Jun. 14, 2011

Most Say Political Sex Scandals Due to Greater Scrutiny, Not Lower Morality

Most Americans attribute the series of public sex scandals in recent years involving politicians more to the heightened scrutiny they face than to lower moral standards among elected officials. A 57% majority say elected officials just get caught more often because they are under greater scrutiny. About two-in-ten (19%), on the other hand, say elected […]

Apr. 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 […]

Apr. 5, 2007

News Leaks Remain Divisive, But Libby Case has Little Impact

Summary of Findings The recent conviction of former White House aide Scooter Libby for perjury and obstruction of justice focused renewed attention on the subject of news leaks — the unofficial dissemination of newsworthy, politically sensitive information to the press and public. Libby’s case centered on the leak of former CIA operative Valerie Plame’s identity, […]

Mar. 26, 2007

Solid Majority Favors Congressional Troop Deadline

Summary of Findings A solid majority of Americans say they want their congressional representative to support a bill calling for a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq by August 2008. Nearly six-in-ten (59%) say they would like to see their representative vote for such legislation, compared with just 33% who want their representative to oppose […]

Jan. 11, 2006

Americans Taking Abramoff, Alito and Domestic Spying in Stride

Summary of Findings The public has been hardly stirred by the flurry of major Washington news in the early days of 2006. Jack Abramoff’s admission that he bribed members of Congress has sparked little interest, with just 18% paying very close attention to news reports on the disgraced Washington lobbyist. An overwhelming majority of Americans […]

Nov. 8, 2005

Alito Viewed Positively, But Libby Takes a Toll

Summary of Findings President George W. Bush’s approval ratings have fallen to another new low, amid a growing focus on alleged ethical lapses in his administration. Just 36% now believe that Bush has lived up to his campaign pledge to restore integrity to the White House. In contrast, fully 79% of Americans say the recent […]

Jul. 19, 2005

Republicans Uncertain on Rove Resignation

Summary of Findings Only about half of the American public is paying close attention to news reports that White House aide Karl Rove may have leaked classified information about a CIA agent. But 39% of the public ­ and a solid majority of those closely following the reports (58%) ­ believe that Rove should resign […]

Jan. 26, 1999

Support for Clinton, But Not for Social Security Funds in Market

Introduction and Summary The American people had a mixed reaction to events in Washington last week. They continue to support Bill Clinton and all but ignore his Senate impeachment trial, which 88% describe as providing little that is new or interesting. But by a 52%-34% margin they also reject Clinton’s surprise proposal to put some […]

Dec. 22, 1998

Turned Off Public Tuned Out Impeachment

Introduction and Summary It may have been only the second impeachment in history, but it was a non-starter to the American public. Not only did the President’s approval ratings go up following the House’s decision, but only 34% of Americans paid very close attention to the proceedings. More people followed news about the attack on […]

Dec. 14, 1998

Support for Clinton Unchanged By Judiciary Vote

Introduction and Summary Public support for the continuance of the Clinton presidency is unchanged by the deliberations and decisions of the House Judiciary Committee, but Americans appear unrattled by news of the President’s possible impeachment. Majorities say that their opinions about whether Bill Clinton should be removed from office were not swayed either by the […]

Oct. 7, 1998

The Generic House Ballot and Committed Views on Clinton

Several September polls show Republicans with more support than Democrats among likely voters in House races nationwide. But Pew Research Center trend studies find no clear evidence that the White House sex scandal has Democratic voters any more dispirited about voting this fall than they were earlier in the year or in 1994, the last […]

Sep. 30, 1998

White House Scandal Has Families Talking

Introduction and Summary The Clinton-Lewinsky scandal has American parents talking with their children about everything from whether the President lied or should be punished, to broader discussions about values and sex. Parents of younger children wait for their kids to start these conversations, while parents of teenagers are as likely to bring up the subject […]

Sep. 23, 1998

Backlash Softens Clinton Slide

Introduction and Summary Televised release of President Clinton’s grand jury testimony is stemming a decline in his public support. Strong opposition to the release of the grand jury videotape and increased disapproval of Republican congressional leadership accompany the reversal of the trend against Clinton. However, on balance, those who viewed the testimony have a negative […]

Sep. 17, 1998

Clinton Moral Authority Slips

Summary of Findings Phone Calls, Not Polls, May Sway Congress FINDING 1: The percentage of Americans saying President Clinton has the moral standing to lead the country fell in the wake of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr’s report, leaving the country divided: 48% of the public say yes; 43% say no. In late August, a solid […]

Sep. 10, 1998

GOP Image Improves, But Congressional Race Remains Close

Introduction and Summary American voters divided their support for Republican and Democratic congressional candidates nearly equally in the weeks between President Clinton’s televised admission that he had an improper relationship with Monica Lewinsky and news of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr’s report to Congress on the matter. But with two months to go until the midterm […]

Aug. 27, 1998

It’s Still the Economy They Say

Introduction and Summary Americans credit a strong economy and, to a lesser extent, a good foreign policy as reasons why they approve of the president’s job performance, even though they increasingly dislike Bill Clinton personally. Further, strong public criticism of the way he has handled the Monica Lewinsky matter has failed to shake Clinton’s approval […]

Aug. 27, 1998

Other Important Findings

Americans Again Attentive In the wake of Clinton’s nationally-televised address, Americans tuned back into news about the scandal — and lowered their personal opinions about Clinton. Fully 72% of Americans were following the investigation very or somewhat closely, up from 56% the week before. The recent turn of events has further tarnished Clinton’s personal image. […]

Aug. 4, 1998

Americans Unmoved by Prospect of Clinton, Lewinsky Testimony

Introduction and Summary Public interest in the White House sex scandal has not increased at all with the news that President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky will soon give grand jury testimony. Only 29% of Americans are following news of the controversy very closely, despite a torrent of media coverage. News interest is nearly identical to […]

Apr. 3, 1998

Other Important Findings and Analyses

Popular Today vs. Legacy Tomorrow The steady stream of allegations involving a White House sex scandal and cover-up has not eroded President Clinton’s popularity. And while the story continues to interest the public, it appears to have lost some of its resonance: The number of people saying Clinton should be impeached if he lied under […]

Feb. 6, 1998

Popular Policies and Unpopular Press Lift Clinton Ratings

Introduction and Summary A strong State of the Union address combined with public anger at the news media fueled President Clinton’s unexpected lift to a 71% approval rating — even as allegations of a White House sex scandal consumed Washington. When asked in a Pew Research Center re-interview survey why they had changed their minds […]