May. 14, 2008

Opinion of Oprah More Politicized, Gore’s Ratings Improve

Summary of Findings Long one of America’s best-known and best-liked media figures, Oprah Winfrey saw her popularity slip after her endorsement of Barack Obama last year. A new survey shows that her image has not recovered, and opinions about the talk show host have become increasingly divided along partisan political lines. Currently, 68% of Americans […]

May. 1, 2008

Obama’s Image Slips, His Lead Over Clinton Disappears

Summary of Findings Democratic voters are not as positive about Barack Obama as they were a month ago. Somewhat smaller percentages of Democrats describe Obama in favorable terms, and he has lost his lead over Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic nomination. Nationally, Democratic voters are about evenly divided between Obama and Clinton; […]

May. 1, 2008

Democratic Campaign Taking a Toll on Both Obama and Clinton

Summary of Findings Over the past six weeks the intense, and often negative, contest between Obama and Clinton has dominated media coverage of the campaign as well as public attention. And over this period, more Americans have consistently said their views of Obama and Clinton have become less favorable, rather than more favorable, in recent […]

Apr. 24, 2008

More Americans View Campaign As Too Negative

Summary of Findings Interest in what the public perceives as an excessively negative presidential campaign declined in the days leading up to the Pennsylvania primary. Just 29% of Americans say they paid very close attention to news about the presidential campaign last week, the lowest percentage recorded since December 2007. By comparison, 43% said they […]

Apr. 17, 2008

Less News is Good News for McCain

Summary of Findings John McCain’s campaign for president has been flying under the news media’s radar since he sewed up the Republican nomination in early March. In recent weeks, he has received less news coverage – and has been consistently less visible to the public – than either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. Nonetheless, far […]

Apr. 17, 2008

No Clear Advantage

One of the more surprising twists in a surprising year is that despite the obvious Republican disadvantages in this election cycle, John McCain is matching up pretty well against Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in tests being conducted by national polls. Electability is an issue for Democrats, and one that both Senators Obama and Clinton […]

Apr. 4, 2008

That’s What I Like About Me

At the start of his run for the presidency, Barack Obama would explain the positive reaction he was getting from admirers by saying “this is more about you than about me.” Now that Mr. Obama is the front-running Democratic candidate, an in-depth look at how voters are reacting to him – and the reasons for […]

Apr. 3, 2008

Clinton Controversy Heavily Covered but Obama Maintains Visibility Edge

Summary of Findings Hillary Clinton’s retraction of her claim that she came under sniper fire while visiting Bosnia in 1996 was one of the main campaign storylines last week. But the controversy over her statements did not resonate as widely as the furor over statements made by Barack Obama’s pastor earlier in March. Roughly four-in-ten […]

Apr. 3, 2008

Robo-Calls Now Lead Other Forms of Campaign Outreach

As Congress considers a proposal to put restrictions on pre-recorded campaign calls, or “robo-calls,” the frequency of such calls is increasing. Overall, 39% of voters say they have received a pre-recorded call about the campaign, up from 25% in November. In other campaign findings, Democrats are more likely than Republicans to engage in campaign activities […]

Mar. 27, 2008

Obama and Wright Controversy Dominate News Cycle

Summary of Findings Barack Obama’s March 18th speech on race and politics is arguably the biggest political event of the campaign so far. Fully 85% of Americans say they heard at least a little about Obama’s speech, and most (54%) say they heard a lot about it. Not surprisingly, Barack Obama has been far and […]

Mar. 27, 2008

Obama Weathers the Wright Storm, Clinton Faces Credibility Problem.

Summary of Findings The videos of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s controversial sermons and Barack Obama’s subsequent speech on race and politics have attracted more public attention than any events thus far in the 2008 presidential campaign. A majority of the public (51%) said they heard “a lot” about the videos, and an even larger percentage (54%) […]

Mar. 13, 2008

Public Closely Tracking Details of Campaign

Summary of Findings Not only are Americans following election news in record numbers this year, they are tracking the details of the campaign — the charges, countercharges and controversial advertisements — extremely closely. Large majorities say they have heard at least something about rumors that Barack Obama is a Muslim; Hillary Clinton’s 3:00 a.m. phone […]

Mar. 6, 2008

Just 28% Say Media Going Easy on Obama

Summary of Findings As is often the case, voters say they would like to see more coverage of the candidates’ positions on the issues and less coverage of which candidate is leading in the latest polls. More than three-quarters of the public (78%) would like to see more coverage of the candidates’ positions on domestic […]

Feb. 28, 2008

Obama Has The Lead, But Potential Problems Too

Summary of Findings Barack Obama is riding high as the March 4 primaries approach. Obama has moved out to a broad-based advantage over Hillary Clinton in the national Democratic primary contest and holds a 50%-43% lead over John McCain in a general election matchup. However, the survey results point to several potential hazards for Obama. […]

Feb. 27, 2008

NY Times’ McCain Story Draws Public Interest – And Disapproval

Summary of Findings An overwhelming majority of Americans (81%) are aware of news reports that John McCain may have had an improper relationship with a female lobbyist several years ago. About half (48%) of the public has heard a lot about this story, which first appeared in the New York Times late last week. Another […]

Feb. 25, 2008

In November, Will Age Matter?

As John McCain comes ever closer to securing the Republican nomination, his age has remained notably absent as a campaign issue. So far it has attracted so little attention that the network exit pollsters have not included even one question on the subject in 23 state surveys – an extraordinary occurrence given that Senator McCain […]

Feb. 21, 2008

Campaign Seen as Less Negative than 2004 Contest

Summary of Findings The public remains highly engaged in the presidential campaign, and strong majorities say the campaign is important, easy to follow, interesting and informative. The public’s only major complaint about the campaign is its length: 57% say it is too long, while 40% disagree. However, campaign fatigue has not increased in recent months. […]

Feb. 13, 2008

Obama Inspiring But Inexperienced, Clinton Prepared to Lead But “Hard To Like”

Summary of Findings Barack Obama is seen by most Democrats as inspiring and as most likely to bring about change. Hillary Clinton is widely viewed as prepared to lead the country, but also hard to like. These are some of the major themes in campaign news coverage — identified by the Project for Excellence in […]

Feb. 11, 2008

Young Voters in 2008 Presidential Primaries

A great deal of attention on Super Tuesday was focused on young voters, especially in the Democratic contests. Pew polling over the past few years has shown that young voters are trending Democratic and constitute an important constituency for the party. Currently, a clear majority of registered voters ages 18-29 say they are Democrats or […]

Feb. 8, 2008

Patterns of Distinction

In terms of the numbers, Super Tuesday was as much a national election as it was the sum of individual contests in 24 states. While significant variations emerged in voting patterns from state to state, similarities outweighed differences. In both political parties, distinct patterns shaped the outcomes from coast to coast, and they provide some […]