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 […]

Nov. 19, 2009

Abortion Plays Small Role in Health Reform Opposition

While most Americans oppose government funding of abortion, a new Pew Research Center survey finds that concern about abortion funding plays only a small role in driving opposition to the health care reform legislation under consideration by Congress. When health care opponents are asked in an open-ended question to describe their main reason for […]

Nov. 11, 2009

A Year Out, Widespread Anti-Incumbent Sentiment

The mood of America is glum. Two-thirds of the public is dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country. Fully nine-in-ten say that national economic conditions are only fair or poor, and nearly two-thirds describe their own finances that way – the most since the summer of 1992. An increasing proportion of […]

Oct. 14, 2009

Well Known:Public Option, Sonia Sotomayor Little Known: Cap and Trade, Max Baucus

The U.S. government has a lot on its plate right now, which means that the American public has a lot to keep up with in the news. The Pew Research Center’s latest News IQ Quiz finds a mixed picture of public awareness on key issues, with majorities aware of some key facts on health […]

Oct. 8, 2009

Mixed Views of Economic Policies and Health Care Reform Persist

Public opinion is conflicted regarding the two major domestic issues of the day – the economy and health care reform. On the economy, most Americans remain optimistic that Barack Obama’s policies will help, but the public expresses mixed views of the steps he has taken so far and sees no clear signs of recovery […]

Oct. 8, 2009

Section 2: Opinions of Health Care Proposals

There is strong majority support for many of the key elements of the health care reform legislation being considered on Capitol Hill. But the percentage that generally supports the proposals being discussed is far lower – just 34% in the current survey, down from 42% in the immediate aftermath of President Obama’s Sept. 9 address […]

Sep. 17, 2009

Obama Approval Ratings Steady, Personal Image Remains Positive

Following his nationally televised address to Congress, opinion of President Barack Obama has taken a more favorable turn. Obama’s job approval ratings, which had declined in the summer, have remained essentially unchanged over the past month. And the balance of opinion regarding the health care reform proposals before Congress has become a bit more […]

Sep. 2, 2009

Congressional Favorability at 24-Year Low

Americans are extremely displeased with Congress, and there are already some signs that this could take a toll on the Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections. Currently, 37% express a favorable opinion of Congress, while 52% hold an unfavorable view. Positive opinions of Congress have declined by 13 points since April and are now […]

Aug. 19, 2009

Would Americans Welcome Medicare if it Were Being Proposed in 2009?

Aug. 19, 2009

More See White House and GOP Leaders at Odds

Americans are in an increasingly sour mood about Washington. Barack Obama’s approval ratings continue to inch downward and a growing proportion of Americans (63%) think that the president and Republican leaders are not working together to deal with important issues facing the nation; in June, 50% said the two sides were not cooperating. While […]

Jul. 30, 2009

Section 4: Health Care Overhaul

Public Generally Opposes Health Care Proposals Public attention to the health care overhaul debate in Congress continues to grow. This week’s Pew Research Center News Interest Index survey finds that, for the first time, the health care debate in Washington is the public’s top news story. When asked specifically about the bills in Congress to […]

Jul. 30, 2009

Obama’s Ratings Slide Across the Board

Barack Obama’s approval ratings have suffered major declines. The president’s overall job approval number fell from 61% in mid-June to 54% currently. His approval ratings for handling the economy and the federal budget deficit have also fallen sharply, tumbling to 38% and 32%, respectively. Majorities now say they disapprove of the way the president […]

Jun. 18, 2009

Obama’s Ratings Remain High Despite Some Policy Concerns

A solid majority of Americans (61%) continue to approve of Barack Obama’s job performance, although they express mixed views of several of his policies. An important positive sign for Obama is the public’s continued optimism that his policies will improve the economy – fully 65% express this view. A smaller majority (55%) is optimistic […]

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% […]

Mar. 19, 2009

Support For Health Care Overhaul, But It’s Not 1993

Most Americans believe that the nation’s health care system is in need of substantial changes. But there is less support for completely rebuilding the health care system than there was in April 1993, during the early stage of the Clinton administration’s unsuccessful effort to revamp health care. Still, the public continues to favor the […]

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 […]

May. 10, 2005

Part 6: Issues and Shifting Coalitions

The extensive divisions within the two parties over fundamental political values are mirrored in disagreements over contemporary issues. Economic issues tend to divide Republican typology groups, while social issues split the Democrats. On many national security issues, especially the war in Iraq, internal partisan fissures are overshadowed by the vast gulf dividing Republicans and Democrats. […]

Aug. 7, 2003

Bush Approval Slips – Fix Economy, Say Voters

Introduction and Summary As President Bush shows increasing political vulnerability, the Democratic presidential field is beginning to come into focus. Bush’s overall approval rating has declined to pre-Iraq war levels and his lead in a match-up with a hypothetical Democrat has narrowed to five points (43%-38%). Nearly six-in-ten Americans (57%) now say the economy – […]

Jul. 24, 2003

III. Religion, Belief and Policy

Religious belief plays an important role in shaping public attitudes on several policy issues, from the dispute in the Middle East to the question of whether gays and lesbians should be permitted to marry. In particular, there is no doubt that belief in the biblical importance of Israel has a major impact on public opinion […]

Jul. 8, 2003

Americans More Critical of Bush’s Efforts at Home, More Anxious Over Situation in Iraq

Summary of Findings As presidential campaign activities start to pick up steam, President Bush is facing increasing public criticism of his efforts to deal with domestic issues and greater wariness of the military situation in Iraq. At the same time, his potential Democratic rivals show little early appeal and the Democratic party has lost significant […]