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. 29, 2012

The Gender Gap: Three Decades Old, as Wide as Ever

The gender gap in presidential politics is not new. Democratic candidates have gotten more support from women than men for more than 30 years. Even so, Barack Obama’s advantages among women voters over his GOP rivals are striking. In the Pew Research Center’s most recent national survey, conducted March 7-11, Obama led Mitt Romney by […]

Jun. 2, 2011

Section 2: Candidate Traits and Experience

Military service and past experience as a governor or a business executive are seen as positive traits for a presidential candidate. About half (49%) say they would be more likely to support a candidate who has served in the military, 37% would be more likely to support a candidate who has been a governor, and […]

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%) […]

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 […]

Oct. 21, 2008

Section 3: Issues and Priorities

Obama Improves on Key Issues Barack Obama has improved his standing at least slightly since mid-September over John McCain on virtually every domestic and foreign policy issue. When voters were asked which candidate would do the best job handling various concerns, Obama boosted his advantage on domestic issues and cut into McCain’s lead elsewhere. For […]

Sep. 18, 2008

Section 1: The Obama-McCain Matchup

In spite of the huge television audiences for both political conventions and the strongly positive initial public reaction to the selection of Sarah Palin as the Republican vice presidential nominee, the electorate in September divides along most of the same demographic lines as it did prior to the conventions – and very much along the […]

Jul. 17, 2008

Should Women Worry Obama?

May. 29, 2008

Section 4: Race and Gender in the Democratic Primary

While race and gender have been the focus of a good deal of discussion through the course of the 2008 Democratic primary campaign, most voters believe that neither was a significant factor in the success or failure of the Obama and Clinton candidacies. And among those who believe race and gender were factors, somewhat more […]

Feb. 8, 2008

Patterns of Distinction

In terms of the numbers, Super Tuesday was as much a national election as it was the sum of individual contests in 24 states. While significant variations emerged in voting patterns from state to state, similarities outweighed differences. In both political parties, distinct patterns shaped the outcomes from coast to coast, and they provide some […]

Jan. 18, 2008

Mind the Gender Gap

A lot of attention has been paid to the women’s vote in the first two Democratic nominating contests. In the Iowa caucuses, Barack Obama won a narrow victory over Hillary Clinton among female voters. But in New Hampshire women rallied to the former first lady giving her a huge 46 percent to 34 percent margin, […]

Jan. 16, 2008

In GOP Primaries: Three Victors, Three Constituencies

Summary of Findings The Republican nomination contest is being increasingly shaped by ideology and religion as it moves toward the Super Tuesday states on Feb. 5. John McCain has moved out to a solid lead nationally, increasing his support among Republican and GOP-leaning voters from 22% in late December to 29% currently. Mike Huckabee, at […]

Oct. 31, 2007

Section 2: The General Election

While the Democratic Party maintains a substantial advantage over the GOP in party identification, Clinton holds a more modest 51%-43% lead over Giuliani among registered voters in an early general election test. Clinton runs particularly well among those demographic groups that typically vote Democratic by wide margins — minorities, the poor and less educated people. […]

May. 9, 2007

Are Americans Ready to Elect a Female President?

When evaluating Sen. Hillary Clinton’s 2008 prospects, one question remains inescapable: Are voters ready to elect a female president? On one level, the question would appear to be settled. In February, Gallup found 88% saying they would vote for a well-qualified woman for president. Contrast this with public opinion in 1969, the year Clinton graduated […]

Nov. 1, 2000

Other Important Findings and Analyses

Gender Divide Among Issue Voters Issues continue to drive voter preferences, as strong pluralities of both Gore and Bush voters say what they like most about their candidates are their stands on issues. Experience is also a draw for Gore voters, while roughly three-in-ten Bush supporters say they like the governor because of his personality […]

Jul. 27, 2000

Other Important Findings and Analyses

Might-Miss TV? Just one-in-ten Americans (13%) plan to watch all or most of the television coverage of the GOP convention, while another 28% say they’ll watch some of it. Older Americans are both more interested in the convention and more apt to watch the television coverage. But even among Republicans, there is scant interest in […]

Jul. 13, 2000

I. The Campaign: A Wide-Open Race

The Public’s Mood Mellows Satisfaction with the state of the nation is down slightly over the past 12 months, though still high relative to the early 1990s. In the current survey, 47% of citizens say they are satisfied with the way things are going in the country, down from recent highs of 56% in August […]

Nov. 11, 1999

Section 4: The 2000 Elections

The campaign for the 2000 elections presents both parties with substantial political challenges. In the presidential race, the two Democratic candidates continue to lag behind GOP frontrunner George W. Bush. Vice President Al Gore, in particular, is struggling with an image problem — while most Americans see him as trustworthy, likable and caring, only one-third […]

Apr. 17, 1999

Clinton Fatigue Undermines Gore Poll Standing

Introduction and Summary Personal image problems and fallout from Clinton administration scandals are contributing to Al Gore’s declining favorability ratings and his poor showing in early horse race polls. As the vice president has inched closer to the Democratic presidential nomination, his favorability ratings have fallen and he has slipped further behind GOP frontrunner George […]

Jan. 18, 1999

Senate Trial: Little Viewership, Little Impact

Introduction and Summary President Clinton’s impeachment trial has neither engaged the attention of the American public nor changed its mind about the continuance of his presidency. The public gives Clinton high marks for his job performance, expresses satisfaction with the state of the nation and registers even more contentment with their own lives than just […]