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%) […]

May. 3, 2011

More Optimism about Afghanistan, But No Boost in Support for Troop Presence

The killing of Osama bin Laden has bolstered the public’s confidence on two fronts: that the government can prevent a possible terrorist attack, and that the U.S. will succeed in achieving its goals in Afghanistan. However, the public’s basic views about U.S. forces in Afghanistan and the threat of terrorism in the United States […]

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 […]

Sep. 24, 2008

Section 4: Global Threats and Security Concerns

Seven years after the 9/11 attacks, terrorism is the public’s top international concern. Nearly three-quarters of Americans (72%) say that Islamic extremist groups like al Qaeda represent a major threat to the well-being of the United States. Fewer regard the nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea, tensions between Russia and its neighbors, or Pakistan’s […]

May. 1, 2008

Section 5: Less Optimism about Iraq

In February, there was a decidedly positive shift in several of the public’s perceptions about the war in Iraq and views of what to do next. In the current survey, however, many of these trends have been reversed. Currently, just 44% of Americans believe that the U.S. military effort in Iraq is going very or […]

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 […]

Aug. 17, 2006

American Attitudes Hold Steady in Face of Foreign Crises

Summary of Findings The public is paying a great deal of attention to major overseas events – the reported terrorist plot against U.S. trans-Atlantic jet liners, the war in Lebanon, as well as the ongoing violence in Iraq. However, there is little indication that these dramatic stories have materially changed public attitudes. Worries about another […]

Sep. 17, 2004

Iraq Support Steady in Face of Higher Casualties

Summary of Findings Most Americans think that the United States is winning the war on terrorism, and a solid majority believes that Al Qaeda and related terrorist groups are weaker now than they were before the Sept. 11 attacks. In addition, somewhat more Americans believe the war in Iraq has helped the war on terrorism […]

Nov. 5, 2003

Part 9: Other Issues (Civil Liberties, Immigration, Technology, Environment)

Civil Liberties and Terrorism For the first time since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, half of Americans say it will not be necessary for the average person to sacrifice civil liberties in the struggle against terrorism, while 44% believe such steps will be necessary. In three previous surveys since Sept. 11, 2001, majorities or pluralities […]

Sep. 19, 2003

A Chink in the Armor

New York Times

Sep. 4, 2003

Two Years Later, the Fear Lingers

Summary of Findings As the second anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks approaches, heightened public concern about international threats persists. Fully three-quarters of Americans see the world as a more dangerous place than a decade ago, up from 53% in a Pew survey conducted in early September 2001, just prior to the terrorist strikes […]

Feb. 20, 2003

Other Important Findings and Analyses

Perceptions Linked to Views of War Supporters and opponents of military action in Iraq look at the crisis in very different ways, especially the ongoing efforts of U.N. weapons inspectors. A majority of Americans (58%) think the weapons inspections process has clearly shown that Iraq will not cooperate and cannot be peacefully disarmed, while roughly […]

Jan. 16, 2003

Public Wants Proof of Iraqi Weapons Programs

Summary of Findings A two-thirds majority of the public continues to express qualified support for the idea of using military force to end the rule of Saddam Hussein. But the Bush administration may face a major challenge in winning public support for the use of force if U.N. weapons inspections yield anything less than evidence […]

Sep. 5, 2002

Commentary by Lee Feinstein, Senior Fellow

  Council on Foreign Relations Politicians and political consultants generally believe elections are not won or lost on foreign policy issues. With the midterm congressional elections approaching, many political experts contend this is true, even in the aftermath of last September’s terrorist attacks and with a military confrontation with Iraq looming. The latest nationwide poll […]

Sep. 5, 2002

Temporary Turnabout: Religion and the Crisis

In March, 2001, the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press and the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life began a partnership to conduct a series of national public opinion surveys on religious attitudes. With the events of September 11, we accelerated our agenda to investigate how religious beliefs shaped public reactions […]

Jun. 27, 2002

Other Important Findings and Analysis

No Partisan Advantage The two parties continue to run neck and neck in the generic congressional ballot. Overall, 46% of registered voters support or lean toward the Democratic candidate in their district, while 44% favor the Republican. This reflects virtually unanimous support from partisans (93% of Republicans plan to vote Republican, 91% of Democrats plan […]

Jun. 27, 2002

Domestic Concerns will Vie with Terrorism in Fall

Introduction and Summary The upcoming congressional election may be as much a referendum on domestic concerns as on the war on terrorism, as the public’s economic anxiety increases and its frustration with Washington mounts. Voters say that domestic matters such as health care, education and the economy come up in conversation as frequently as the […]

Jun. 10, 2002

President Bush Distanced From 9/11 Blame

by Andrew Kohut for America Online

Mar. 7, 2002

Public Opinion Six Months Later

Nationhood, Internationalism Lifted

Dec. 6, 2001

Other Important Findings and Analyses

Judeo-Christian Religions Still Favored Despite higher favorability for Muslim-Americans, ratings for this group are still lower than those of the major Judeo-Christian religions. Three-quarters of Americans give a favorable rating to Catholics, Protestants and Jews (78%, 77% and 75%, respectively). Atheists continue to receive much lower favorability ratings than the major religions ­ just 32% […]