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 […]

Jul. 12, 2012

Section 1: The 2012 Race, Issue Strengths, Views of the Parties

The general election contest between Obama and Romney has changed little over the past few months. Currently, 50% of registered voters support Obama or lean more toward him, while 43% back Romney or lean toward him. In June (June 7-17), Obama held a slight four-point edge (50% to 46%) and in May, Obama led 49% […]

Jun. 4, 2012

Section 9: Trends in Party Affiliation

The number of political independents has continued to grow, as both parties have lost ground among the public. Based on surveys conducted this year, 38% describe themselves as independents, up from 32% in 2008 and 30% in 2004. The proportion of independents is now higher than at any point in more than two decades. Looking […]

Mar. 14, 2012

Section 4: Views of the Parties

The Democratic Party’s image has improved in recent months while impressions of the Republican Party have remained negative. The public also views the Democratic Party as better able to deal with the nation’s energy problems and Medicare. Despite offering a mixed assessment of the health care legislation passed in 2010, the public has more confidence […]

Sep. 12, 2011

More Now See GOP as Very Conservative

Though voters’ views of the ideologies of the political parties have shifted little since the summer of 2010, an increasing number see the Republican Party as very conservative, while slightly fewer see the Democratic Party as very liberal. In 2010, somewhat more, on balance, viewed the Democratic Party as very liberal than said the […]

Aug. 30, 2011

Section 5: Political Opinions and Social Values

Compared with the general public, fewer Muslim Americans say they are politically conservative, and a greater number say they prefer a bigger government that provides more services. Muslim Americans align strongly with the Democratic Party and voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama in the 2008 election. On social issues, Muslim Americans are less accepting of homosexuality […]

Aug. 25, 2011

Section 3: Congress, the Political Parties and the Tea Party

Just a quarter of Americans (25%) say they have a favorable opinion of Congress, while 70% have an unfavorable view. This is among the lowest favorable ratings for Congress in more than two decades of Pew Research Center surveys. The number expressing a favorable opinion of Congress has fallen by nine points since March (from […]

Apr. 7, 2011

Section 3: Views of the Political Parties

The Republican Party now leads the Democrats by 12 points as the party better able to reduce the federal budget deficit: 46% say the GOP could do better compared with 34% who prefer the Democrats. A year ago, the two parties were rated about evenly on reducing the deficit (38% Republicans, 35% Democrats). On most […]

Nov. 11, 2010

Section 2: Views of the Parties, Prospects for Compromise

In the wake of the election, Republicans are taking a more positive view of the job their party is doing in advocating its traditional positions. Currently, 40% of Republicans and Republican leaners say the GOP is doing an excellent or good job standing up for its traditional positions on issues like reducing the size of […]

Oct. 21, 2010

Section 3: Likely Voters’ Views of Parties, Obama

The public offers mixed views of which party can better handle major issues. The Republican Party is favored on terrorism, immigration and the deficit, while the Democrats lead on energy and health care. The two parties are rated about even on improving the job situation. However, the GOP’s advantage on issues increases among registered voters, […]

Jul. 16, 2010

Voters Rate the Parties’ Ideologies

Summary of Findings In broad terms, voters view the Democratic Party’s ideology as the opposite of the Republican Party’s: 58% say the Democratic Party is either very liberal or liberal while 56% say the GOP is either very conservative or conservative. However, more voters view the Democratic Party as very liberal than see the Republican […]

Jul. 1, 2010

Section 2: Views Of The Parties And Their Leaders

With the 2010 midterm elections approaching, the public remains highly critical of the leaders of both political parties in Congress. Just more than a third (35%) approve of Democratic leaders’ performance, while 53% disapprove. Approval of Democratic leaders has fallen 13 points since February 2009. GOP congressional leaders receive comparable ratings. Just 31% approve of […]

Feb. 12, 2010

Section 3: Views of the Parties

Democrats Lose Favorability Edge The favorability advantage the Democratic Party has held over the Republican Party has disappeared over the past year. Currently, 48% of Americans offer a favorable assessment of the Democratic Party, while 46% view the GOP favorably. This reflects a combination of a steep decline in the Democratic Party’s image over the […]

Jan. 14, 2010

Section 4: Congress and Politics

As 2010 begins, Americans are divided about whether they are more likely to vote for the Democratic or Republican candidate in the midterm congressional elections in November. The public gives relatively poor ratings to the leaders of both parties in Congress and only one-quarter say Obama and GOP leaders in Congress are working together to […]

Dec. 1, 2009

GOP Seen as Friendlier to Religion than Democrats

More Americans continue to view the Republican Party as friendly toward religion (48%) than rate the Democratic Party that way (29%). President Barack Obama’s administration, however, is seen as friendly toward religion by more people (37%) than the Democratic Party as a whole. And all three get higher ratings for friendliness toward religion than […]

Sep. 2, 2009

Congressional Favorability at 24-Year Low

Americans are extremely displeased with Congress, and there are already some signs that this could take a toll on the Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections. Currently, 37% express a favorable opinion of Congress, while 52% hold an unfavorable view. Positive opinions of Congress have declined by 13 points since April and are now […]

Aug. 19, 2009

More See White House and GOP Leaders at Odds

Americans are in an increasingly sour mood about Washington. Barack Obama’s approval ratings continue to inch downward and a growing proportion of Americans (63%) think that the president and Republican leaders are not working together to deal with important issues facing the nation; in June, 50% said the two sides were not cooperating. While […]

May. 21, 2009

Section 1: Party Affiliation and Composition

The Republican Party is in the weakest position it has been in two decades of Pew Research Center polling. Interviews with more than 7,000 respondents nationwide so far this year found just 23% identifying themselves as Republicans. This is down from 25% in 2008 and 30% as recently as 2004. In total, the GOP has […]

Nov. 13, 2008

Section 3: A New Political Landscape

As Democrats look forward to a president from their party and expanded majorities in Congress, they are optimistic about the coming years. Most foresee a decrease in partisanship in Washington and say that their party’s leaders should try to work with Republican leaders to get things done, even if it means disappointing some groups of […]

Oct. 31, 2008

Democrats Post Gains in Affiliation Across Age Cohorts