Oct. 24, 2012

Examining the Last Four Years

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Sep. 24, 2012

For Voters It’s Still the Economy

As Barack Obama and Mitt Romney prepare for their first debate on Oct. 3, the issues at the top of the voters’ agenda have changed little since 2008. Fully 87% of registered voters say that the economy will be very important to their vote, while 83% say jobs will be very important to their […]

Apr. 17, 2012

Section 2: Issues of the 2012 Campaign

Fully 86% of registered voters say that the economy will be very important to their vote in the fall; 84% say that jobs will be very important. Both issues have ranked at or near the top of voters’ priorities in campaigns dating back to 2004. The federal budget deficit is now viewed as more important […]

Apr. 17, 2012

With Voters Focused on Economy, Obama Lead Narrows

With voters continuing to focus on economic issues, Barack Obama holds a slim 49% to 45% advantage over Mitt Romney in the latest Pew Research Center survey of nearly 2,400 registered voters nationwide. Obama’s lead has narrowed since last month, when he had a 12-point advantage, though it is comparable to margins from earlier […]

Jan. 23, 2012

Public Priorities: Deficit Rising, Terrorism Slipping

As the 2012 State of the Union approaches, the public continues to give the highest priority to economic issues. Fully 86% say that strengthening the economy should be a top priority for the president and Congress this year, and 82% rate improving the job situation as a top priority. None of the other 20 […]

Jan. 23, 2012

Section 1: The Public’s Policy Priorities

With the nation’s economy still struggling and unemployment still high, economic concerns continue to top the public’s policy agenda for President Obama and Congress. More than eight-in-ten cite strengthening the economy (86%) and improving the job situation (82%) as top priorities. These numbers have fluctuated only slightly since the start of 2009. Nearly seven-in-ten (69%) […]

Sep. 29, 2011

No Consensus About Whether Nation Is Divided Into ’Haves’ and ’Have-Nots’

Despite an extended economic downturn, the public’s impression of whether the nation is economically divided remains relatively stable. While 45% say American society is divided between “haves” and “have-nots,” 52% say it is incorrect to think of the country this way. This is comparable to the balance of opinion a year ago. The percentage of […]

Feb. 4, 2011

Historically, Public Has Given Low Priority to Promoting Democracy Overseas

Jan. 20, 2011

Economy Dominates Public’s Agenda, Dims Hopes for the Future

Less Optimism about America’s Long-Term Prospects

Jan. 20, 2011

Section 1: Public’s Policy Priorities

A decade ago, in January 2001, the public’s policy agenda was very different. Then as now, strengthening the economy ranked at the top, but it was followed closely by improving education, reducing crime, and securing Social Security and Medicare. Improving the job situation ranked eighth among 11 policy priorities listed. Today, the economy and jobs […]

Jul. 12, 2010

Public’s Wish List for Congress – Jobs and Deficit Reduction

The public overwhelmingly views the job situation as a major priority for Congress during the coming months. Fully 80% say it is very important for Congress to pass legislation to address the job situation, which is virtually unchanged from May (81%). Somewhat fewer (70%) say it is very important for Congress to reduce the […]

May. 18, 2010

Public’s Priorities, Financial Regs

The public views tougher regulations on financial institutions as an important priority for Congress, but far more want Congress to take action on the job situation and energy policy. In thinking about financial regulation, as many say they worry that the government will go too far in regulating financial markets, making it harder for […]

Apr. 18, 2010

Section 6: Tea Party and Views of Government Overreach

Over the past year, the Tea Party movement has emerged on the political scene. A majority of the public has heard about the Tea Party protests that have taken place in the U.S. and about a quarter of Americans say they agree with the movement. Tea Party backers overwhelmingly identify with or lean to the […]

Jan. 25, 2010

Public’s Priorities for 2010: Economy, Jobs, Terrorism

Summary of Findings As Barack Obama begins his second year in office, the public’s priorities for the president and Congress remain much as they were one year ago. Strengthening the nation’s economy and improving the job situation continue to top the list. And, in the wake of the failed Christmas Day terrorist attack on a […]

Dec. 3, 2009

Section 3: Top Global Problems, Long-Term Policy Goals

The public and members of the Council on Foreign Relations cite the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as the most important international problem facing the United States. Yet the two groups differ over the importance of other issues, most notably Pakistan: 18% of CFR members view Pakistan as America’s top international problem, compared with just […]

Dec. 3, 2009

U.S. Seen as Less Important, China as More Powerful

The general public and members of the Council on Foreign Relations are apprehensive and uncertain about America’s place in the world. Growing numbers in both groups see the United States playing a less important role globally, while acknowledging the increasing stature of China. And the general public, which is in a decidedly inward-looking frame […]

Jun. 24, 2009

Pollwatch: Comparing the Polls on Spending and the Deficit

Apr. 8, 2009

Partisan Bickering Is Back, Says Public

Shortly before President Obama took office in January, the public was uncharacteristically optimistic that Republicans and Democrats would work together more to solve problems in the year ahead. Less than three months later, those expectations have faded and most see a return to partisan politics in Washington. A majority (53%) currently says that Republicans […]

Jan. 22, 2009

Economy, Jobs Trump All Other Policy Priorities In 2009

As Barack Obama takes office, the public’s focus is overwhelmingly on domestic policy concerns – particularly the economy. Strengthening the nation’s economy and improving the job situation stand at the top of the public’s list of domestic priorities for 2009. Meanwhile, the priority placed on issues such as the environment, crime, illegal immigration and […]

Oct. 21, 2008

Section 3: Issues and Priorities

Obama Improves on Key Issues Barack Obama has improved his standing at least slightly since mid-September over John McCain on virtually every domestic and foreign policy issue. When voters were asked which candidate would do the best job handling various concerns, Obama boosted his advantage on domestic issues and cut into McCain’s lead elsewhere. For […]