CommentaryNovember 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. […]

Featured ReportNovember 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 […]

InteractivesNovember 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.

PublicationsNovember 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 […]

Featured ReportOctober 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 […]

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 […]

CommentarySeptember 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 […]

Featured ReportSeptember 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.

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. […]

CommentaryFebruary 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 […]

PublicationsJanuary 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 […]

Featured ReportDecember 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 […]

PublicationsOctober 6, 2011

Obama Motivates Supporters, Opponents in Early 2012 Matchups

Barack Obama is a leading driver of voter preferences in possible 2012 matchups, among both his supporters and opponents. Currently, Obama is running a close race in hypothetical matchups against Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. Against both GOP candidates, most of Obama’s supporters view their vote as a vote for the president, while most […]

PublicationsMarch 23, 2011

Obama Tests Well at Start of Reelection Run

Barack Obama currently fares as well against a generic opponent in the upcoming presidential election as George W. Bush did in April 2003, a time when Bush’s job approval rating was much higher than Obama’s is today. He also tests considerably better than Bill Clinton did in March 1995. Nearly half (47%) of registered […]

PublicationsOctober 31, 2010

GOP Likely to Recapture Control of House

Pew Research Center’s final 2010 pre-election survey finds the Republican Party continuing to hold a solid lead in preferences for Tuesday’s midterm election. The poll, conducted Oct. 27-30 among 2,373 registered voters, including 1,809 voters considered the most likely to vote, shows that 48% of likely voters say they will vote for the Republican […]

2010 Congressional ConnectionOctober 6, 2010

Possible Negatives for Candidates: Vote for Bank Bailout, Palin Support

In the upcoming midterm elections, two factors have emerged as major potential negatives for candidates: Fully 46% say they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who supported government loans to banks during the financial crisis two years ago, while nearly as many (42%) say they would be less likely to vote […]

CommentaryOctober 5, 2010

Democrats Struggle to Avoid Wipeout from Electoral Wave

PublicationsAugust 10, 2010

Republicans Faring Better with Men, Whites, Independents and Seniors

The Republican Party’s prospects for the midterm elections look much better than they did four years ago at this time, while the Democrats’ look much worse. Voter preferences for the upcoming congressional elections remain closely divided (45% support the Democratic candidate or lean Democratic, while 44% favor the Republican or lean Republican). In polling […]

2010 Congressional ConnectionAugust 2, 2010

Earmarks Could Help Candidates in Midterms; Palin and Tea Party Connections Could Hurt

In the congressional elections this fall, candidates with a record of bringing government projects and money to their districts may have an edge. A majority of Americans (53%) say they are more likely to vote for a candidate with a record of delivering earmarks for their districts; just 12% say they would be less […]

Multi-section ReportsJuly 1, 2010

Voting Intentions Even, Turnout Indicators Favor GOP

With four months to go before Election Day, voting intentions for the House remain closely divided, and neither party has gained or lost much ground over the course of 2010. However, Republicans are much more engaged in the coming election and more inclined to say they are certain to vote than are Democrats. This […]