Nov. 15, 2012

Low Marks for the 2012 Election

The 2012 presidential campaign was a frustrating experience for many voters, who say the campaign was more negative than usual and had less discussion of issues than in most previous campaigns. Both Obama and Romney get mixed grades for the job they did reaching out to voters, as do campaign consultants, the press and […]

Nov. 15, 2012

Section 2: Expectations for Washington, Obama’s Post-Election Image

Most voters want President Obama and Republican leaders in Congress to work together in the coming year. Two-thirds (67%) say that GOP leaders in Washington should try as best they can to work with Obama to accomplish things, even if it means disappointing some groups of Republican supporters. Just 26% say they should stand up […]

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 […]

Jan. 19, 2012

Section 2: Views of Congress

As Congress returns for the 2012 session, the American public’s view of the institution is as negative as it has ever been in over 25 years of Pew Research Center surveys. Just 23% of Americans say they have a favorable opinion of Congress, while 69% have an unfavorable view. These opinions are little changed from […]

Nov. 17, 2011

Section 3: The Deficit and the Super Committee

As the Nov. 23 deadline approaches for the congressional “super committee” to offer a deficit reduction proposal, the public continues to rank the budget deficit second to the job situation among its top national economic concerns. At the same time, 62% of Americans say the best approach to deficit reduction would include both spending cuts […]

Jul. 26, 2011

Section 1: Views of Obama, Congress and the Political Parties

As views of national conditions worsen, Barack Obama’s job ratings remain mixed: 48% disapprove of the way Obama is handling his job as president, while 44% approve. This is little changed from June (46% approve, 45% disapprove). In early May, immediately following the announcement of Osama bin Laden’s death, 56% approved of Obama’s job performance. […]

Jul. 26, 2011

Section 2: The Debt and Deficit Debate

A week ahead of the Aug. 2 debt-ceiling deadline, the public overwhelmingly wants political leaders in Washington to compromise on the issue. About two-thirds (68%) say that lawmakers who share their views should be willing to compromise, even if it means striking a deal they disagree with. Only 23% say lawmakers who share their views […]

Jul. 26, 2011

Public Wants a Debt Ceiling Compromise, Expects a Deal Before Deadline

The public overwhelmingly favors a compromise in the debt ceiling standoff. And even as negotiations aimed at resolving the issue show little progress, a majority thinks that Barack Obama and congressional Republicans will reach a deal before the Aug. 2 deadline on a possible government default. Fully 68% say that lawmakers who share their […]

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 […]

Apr. 4, 2011

Public Would Blame Both Sides if Government Shuts Down

With an April 8 deadline approaching for a possible shutdown of the federal government, the public was divided over whether congressional Republicans or the Obama administration would be more to blame if a shutdown occurs.

Mar. 3, 2011

Section 2: Views of Political Leaders and Compromise

In the new survey, Barack Obama’s job approval stands at 51%; 39% disapprove of the way Obama is handling his job as president. That is little changed from early February (49% approve vs. 42% disapprove). Nonetheless, the balance of opinion regarding Obama’s job performance remains more positive than it was in the fall, when about […]

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 […]

Nov. 11, 2010

Section 2: Views of the Parties, Prospects for Compromise

In the wake of the election, Republicans are taking a more positive view of the job their party is doing in advocating its traditional positions. Currently, 40% of Republicans and Republican leaners say the GOP is doing an excellent or good job standing up for its traditional positions on issues like reducing the size of […]

Sep. 20, 2010

Many Say Ending Tax Cuts for Wealthy Would Hurt Economy

Nearly four-in-ten Americans (39%) say that allowing Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy to expire at the end of this year would hurt the economy, while about a quarter each say this would help the economy (26%) or have no effect (26%). The latest Pew Research/National Journal Congressional Connection poll, sponsored by SHRM, conducted […]

Jun. 3, 2010

Seniors are Strongest Advocates for Change in 2010

Mar. 18, 2010

Section 2: Views of Congress

Americans remain highly critical of the job performance of both Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress. Many offer harsh assessments when asked for one word impressions of the current Congress. Among the most frequently offered are variations on dysfunctional, corrupt, self-serving and inept. Job approval ratings for the leaders of both parties (31% for Democratic […]

Feb. 12, 2010

Section 3: Views of the Parties

Democrats Lose Favorability Edge The favorability advantage the Democratic Party has held over the Republican Party has disappeared over the past year. Currently, 48% of Americans offer a favorable assessment of the Democratic Party, while 46% view the GOP favorably. This reflects a combination of a steep decline in the Democratic Party’s image over the […]

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 […]

Jan. 22, 2007

Broad Support for Political Compromise in Washington

Summary of Findings A survey conducted in association with National Public Radio A large majority of the American public thinks the country is more politically polarized than in the past, and an even greater number expresses a strong desire for political compromise. Fully three-quarters say they like political leaders who are willing to compromise, compared […]

May. 23, 1997

Other Important Findings and Analyses

Budget Agreement Clearly, Bill Clinton’s continued high ratings, despite Whitewater and the DNC fund raising scandal, seem more tied to a reduction in economic anxiety than to success with the budget. News interest in the budget debate once again edged down at the very time the President and Republican leaders had come to their historic […]