Nov. 26, 2012

Young Voters Supported Obama Less, But May Have Mattered More

In winning reelection, Barack Obama won 60% of the vote among those younger than 30. That was down somewhat from 2008, when Obama won nearly two-thirds (66%) of the votes of young people. However, Obama’s youth support may have been an even more important factor in his victory this year than it was in 2008. […]

Nov. 15, 2012

Low Marks for the 2012 Election

The 2012 presidential campaign was a frustrating experience for many voters, who say the campaign was more negative than usual and had less discussion of issues than in most previous campaigns. Both Obama and Romney get mixed grades for the job they did reaching out to voters, as do campaign consultants, the press and […]

Nov. 15, 2012

Section 1: Campaign Report Card

Voters give mixed reviews of the way the candidates and the parties handled the campaign this year. Of voters who rated Obama, 58% give him a grade of A or B for the way he conducted himself in the campaign. That is far lower than the 76% who gave Obama equivalent grades four years ago, […]

Nov. 4, 2012

Graphic: The Final Days of Campaign 2012

Obama and Romney have switched places in poll results over the final two months of the campaign. This chart tracks likely voters, based on national polls conducted by Pew Research Center. Read Pew Research’s final estimate for Election Day, which allocates a portion of the undecided voters to each candidate here.

Nov. 4, 2012

Obama Gains Edge in Campaign’s Final Days

Barack Obama has edged ahead of Mitt Romney in the final days of the presidential campaign. In the Pew Research Center’s election weekend survey, Obama holds a 48% to 45% lead over Romney among likely voters. The survey finds that Obama maintains his modest lead when the probable decisions of undecided voters are taken […]

Oct. 29, 2012

Presidential Race Dead Even; Romney Maintains Turnout Edge

As the presidential campaign enters its final week, Barack Obama has failed to regain much of the support he lost in the days following the first presidential debate and the race is now even among likely voters: 47% favor Obama while an identical percentage supports Mitt Romney. The latest national survey by the Pew […]

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. 28, 2012

Youth Engagement Falls; Registration Also Declines

Young voters are significantly less engaged in this year’s election than at a comparable point in 2008 and now lag far behind older voters in interest in the campaign and intention to vote. The share of voters younger than 30 who are following campaign news very closely is roughly half what it was at this […]

Sep. 19, 2012

Section 1: The Obama-Romney Matchup

The current preferences among voter groups are strikingly similar to those seen on Election Day four years ago. Barack Obama generally leads Mitt Romney among the same groups that favored him in 2008, and he trails among the groups that supported Republican John McCain. Obama’s greatest support is found among African American registered voters, who […]

Sep. 19, 2012

Obama Ahead with Stronger Support, Better Image and Lead on Most Issues

At this stage in the campaign, Barack Obama is in a strong position compared with past victorious presidential candidates. With an eight-point lead over Mitt Romney among likely voters, Obama holds a bigger September lead than the last three candidates who went on to win in November, including Obama four years ago.

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 2: Assessing Obama and Romney’s Support

  All indications suggest that the 2012 vote will be a very close one. Barack Obama has never trailed Romney in head-to-head matchups with Romney over the past nine months. Obama currently holds a four-point advantage (50% to 46%) among all registered voters, which is not statistically significant. And if the higher engagement and interest […]

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 […]

Apr. 17, 2012

Section 1: General Election Preferences

As the general election campaign gets underway, Obama’s slim 49% to 45% edge over Mitt Romney is based on his continued support among women, college graduates, blacks, Latinos and lower-income voters. Obama leads Romney by 13 points among women, which is identical to his victory margin over McCain among women four years ago, according to […]

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. […]

Feb. 27, 2012

Public Views of the Divide between Religion and Politics

Recent comments by presidential candidate Rick Santorum have brought renewed attention to the role of religion in politics. In both 2010 and 2008, narrow majorities said that churches and other houses of worship should keep out of political matters rather than express their views on social and political questions, according to polls by the Pew […]

Jan. 9, 2012

GOP Voters Still Unenthused About Presidential Field

On the eve of the New Hampshire primary, Republican voters continue to express mixed views of the party’s presidential field. Roughly half (51%) of Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters say the candidates are excellent or good, while 44% say they are only fair or poor. The percentage expressing positive views of the GOP presidential […]

Dec. 13, 2011

Gingrich Leads, But Likely GOP Primary Voters Have Not Ruled Out Romney

Newt Gingrich holds a substantial 35% to 21% lead over Mitt Romney among Republican and Republican-leaning independent voters who say they are very likely to vote in the GOP primaries or caucuses. But clear majorities say there is at least a chance they would vote for either Gingrich or Romney in Republican primaries in […]