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 […]

Jun. 4, 2012

Section 3: Values About Economic Inequality and Individual Opportunity

The public has long believed there is a growing financial divide between the rich and poor in this country. On a basic measure of inequality, a substantial majority continues to agree that “today it’s really true that the rich just get richer while the poor get poorer.” Moreover, more Americans see a greater divergence in […]

Jun. 4, 2012

Partisan Polarization Surges in Bush, Obama Years

As Americans head to the polls this November, their values and basic beliefs are more polarized along partisan lines than at any point in the past 25 years. Unlike in 1987, when this series of surveys began, the values gap between Republicans and Democrats is now greater than gender, age, race or class divides. […]

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. […]

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. 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 2: Views of Personal Finances

More than a quarter of Americans say that in the past year they have had trouble getting or paying for medical care (29%) or paying their rent or mortgage (26%); another 16% say they have been laid off in the past year. Overall, 44% report experiencing at least one of these three problems, about the […]

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 […]

May. 11, 2011

Bush Lost Battle Over the Surplus, But Won Tax Cut War

A decade ago, Washington grappled with a problem that seems unreal in today’s economic climate – what to do with the budget surplus? In 2000, George W. Bush had campaigned on a pledge to return part of the surplus to taxpayers in the form of an across-the-board tax cut. Bush’s opponent, Al Gore, countered with […]

May. 4, 2011

Section 4: The Recession, Economic Stress and Optimism

The Great Recession has had a major impact on certain segments of the political typology. The varying levels of financial stress that different groups face play a role in shaping their views on issues and policy debates. Beyond the recession’s tangible impact, there are differences in the economic outlook of different segments of the electorate. […]

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 […]

Dec. 15, 2010

Section 2: National Economy, Personal Finances, Real Estate

The public continues to take a dour view of the nation’s economy. Nearly nine-in-ten (89%) describe economic conditions in this country today as poor (45%) or only fair (44%). Just 9% say conditions are excellent (1%) or good (8%). The percentage saying the economy is excellent or good has remained virtually unchanged since Obama took […]

Jun. 22, 2010

Section 2: The Nation, The Economy and Social Trends

Most Americans are optimistic about their own lives and the future of the United States over the next 40 years. But there are clouds on the horizon. Most expect the average family’s standard of living will not improve by 2050 and there is a widespread belief that economic inequality will increase. More than six-in-ten (64%) […]

Apr. 28, 2010

Section 2: The National Economy and Economic Policies

Though many experts say the nation’s troubled economy is showing signs of recovery, much of the public does not see it. Close to nine-in-ten rate economic conditions today as either poor (49%) or only fair (39%), numbers that have changed little since last June. A majority does not expect an imminent turnaround: more than a […]

Mar. 18, 2010

Section 4: National Economy and Personal Finances

Americans continue to offer negative views of the national economy. A majority (53%) of the public says economic conditions are poor and 39% say conditions are only fair. Only 7% rate the economy as excellent or good. Ratings of the national economy have remained very low for about two years. But far fewer say that […]

Dec. 16, 2009

Mixed Views of Obama at Year’s End

Public opinion about President Barack Obama and his major polices continues to be divided as the year comes to a close. His overall approval rating is 49%, which is largely unchanged from November (51%). However, the percentage expressing at least a fair amount of confidence in Obama to do the right thing when it […]

Oct. 8, 2009

Section 4: Economic Perceptions

Americans continue to rate national economic conditions and their own personal financial situation quite negatively, but many still say they expect things to improve in the next year. Jobs remain at the top of people’s economic concerns and are largely seen as difficult to find. In the midst of these rather bleak ratings, much of […]