Sep. 7, 2011

Few See Job Proposals Having Much Effect

When asked which economic issue worries them most, nearly twice as many Americans cite the job situation as the federal budget deficit (43% to 22%). There is less clarity in the public’s views about ideas to address the job situation – many are seen as helping at least a little, but no specific proposal emerges […]

May. 11, 2011

Bush Lost Battle Over the Surplus, But Won Tax Cut War

A decade ago, Washington grappled with a problem that seems unreal in today’s economic climate – what to do with the budget surplus? In 2000, George W. Bush had campaigned on a pledge to return part of the surplus to taxpayers in the form of an across-the-board tax cut. Bush’s opponent, Al Gore, countered with […]

Dec. 13, 2010

Tax Cuts Win Broad Bipartisan Support

The agreement between President Obama and congressional Republicans to extend tax cuts and unemployment benefits is getting strong bipartisan support. Overall, 60% approve of the agreement while just 22% disapprove. There are virtually no partisan differences in opinions about the agreement – 63% of Democrats approve of it, as do 62% of Republicans and […]

Dec. 7, 2010

Section 1: Issues Before the Lame-Duck Congress

Weeks before tax cuts passed during George W. Bush’s first term are set to expire, most of the public has heard either a lot (38%) or a little (43%) about the debate in Washington over how to handle these cuts. Much of this debate focuses on whether to extend all of the tax cuts or […]

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 […]

Sep. 13, 2010

Mixed Views of GOP Proposals on Entitlements

The public has sharply different reactions to major changes in Social Security and Medicare programs being proposed by some leading Republicans. While a majority favors a proposal to allow some private investments in Social Security, there is considerably less support for the idea of ending Medicare and replacing it with a system of vouchers […]

Jul. 26, 2010

Obama’s Policies Seen as Better than Bush’s for Improving the Economy

While most Americans disapprove of Barack Obama’s handling of the economy, far more think his administration’s policies – rather than those of the Bush administration – would do more to improve economic conditions over the next few years. As Congress gears up for debate over the tax cuts passed when Bush was president, the […]

Feb. 9, 2009

Support for Stimulus Plan Slips, But Obama Rides High

After weeks of intense debate over President Obama’s economic stimulus plan, a narrow majority of Americans (51%) who have heard about the $800 billion plan say it is a good idea, while 34% say it is a bad idea. In January, the balance of opinion regarding the plan was more positive: 57% of those […]

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 […]

Dec. 18, 2008

Part 2: Bush and the Issues

Shortly after President Bush took office in February 2001, no single issue stood out as the top national problem, though morality and ethics were mentioned most frequently (at just 12%); fewer than 1% cited terrorism. There was no clear public consensus about the nettlesome issue that was confronting policymakers – how to spend the federal […]

Jan. 24, 2006

Economy Now Seen Through Partisan Prism

Summary of Findings As President Bush prepares for his Jan. 31 State of the Union address, the public remains skeptical that the economy is improving, in spite of recent positive signals. Overall, about a third of Americans (34%) rate economic conditions as excellent or good, while nearly twice that number say they are fair or […]

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. […]

Dec. 8, 2003

Primary Preview: Surveys in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina

Summary of Findings Voter opinion is still fluid in the early Democratic primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire and especially South Carolina. As with the candidates themselves, there are significant disagreements among likely primary voters in these pivotal states on such key issues as how to deal with the postwar situation in Iraq, gay marriage […]

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 – […]

May. 7, 2003

Americans More Optimistic About Economy, But Not Bush Tax Cut

Summary of Findings With the war in Iraq over, Americans are feeling more optimistic about a turnaround in the national economy, and a greater number than at the beginning of the year think that President Bush is doing as much as he can to improve economic conditions. But the president’s tax cut proposal continues to […]

Apr. 3, 2003

War Concerns Grow, But Support Remains Steadfast

Summary of Findings Public support for the war in Iraq remains steadfast in the face of increasing worries about the current military situation and America’s role in rebuilding Iraq after the war. A growing number of Americans are expressing concern that U.S. forces might suffer major casualties or face attack with Iraqi chemical or biological […]

Feb. 25, 2003

Other Important Findings and Analyses

War Viewed as Top National Problem Roughly a third of Americans (34%) cite the prospect of war in Iraq as the biggest problem facing the country today, making this the top issue on the public’s agenda. Somewhat fewer (29%) cited economic concerns, including general references to the economy, unemployment and the cost of living. Terrorism […]

Feb. 22, 2001

Other Important Findings and Analyses

Blacks Remain Wary On balance, every major demographic group approves of the way Bush is handling his job as president, with one exception — non-whites. Overall, non-whites are fairly evenly divided over Bush’s job performance: 30% approve, 33% disapprove, 37% have no opinion. Blacks are the most critical: 22% approve, 40% disapprove and 38% have […]

Sep. 15, 1999

Other Important Findings and Analyses

Hillary, Fatigue and Gore Memories of the impeachment trial have begun to fade. Only 43% of Americans remember that Clinton’s Senate trial ended in 1999. This compares with 76% who knew in November 1991 that the Gulf War had ended earlier that year. Nonetheless, Clinton fatigue is still apparent. While Bill Clinton’s job approval ratings […]

Feb. 25, 1999

Other Important Findings and Analyses

Spike in National Mood The public’s sense of how well the country is doing has finally caught up with Americans’ positive ratings of their own lives. In fact, the national mood is better today than at any time since the 1960s, and the public is even more optimistic about the future. Nearly one-in-three Americans give […]