Nov. 15, 2012

Section 2: Expectations for Washington, Obama’s Post-Election Image

Most voters want President Obama and Republican leaders in Congress to work together in the coming year. Two-thirds (67%) say that GOP leaders in Washington should try as best they can to work with Obama to accomplish things, even if it means disappointing some groups of Republican supporters. Just 26% say they should stand up […]

Oct. 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 […]

Oct. 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 […]

Sep. 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 […]

Sep. 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 […]

Aug. 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 […]

Jun. 21, 2012

Section 1: Campaign Interest and Engagement

Voter engagement in this year’s presidential election is lower than in 2008, but on par with, or higher than, levels at a similar point in the previous four election cycles. Two-thirds (67%) of registered voters say they are giving quite a lot of thought to the election. This is down somewhat from 2008 (72%), but […]

Jun. 21, 2012

Section 3: Candidate Traits and Images

Barack Obama holds a distinct edge over Mitt Romney on several personal traits, particularly when it comes to connecting with ordinary Americans. By about two-to-one, voters are more likely to say the phrase “connects well with ordinary Americans” better describes Obama (59%) than Romney (28%). Obama holds a wide lead as the candidate more willing […]

Jun. 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 […]

Mar. 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 […]

Mar. 14, 2012

Section 2: The General Election

With rising job approval and favorability ratings, Barack Obama also holds a growing advantage in voter preferences as they look toward November. Among registered voters, he currently leads Mitt Romney by 12 points and Rick Santorum by 18 points. The difference between Romney and Santorum at the head of the GOP ticket mainly affects independents. […]

Mar. 14, 2012

Section 1: The GOP Primary

Mitt Romney has regained the lead in the support for his party’s presidential nomination, as conservative backing for Rick Santorum has declined. Romney currently holds a 33% to 24% lead over Santorum among registered Republican and Republican-leaning independent voters, with 20% backing Newt Gingrich and 14% favoring Ron Paul. In mid-February, Santorum was tied with […]

Mar. 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. […]

Mar. 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’ […]

Jan. 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” […]

Nov. 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 […]

Nov. 17, 2011

Section 2: Views of Obama and Congressional Leaders

A year out from the 2012 election, as many Americans approve of the job Obama is doing as president (46%) as disapprove (46%). This marks a modest improvement from August and October when slightly more disapproved than approved of Obama’s job performance. Obama continues to enjoy the support of young people and non-whites: Majorities of […]

Oct. 21, 2008

Section 2: Candidate Traits

The favorability ratings for both candidates on the GOP ticket have declined over the past month. By contrast, both Barack Obama and Joe Biden are now viewed more favorably than they were in mid-September. Currently, 54% of voters say they have a favorable opinion of McCain, while 42% have an unfavorable opinion. In mid-September (Sept. […]

Oct. 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 […]

Oct. 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 […]