Aug. 11, 2009

Budget Woes Take Toll on Views of State Governments

With the economy wreaking havoc on state budgets, the favorability ratings of state governments have declined from a year ago. Overall, 50% of the public now holds a favorable opinion of their state government, down from 59% in April 2008. The falloff in positive views has been greater in states with large and moderate […]

May. 21, 2009

Section 2: Views of Government and the Social Safety Net

The public takes a somewhat less cynical view of government today than it did in 2007. Americans are less likely to say that government is wasteful and inefficient (57%, compared with 62% in 2007) and more likely to believe that government is “really run for the benefit of all the people” (49%, compared with 45% […]

Sep. 23, 2008

57% of Public Favors Wall Street Bailout

By a margin of almost two-to-one the American public thinks the government is doing the right thing in investing billions of dollars to try to keep financial institutions and markets secure. Reacting to initial reports of the federal bailout plan over the weekend, 57% said the government was doing the right thing, while 30% […]

May. 14, 2008

Federal Government’s Favorable Ratings Slump

Summary of Findings Americans continue to hold their local and state governments in fairly high esteem, but positive views of the federal government are at their lowest point in at least a decade. Only 37% of people say they hold a favorable view of the federal government, while 58% express an unfavorable opinion. By comparison, […]

Mar. 27, 2008

Section 6: Dismal Views of the National Economy

Public views of the American economy have grown increasingly negative over the past few months, and a majority now describes the country’s economic situation as poor. Since January, the percentage of Americans rating the economy as poor has doubled, from 28% to 56%. Meanwhile, only 11% say the economy is excellent or good, down from […]

Feb. 9, 2006

Bush a Drag on Republican Midterm Prospects

Summary of Findings Nine months before the midterm elections, the Democrats hold a sizable lead in the congressional horse race and an advantage on most major issues. Democrats lead by 50%-41% among registered voters in the test ballot, which is little changed from last September (52%-40%). While retaining a huge advantage on traditional party strengths […]

Oct. 25, 2005

Public Sours on Government and Business

Summary of Findings Americans express increasingly negative views of a wide range major institutions, reflecting strong discontent with national conditions. Over the past year, ratings have tumbled for the federal government and Congress. And it is not just Washington institutions that are being viewed less positively. Favorable opinions of business corporations are at their lowest […]

Sep. 22, 2005

Katrina Has Only Modest Impact on Basic Public Values

As the Hurricane Katrina recovery effort unfolds along the Gulf Coast, there has been considerable speculation about the disaster’s possible impact on fundamental public attitudes on such questions as the role of government, the plight of the poor and the extent of racial progress in the U.S. On the left, some have expressed the hope […]

Sep. 12, 2005

Four-in-ten Question Rebuilding New Orleans in Present Location

Summary of Findings With hearings on the nomination of John Roberts beginning today in Washington, a growing number of Americans say that Roberts should be confirmed as chief justice. In polling conducted over the weekend by the Pew Research Center, 46% expressed support for Roberts’s confirmation, up from 35% in a poll conducted last week. […]

Sep. 8, 2005

Two-In-Three Critical Of Bush’s Relief Efforts

Summary of Findings The American public is highly critical of President Bush’s handling of Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. Two-in-three Americans (67%) believe he could have done more to speed up relief efforts, while just 28% think he did all he could to get them going quickly. At the same time, Bush’s overall job approval rating […]

Jan. 24, 2005

Politics and Values in a 51%-48% Nation

Summary of Findings This report is an excerpt from chapter one of the book Trends 2005, produced by the Pew Research Center. Public attitudes on national security are now much more strongly associated with partisan affiliation than they were in the late 1990s. A comprehensive study of long-term public values finds that beliefs about national […]

Nov. 5, 2003

The 2004 Political Landscape

Over the past four years, the American electorate has been dealt a series of body blows, each capable of altering the political landscape. The voting system broke down in a presidential election. A booming economy faltered, punctuated by revelations of one of the worst business scandals in U.S. history. And the country endured a […]

Nov. 5, 2003

Part 6: Cynicism, Trust and Participation

Americans have long had a cynical view of politics and politicians. But these attitudes are no more widespread today than before the overtime presidential election of 2000. In fact, on several measures, the public is considerably less negative toward politics now than in the mid-1990s, when anti-Washington hostility was rampant. And one important trend continues: […]

Dec. 12, 2002

Public More Internationalist than in 1990s

Summary of Findings Americans continue to hold more internationalist views than they did prior to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The public favors cooperation with the United Nations and taking into account the views of U.S. allies to a greater extent than in the 1990s. Most notably, there has been a decline in the percentage […]

Jun. 27, 2002

Other Important Findings and Analysis

No Partisan Advantage The two parties continue to run neck and neck in the generic congressional ballot. Overall, 46% of registered voters support or lean toward the Democratic candidate in their district, while 44% favor the Republican. This reflects virtually unanimous support from partisans (93% of Republicans plan to vote Republican, 91% of Democrats plan […]

Mar. 7, 2002

Public Opinion Six Months Later

Nationhood, Internationalism Lifted

Jul. 24, 2001

Other Important Findings and Analyses

High Marks for Political Institutions The public has generally high regard for major governmental institutions – even those, like the Supreme Court and FBI – that have recently been dogged by controversy. As in the past, the U.S. military is widely popular, with better than eight-in-ten rating it favorably. Seven-in-ten have a positive impression of […]

Apr. 12, 2000

Performance and Purpose; Constituents Rate Government Agencies

Introduction and Summary Americans have long been ambivalent, if not downright conflicted, in their attitudes toward the federal government. They rail against the government’s inefficiency, but clamor for government programs that benefit them. Since the era of Vietnam and Watergate, a majority of Americans have said they can seldom trust the government to do the […]

Apr. 12, 2000

Other Important Findings and Analyses

Bottom Line Attitudes: High Favorability Scores Abound In general, the agencies receive fairly high marks from the constituent groups. Of the five agencies included in the survey, the Food and Drug Administration comes out on top: Over 80% of medical professionals, business regulatory officers, health and medicine advocates, and the chronically ill have a favorable […]

Nov. 11, 1999

Section 2: Values

Cynicism Waning Americans are less cynical about politics than they were five years ago. More people now say that they can influence the political process, and fewer people see their elected officials as inattentive to their needs. Almost three-quarters (73%) agree that voting gives them some say in how the government runs things ­ a […]