Jun. 4, 2012

Section 4: Values About Government and the Social Safety Net

Americans have long been skeptical of the federal government and suspicious of elected representatives as a whole. Roughly eight-in-ten (81%) say elected officials in Washington lose touch with the people pretty quickly, and 62% say “most elected officials don’t care what people like me think.” Just 41% of Americans now say the government is really […]

Feb. 2, 2012

Lower-Income Republicans Say Government Does Too Little for Poor People

Mitt Romney’s statement that he is focused solely on the problems of middle class Americans, not the poor, may not sit well with lower-income voters within his own party. Roughly a quarter of Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters have annual family incomes under $30,000, and most of them say that the government does not do […]

Dec. 20, 2011

In 2007, Mood Just Beginning to Sour, Democrats Better Regarded

Four years ago, as voters were about to cast the first ballots in the 2008 election, the public’s mood was not very good, but still a lot better than it is today. In late 2007, the economic recession was gaining strength and the public’s view of the economy had grown more negative. Only about a […]

Nov. 3, 2011

Section 7: Views of Government

For most of their adult lives, members of the Silent generation have been one of the more conservative generations with respect to their view of the role of government. At least as far back as 1980, when Silents were between the ages of 35 and 52, and in the years since, they have generally been […]

Nov. 3, 2011

Section 1: How Generations Have Changed

The age differences in political attitudes and voting choices in the past three election cycles have been driven by three broad social and political trends. The first is the growing racial and ethnic diversity of the country, reflected in the rising percentage of non-whites among younger age cohorts. Non-whites have been far more supportive of […]

Sep. 22, 2011

Press Widely Criticized, But Trusted More than Other Information Sources

Negative opinions about the performance of news organizations now equal or surpass all-time highs on nine of 12 core measures the Pew Research Center has been tracking since 1985. However, these bleak findings are put into some perspective by the fact that news organizations are more trusted sources of information than are many other […]

Aug. 25, 2011

Section 4: Anger and Distrust in Government

When asked to describe their feelings about the federal government, 86% say either that they are frustrated (60%) or angry (26%). Just 11% say they are basically content with the federal government, by far the lowest percentage in a measure that dates to 1997. The share of Americans who describe themselves as angry with the […]

Jul. 18, 2011

Obama Draws More Confidence than Boehner, McConnell or Cantor on Debt Ceiling

The public expresses far more confidence in President Obama than it does in congressional leaders of both parties when it comes to the debate over the debt ceiling. Nonetheless, only about half of Americans (48%) have even a fair amount of confidence in Obama to do the right thing when it comes to dealing with […]

May. 4, 2011

Section 5: Views of Government, Constitution, American Exceptionalism

The public continues to favor smaller government and remains critical of government performance. However, some of the anger at government that was evident during the 2010 election campaign has subsided. Overall, 50% say they want a smaller government providing fewer services, while 42% say they would rather have a bigger government providing more services. A […]

Mar. 3, 2011

Fewer Are Angry at Government, But Discontent Remains High

The public remains deeply frustrated with the federal government, but fewer Americans say they are angry at government than did so last fall. Overall, the percentage saying they are angry with the federal government has fallen from 23% last September to 14% today, with much of the decline coming among Republicans and Tea Party […]

Mar. 3, 2011

Section 1: Attitudes About Government

When asked how they feel about the federal government, a majority of the public has consistently expressed frustration. Currently, 59% say they are frustrated with the federal government while 22% are content and 14% are angry. The percent saying they are angry with government has declined nine points since last September. Fewer Republicans say they […]

Sep. 27, 2010

Obama Viewed as Doing Better than GOP Leaders in Explaining Vision

With just over a month to go before the midterm elections, the public by a wide margin says Barack Obama has done a better job than Republican congressional leaders in explaining his plans and vision for the country. Half (50%) of the public says Obama has done a better job, compared with just 28% […]

Jun. 28, 2010

Public Rejects Variety Of Options For Fixing State Budgets

Most Americans see the deteriorating budget situations in many states as a problem that the states themselves – rather than the federal government – should solve. But when it comes to specific proposals to balance state budgets, there is more opposition than support for each option asked about – particularly cuts in funding for […]

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 […]

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Apr. 18, 2010

Public Trust in Government: 1958-2010

Data from Pew Research Center, National Election Studies, Gallup, ABC/Washington Post, CBS/New York Times, and CNN Polls. From 1976-2010 the trend line represents a three-survey moving average. For party analysis, selected datasets obtained from searches of the iPOLL Databank provided by the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, University of Connecticut. Report: Distrust, Discontent, Anger […]

Apr. 18, 2010

Section 1: Trust in Government 1958-2010

Public trust in the federal government in Washington is at one of its lowest levels in half a century. Just 22% of Americans say they trust the government to do what is right “just about always” (3%) or “most of the time” (19%). The current level of skepticism was matched previously only in the periods […]

Apr. 18, 2010

Distrust, Discontent, Anger and Partisan Rancor

By almost every conceivable measure Americans are less positive and more critical of government these days. A new Pew Research Center survey finds a perfect storm of conditions associated with distrust of government – a dismal economy, an unhappy public, bitter partisan-based backlash, and epic discontent with Congress and elected officials. Rather than an […]

Jul. 30, 2009

Section 4: Health Care Overhaul

Public Generally Opposes Health Care Proposals Public attention to the health care overhaul debate in Congress continues to grow. This week’s Pew Research Center News Interest Index survey finds that, for the first time, the health care debate in Washington is the public’s top news story. When asked specifically about the bills in Congress to […]

Feb. 12, 2009

Section 4: Views of the National Economy

National Economic Ratings Americans continue to offer overwhelmingly negative assessments of national economic conditions, and the percentage saying the nation’s economy is in poor shape has risen sharply in recent months. Fully 95% now give negative ratings of the economy, including 71% who describe current economic conditions as “poor” (another 24% say it is “only […]

Mar. 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 […]