Jun. 4, 2012

Section 2: Demographics and American Values

Even as party divisions over values have expanded over the last quarter century, gaps between other groups have remained relatively unchanged. Across the 48 values items tracked regularly since 1987, average gender, age, race, education, income and religiosity differences have remained remarkably stable. Several of these demographic characteristics are associated with significant differences in values, […]

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 […]

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 […]

Nov. 3, 2011

Section 7: Views of Government

For most of their adult lives, members of the Silent generation have been one of the more conservative generations with respect to their view of the role of government. At least as far back as 1980, when Silents were between the ages of 35 and 52, and in the years since, they have generally been […]

Nov. 3, 2011

Section 6: Generations and Entitlements

The policy debates over Social Security and Medicare are potentially cross-cutting issues for older generations. Silents, as well as many Boomers, place a high priority on these issues politically and are generally more resistant to major changes or reforms than are younger Americans. As a result, while Silents favor the GOP by wide margins on […]

Aug. 30, 2011

Section 5: Political Opinions and Social Values

Compared with the general public, fewer Muslim Americans say they are politically conservative, and a greater number say they prefer a bigger government that provides more services. Muslim Americans align strongly with the Democratic Party and voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama in the 2008 election. On social issues, Muslim Americans are less accepting of homosexuality […]

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. 8, 2011

Most See Role for Government in Reducing Childhood Obesity

Most Americans say the government should play a significant role in reducing obesity among children. But there is strong opposition to government involvement in this effort among conservative Republicans and Tea Party supporters. The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Feb. 22-March 1 among 1,504 […]

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% […]

May. 21, 2009

Independents Take Center Stage in Obama Era

Centrism has emerged as a dominant factor in public opinion as the Obama era begins. The political values and core attitudes that the Pew Research Center has monitored since 1987 show little overall ideological movement. Republicans and Democrats are even more divided than in the past, while the growing political middle is steadfastly mixed […]

May. 10, 2005

Part 4: Beyond Red vs. Blue: Value Divides Within the Party Coalitions

In an era when virtually all political issues are seen through partisan lenses, the political typology still finds numerous value cleavages in American society, many of which cut across party lines. In fact, public values about security and the use of military force are among the only value dimensions in which Republican and Democratic groups […]

Apr. 6, 2005

IV. The Dean Activists

Different Kind of Democrat Dean activists are a distinctive group within their own party. As a group, they are much more racially homogenous than the general public or Democrats. More than nine-in-ten Dean activists (92%) are white and just 1% are African American. By comparison, the public is 79% white, as are about two-thirds of […]

Jan. 30, 2004

Democratic Candidates Face Southern Voters

Southern Democrats More Culturally Conservative, Not So Different Otherwise

Apr. 11, 1997

Other Important Findings and Analyses

Not Much Going On… The public is unimpressed with the performance of the 105th Congress thus far. When asked to name the most important thing that has happened in the new Congress so far this year, fully 72% could not cite a single item. Those who responded gave a random assortment of legislative initiatives, led […]

Dec. 4, 1991

On the Eve of ’92: Fault Lines In the Electorate

Report Summary Dissatisfaction with the way things are going in the country has now reached pre-Reagan economic recovery levels with over six in ten expressing fundamental discontent with the country’s course. Yet the President’s rating at 55% approve, 33% disapprove is at least as good if not better than that of recent GOP predecessors who […]