phrase “generation gap” came into vogue in the 1960s as a way of describing the wide gulf in values, beliefs and lifestyles that emerged between baby boomers and their parents and grandparents. Indeed, this difference between younger and older people played out sometimes turbulently in the ’60s in virtually all aspects of life, including […]

PublicationsFebruary 3, 2008

McCain’s Support Soars, Democratic Race Tightens

Summary of Findings Barack Obama and John McCain have made significant gains in support as the field of candidates has narrowed in both parties. John McCain now leads 42%-22% over Mitt Romney among Republican voters nationally. Support for McCain is up 13 points since mid-January, and he currently draws about twice as much support as […]

PublicationsJanuary 16, 2008

In GOP Primaries: Three Victors, Three Constituencies

Summary of Findings The Republican nomination contest is being increasingly shaped by ideology and religion as it moves toward the Super Tuesday states on Feb. 5. John McCain has moved out to a solid lead nationally, increasing his support among Republican and GOP-leaning voters from 22% in late December to 29% currently. Mike Huckabee, at […]

CommentaryNovember 19, 2007

The View from the Other Side

Even though nearly all voters with a partisan leaning intend to vote in their own party’s primaries or caucuses, many do have opinions about the candidates running in the other party’s contests. Hillary Clinton’s unpopularity among Republicans is abundantly clear. Just 11% of Republican voters say they would like to see Clinton win the Democratic […]

PublicationsSeptember 6, 2007

Clinton and Giuliani Seen as Not Highly Religious; Romney’s Religion Raises Concerns

Summary of Findings So far religion is not proving to be a clear-cut positive in the 2008 presidential campaign. The candidates viewed by voters as the least religious among the leading contenders are the current frontrunners for the Democratic and Republican nominations — Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani, respectively. On the other hand, the candidate […]

CommentaryAugust 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 […]