Nov. 13, 2012

Broad Concern about ’Fiscal Cliff’ Consequences

As the president and congressional leaders begin negotiations to avoid the “fiscal cliff” deadline at the end of the year, there is widespread public concern about the possible financial consequences. More say the automatic spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to take effect in January would have a major effect on the U.S. economy […]

Jul. 12, 2012

Section 3: Perceptions of Economic News

The public’s perceptions of the tone of news about the economy have changed little over the past month, but are far more negative than they were earlier this year. Currently, 55% say they have been hearing a mix of good and bad news about the economy these days, while 40% say the news has been […]

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. 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 4: Views of the National Economy

Amid a tepid economic recovery, evaluations of national economic conditions remain broadly negative. And the percentage expecting conditions to improve over the next year has fallen, after reaching a recent high in March. Meanwhile, opinions about the government’s economic policy priorities remain deadlocked: 48% place higher priority on spending to help the economy recover while […]

Mar. 14, 2012

Section 5: Views of the National Economy

Perceptions of economic news have improved sharply since last summer, a time many feared the nation could be slipping back into recession. However, opinions about national economic conditions remain overwhelmingly negative. The percentage saying they are hearing mostly bad news about the economy has fallen from 67% last summer to 24% in the current survey. […]

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. 16, 2012

Public More Optimistic about Economy, But Concerns Persist

Optimism about the national economy, which sagged in 2011, has rebounded in the first two months of this year. Currently, 44% say they expect economic conditions to be better a year from now, up from 34% last month and 28% in December. Moreover, 54% say either that the economy is already recovering (25%) or […]

Jan. 19, 2012

Section 3: Views of Economic Conditions

From the public’s perspective, the economic news over the past year has been particular volatile. As recently as August, the Pew Research Center’s News Interest Index surveys found 67% saying they were hearing “mostly bad news” about the economy.  But the latest update earlier this month found only 30% saying the economic reports they were […]

Dec. 20, 2011

In 2007, Mood Just Beginning to Sour, Democrats Better Regarded

Four years ago, as voters were about to cast the first ballots in the 2008 election, the public’s mood was not very good, but still a lot better than it is today. In late 2007, the economic recession was gaining strength and the public’s view of the economy had grown more negative. Only about a […]

Dec. 15, 2011

Frustration with Congress Could Hurt Republican Incumbents

Public discontent with Congress has reached record levels, and the implications for incumbents in next year’s elections could be stark. Two-in-three voters say most members of Congress should be voted out of office in 2012 – the highest on record. And the number who say their own member should be replaced matches the all-time […]

Dec. 15, 2011

Section 3: Views of National Economy, Major Economic Threats

The vast majority of Americans rate U.S. economic conditions as only fair (38%) or poor (53%) and most expect more of the same – or worse – over the course of the next year. Half (50%) expect the economy to be unchanged a year from now, while 18% expect things to get worse. Just 28% […]

Aug. 25, 2011

Section 5: Economic Ratings and Priorities

Just 7% of Americans say the U.S. economy is in excellent (1%) or good (6%) shape, while 93% say economic conditions are only fair (37%) or poor (56%). Poor ratings of the economy have jumped 10 points from June. At the same time, about two-thirds of Americans (68%) do not expect the economy to improve […]

Jun. 23, 2011

Section 1: Views of National Economy

Amid persistent unemployment and slow economic growth, the public continues to take a very negative view of current national economic conditions. Just 8% call economic conditions excellent or good, while an overwhelming majority (91%) says things are either only fair (45%) or poor (46%). Economic ratings have been consistently downbeat for more than three years […]

Jun. 23, 2011

Pessimism About National Economy Rises, Personal Financial Views Hold Steady

With a growing number of Americans saying they have been hearing “mostly bad” economic news, opinions about the current state of the national economy remain grim. Positive expectations regarding future economic conditions, which remained high even during the depths of the recession, have declined and now stand at their lowest point since mid-2008. Yet […]

Apr. 7, 2011

Section 2: National Economy, Personal Finances

The public’s views of the national economy began to move in a less negative direction late last year. The proportion rating the national economy as poor fell from 54% in October to 45% in December. That trend continued through February, when 42% said economic conditions were poor. But in the new survey, the number saying […]

Apr. 7, 2011

Economic Views Sag, Obama Rating Slips

With the public growing more anxious about the economy and concerned about overseas commitments, Barack Obama’s job rating has edged lower. About as many now approve (47%) as disapprove (45%) of the way Obama is handling his job as president. In March, opinions about Obama’s job performance were more positive; 51% approved of his job […]

Mar. 16, 2011

Republicans Are Losing Ground on the Deficit, But Obama’s Not Gaining

As the budget debate moves into a crucial phase, far fewer Americans say that Republicans in Congress have the better approach to the budget deficit than did so in November, shortly after the GOP’s sweeping election victories. The GOP has lost ground on the deficit among political independents and, surprisingly, among key elements of […]

Feb. 10, 2011

Fewer Want Spending to Grow, But Most Cuts Remain Unpopular

The public’s views about federal spending are beginning to change. Across a range of federal programs, Americans are no longer calling for increased spending, as they have for many years. For the most part, however, there is not a great deal of support for cutting spending, though in a few cases support for reductions has […]

Feb. 10, 2011

Section 2: National Economy, Personal Finances

The public’s views of national economic conditions are broadly negative. Nearly nine-in-ten call conditions either only fair (45%) or poor (42%), and just 12% describe them as excellent or good. While negative on balance, national economic ratings have shown modest signs of improvement. A year ago, 53% rated economic conditions as poor. The percentage saying […]