Jun. 4, 2012

Section 4: Values About Government and the Social Safety Net

Americans have long been skeptical of the federal government and suspicious of elected representatives as a whole. Roughly eight-in-ten (81%) say elected officials in Washington lose touch with the people pretty quickly, and 62% say “most elected officials don’t care what people like me think.” Just 41% of Americans now say the government is really […]

Jun. 4, 2012

Section 1: Understanding the Partisan Divide Over American Values

Much has changed over the past 25 years – internationally, domestically and technologically. But through this period, the public’s core values have remained relatively stable. The way that the public thinks about poverty, opportunity, business, unions, religion, civic duty, foreign affairs and many other subjects is, to a large extent, the same today as in […]

May. 1, 2012

Supreme Court Favorability Reaches New Low

Public assessments of the Supreme Court have reached a quarter-century low. Unlike evaluations over much of the past decade, there is very little partisan divide. The court receives relatively low favorable ratings from Republicans, Democrats and independents alike. The survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted April 4-15, […]

Apr. 26, 2012

Growing Gap in Favorable Views of Federal, State Governments

Just a third of Americans have a favorable opinion of the federal government, the lowest positive rating in 15 years. Yet opinions about state and local governments remain favorable, on balance. As a result, the gap between favorable ratings of the federal government and state and local governments is wider than ever. Ten years […]

Aug. 25, 2011

Section 4: Anger and Distrust in Government

When asked to describe their feelings about the federal government, 86% say either that they are frustrated (60%) or angry (26%). Just 11% say they are basically content with the federal government, by far the lowest percentage in a measure that dates to 1997. The share of Americans who describe themselves as angry with the […]

May. 4, 2011

Section 2: Value Divides Within Party Coalitions

The new political typology provides further evidence of deep and enduring partisan divisions over political attitudes and preferences. Yet an analysis of the typology groups’ fundamental political values also shows significant cleavages within both parties’ core groups and their broader coalitions over attitudes toward business, immigration, religion, the environment and other issues. Looking at the […]

May. 4, 2011

Section 5: Views of Government, Constitution, American Exceptionalism

The public continues to favor smaller government and remains critical of government performance. However, some of the anger at government that was evident during the 2010 election campaign has subsided. Overall, 50% say they want a smaller government providing fewer services, while 42% say they would rather have a bigger government providing more services. A […]

Mar. 3, 2011

Fewer Are Angry at Government, But Discontent Remains High

The public remains deeply frustrated with the federal government, but fewer Americans say they are angry at government than did so last fall. Overall, the percentage saying they are angry with the federal government has fallen from 23% last September to 14% today, with much of the decline coming among Republicans and Tea Party […]

Mar. 3, 2011

Section 1: Attitudes About Government

When asked how they feel about the federal government, a majority of the public has consistently expressed frustration. Currently, 59% say they are frustrated with the federal government while 22% are content and 14% are angry. The percent saying they are angry with government has declined nine points since last September. Fewer Republicans say they […]

Feb. 10, 2011

Section 4: Dealing with State Budget Problems

Eight-in-ten Americans (81%) say their state is currently facing budget problems, and 36% say the problems in their state are very serious. At the other end of the spectrum, 20% say their state either has no budget problems (12%) or that the problems are not too serious (8%). There has been virtually no change in […]

Oct. 22, 2010

Continued Positive Marks for Government Anti-Terror Efforts

The federal government continues to get positive marks for efforts to reduce the threat of terrorism, but many Americans say luck is a big reason why the United States has not suffered a major attack at home since Sept. 11, 2001. About seven-in-ten (69%) say the government is doing very (15%) or fairly well […]

Sep. 12, 2010

Section 4: Who is Listening, Watching, Reading – and Why

Not all Americans are looking for the same things when they turn to the news. With the wide array of news sources now available, the regular audiences for various news outlets offer differing top reasons why those sources appeal to them. Regular CNN viewers, for example, overwhelmingly say they turn to CNN for the latest […]

May. 11, 2010

Oil Spill Seen As Ecological Disaster; Government, BP Responses Faulted

A majority of Americans see the massive oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico as a major environmental disaster, but nearly as many voice optimism that efforts to control the spill will succeed. The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted May 6-9 among 994 adults, […]

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 […]

Apr. 18, 2010

Distrust, Discontent, Anger and Partisan Rancor

By almost every conceivable measure Americans are less positive and more critical of government these days. A new Pew Research Center survey finds a perfect storm of conditions associated with distrust of government – a dismal economy, an unhappy public, bitter partisan-based backlash, and epic discontent with Congress and elected officials. Rather than an […]

Apr. 18, 2010

Section 2: Government’s Performance and Power

When asked how they feel about the federal government, majorities consistently express frustration, while smaller numbers say they are basically content or angry. Anger toward the government has risen in recent years. In the current survey, as in 2006, about as many say they feel angry as content with the government. In earlier surveys, far […]

Apr. 18, 2010

Section 3: Government Challenges, Views of Institutions

While the public is highly critical of government, there is a widespread acknowledgement that government faces more daunting problems today than it did in the past. The public also puts some blame on itself: Most say Americans are unwilling to pay for the things they want government to do. For the most part, people do […]

Apr. 18, 2010

Section 5: Views of Federal Departments and Agencies

Favorable ratings for most federal agencies and departments tested, in this study have declined substantially since the late 1990s. And job performance ratings for most federal agencies are lackluster: Of 15 agencies included in the survey, majorities give positive job performance ratings to only six. Nonetheless, most Americans (70%) think that the government is a […]

Apr. 18, 2010

Section 6: Tea Party and Views of Government Overreach

Over the past year, the Tea Party movement has emerged on the political scene. A majority of the public has heard about the Tea Party protests that have taken place in the U.S. and about a quarter of Americans say they agree with the movement. Tea Party backers overwhelmingly identify with or lean to the […]

Apr. 18, 2010

Section 7: Electoral and Political Implications

Broad public frustration with government and politics is likely to play a major role in the midterm congressional elections this fall, and all signs suggest it benefits the Republican Party. In particular, seven months before the midterm elections, anti-incumbent sentiment has reached record levels, and anti-government sentiment is energizing many Republican-inclined voters. Voters are evenly […]