CommentaryNovember 25, 2008

Winds of Political Change Haven’t Shifted Public’s Ideology Balance

Multi-section ReportsNovember 13, 2008

High Marks for the Campaign, a High Bar for Obama

A week after the election, voters are feeling good about themselves, the presidential campaign and Barack Obama. Looking ahead, they have high expectations for the Obama administration, with two-thirds predicting that he will have a successful first term. The quadrennial post-election survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press finds […]

Multi-section ReportsMay 1, 2008

Obama’s Image Slips, His Lead Over Clinton Disappears

Summary of Findings Democratic voters are not as positive about Barack Obama as they were a month ago. Somewhat smaller percentages of Democrats describe Obama in favorable terms, and he has lost his lead over Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic nomination. Nationally, Democratic voters are about evenly divided between Obama and Clinton; […]

CommentaryJanuary 25, 2008

Raising McCain

Nearly lost in the blizzard of recent poll reports were the findings of a Gallup survey that the current Republican frontrunner, John McCain, might well give each of the two Democratic frontrunners a run for their money. When Gallup asked 1,598 likely voters whom they’d back if the presidential election were held today, respondents chose […]

PublicationsJanuary 16, 2008

In GOP Primaries: Three Victors, Three Constituencies

Summary of Findings The Republican nomination contest is being increasingly shaped by ideology and religion as it moves toward the Super Tuesday states on Feb. 5. John McCain has moved out to a solid lead nationally, increasing his support among Republican and GOP-leaning voters from 22% in late December to 29% currently. Mike Huckabee, at […]

PublicationsApril 26, 2007

Both Sides Reject Compromise in Iraq Funding Fight

Summary of Findings With battle lines drawn over legislation funding the Iraq war, the public is showing little appetite for compromise. Overall, a solid majority of Americans (59%) continue to say they want their representative to support a bill calling for a U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq by August 2008, while just a third want […]

PublicationsMarch 29, 2007

Democrats Fail to Impress in First 100 Days

Summary of Findings As the Democratic-led Congress approaches the 100-day mark, pluralities of Americans approve of the way that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are handling their leadership roles. However, the public gives Democrats mixed reviews for delivering on their campaign promises and for their policies and proposals. Slightly more […]

PublicationsMarch 22, 2007

Trends in Political Values and Core Attitudes: 1987-2007

Summary of Findings Increased public support for the social safety net, signs of growing public concern about income inequality, and a diminished appetite for assertive national security policies have improved the political landscape for the Democrats as the 2008 presidential campaign gets underway. At the same time, many of the key trends that nurtured the […]

CommentaryOctober 11, 2006

Growing Number of Liberal Democrats

The percent of Democratic voters who think of themselves as “liberals” has been slowly rising in recent years, while the number of conservative Democrats has declined. In polling conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press from January to September of 2006, 32% of Democrats describe themselves as ideologically liberal, while […]

PublicationsAugust 3, 2006

Pragmatic Americans Liberal and Conservative on Social Issues

Summary of Findings Americans cannot be easily characterized as conservative or liberal on today’s most pressing social questions. The public’s point of view varies from issue to issue. They are conservative in opposing gay marriage and gay adoption, liberal in favoring embryonic stem cell research and a little of both on abortion. Along with favoring […]

CommentaryApril 11, 2006

In Search of Ideologues in America

Many Americans do not fit well within into either the conservative or liberal camps. Instead they find a home in one of two other U.S. political traditions, libertarian and populist, or defy attempts to pigeon-hole them. Read full article at

PublicationsJune 15, 2005

Supreme Court’s Image Declines as Nomination Battle Looms

Summary of Findings With an aging Supreme Court possibly facing major changes, the court’s public image has eroded significantly. Currently, 57% of Americans have a favorable opinion of the Supreme Court, with 30% expressing an unfavorable view. In the past, favorable views of the court typically surpassed 70%; even in January 2001, shortly after the […]