May. 5, 2014

Midterm Election Indicators Daunting for Democrats

With the midterm elections six months away, Democrats are burdened by an uneven economic recovery and a stubbornly unpopular health care law. Perhaps equally important, Barack Obama’s political standing is in some respects weaker than it was at a comparable point in the 2010 campaign, which ended with the Republicans gaining a majority in the […]

Dec. 10, 2013

Obama Job Rating Regains Some Ground, But 2013 Has Taken a Toll

Survey Report For the first time since last spring, Barack Obama’s steadily declining job rating has shown a modest improvement. And while his signature legislative accomplishment – the 2010 health care law – remains unpopular, Obama engenders much more public confidence on health care policy than do Republican leaders in Congress. The flawed rollout of […]

Nov. 8, 2013

Obama’s Second-Term Slide Continues

Survey Report Barack Obama has had a difficult year since his reelection victory. His overall job rating stands at 41%, down 14 points since last December. A majority (53%) now disapproves of the way he is handling his job as president. The latest national poll by the Pew Research Center, conducted Oct. 30-Nov. 6 among […]

Oct. 18, 2013

Trust in Government Nears Record Low, But Most Federal Agencies Are Viewed Favorably

Survey Report Public trust in the government, already quite low, has edged even lower in a survey conducted just before the Oct. 16 agreement to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling. Just 19% say that they trust the government in Washington to do what is right just about always or most of […]

Oct. 15, 2013

As Debt Limit Deadline Nears, Concern Ticks Up But Skepticism Persists

Survey Report With just two days to go before an Oct. 17 deadline to raise the nation’s debt limit, 51% of the public views a rise in the nation’s debt limit as “absolutely essential” in order to avoid an economic crisis, while 36% think the country can go past the deadline without major problems. Public […]

Sep. 30, 2013

Anger at Government Most Pronounced among Conservative Republicans

Survey Report With a possible government shutdown just hours away, public anger at the federal government is as high as at any point since the Pew Research Center began asking the question in 1997. Anger is most palpable among conservative Republicans – 41% say they are angry at the federal government, the highest among any […]

Sep. 9, 2013

Opposition to Syrian Airstrikes Surges

Over just the past week, the share of Americans who oppose U.S. airstrikes in Syria has surged 15 points, from 48% to 63%, as many who were undecided about the issue have turned against military action. By contrast, the share of Americans who support airstrikes remains virtually unchanged: Just 28% favor U.S. military airstrikes […]

Jul. 23, 2013

Many Say Economic Recovery Is Still a Long Way Off

Four years after the recession officially ended, the economic recovery remains a long way off in the view of many Americans. A new survey by the Pew Research Center,  conducted July 17-21 among 1,480 adults, finds that 44% say it will be a long time before the nation’s economy recovers. Smaller percentages say either […]

Jun. 19, 2013

Obama Job Approval Holds Steady, Economic Views Improve

In a second term marked by a series of controversies and little legislative success, President Obama’s job approval rating has nonetheless remained fairly steady. Currently, 49% approve of the way Obama is handling his job as president while 43% disapprove. That is little changed from a month ago, before the NSA surveillance controversy and […]

May. 20, 2013

Partisan Interest, Reactions to IRS and AP Controversies

So far, public interest in a trio of controversies connected to the Obama administration has been limited. Roughly a quarter (26%) of Americans say they are very closely following reports that the IRS targeted conservative groups. About the same number (25%) are tracking the Benghazi investigation very closely, and even fewer (16%) are very […]

May. 8, 2013

Obama Maintains Approval Advantage, but GOP Runs Even on Key Issues

President Obama continues to hold a substantial advantage over congressional Republicans in public regard. Obama’s job approval is back in positive territory at 51%, after slipping to 47% in March. By comparison, just 22% approve of the job Republican leaders in Congress are doing, among the lowest approval rating for congressional leaders from either […]

Mar. 21, 2013

Obama Job Approval Slips as Economic Pessimism Rises

Barack Obama’s job approval rating has tumbled since shortly after his re-election, as the public’s economic expectations for the coming year have soured. Despite substantial public awareness of recent gains in the stock market and rebounding real-estate values, the percentage saying economic conditions will get worse over the next year has risen to its […]

Feb. 21, 2013

If No Deal is Struck, Four-in-Ten Say Let the Sequester Happen

After a series of fiscal crises over the past few years, the public is not expressing a particular sense of urgency over the pending March 1 sequester deadline. With little more than a week to go, barely a quarter have heard a lot about the scheduled cuts, while about as many have heard nothing […]

Feb. 11, 2013

Little Change in Views of Importance of State of the Union

A plurality of the public (43%) views Barack Obama’s upcoming State of the Union as about as important as past years’ addresses. About a third (32%) say Obama’s speech will be more important than those in past years, while 15% say it will be less important. State of the Union Primer Public Views of […]

Jan. 22, 2013

Mixed Reactions to Obama’s Gun Proposals

With the public paying close attention to the national debate over gun control, Barack Obama’s gun proposals receive a mixed rating from the public. A 39% plurality say Obama’s proposals are about right while another 13% say they do not go far enough. About three-in-ten (31%) say the president’s proposals go too far; 17% […]

Jan. 17, 2013

Obama’s Approval Ratings Over his First Term

President Obama is in a strong position at the start of his second term. At 52%, his job approval rating is among the highest since the earliest months of his presidency. But it has certainly had its ups and downs. Our chart below displays Obama’s job approval ratings from Pew Research Center polls combined with […]

Jan. 17, 2013

Obama in Strong Position at Start of Second Term

As he prepares for his second inauguration, Barack Obama is in a stronger position with the public than he was over much of his first term. At 52%, his job approval rating is among the highest since the early months of his presidency. His personal favorability, currently 59%, has rebounded from a low of […]

Jan. 7, 2013

Obama Viewed as Fiscal Cliff Victor; Legislation Gets Lukewarm Reception

Barack Obama is viewed as the clear political winner in the fiscal cliff negotiations, but the legislation itself gets only a lukewarm reception from the public: As many disapprove as approve of the new tax legislation, and more say it will have a negative than positive impact on the federal budget deficit, the national […]

Dec. 13, 2012

As Fiscal Cliff Nears, Democrats Have Public Opinion on Their Side

The Democrats are in a strong position with the public as they engage in negotiations to find a solution to the fiscal cliff crisis. Barack Obama’s first post-reelection job approval rating has risen to 55%, up five points since July and 11 points since the start of the year. Obama’s job rating is markedly […]

Nov. 15, 2012

Low Marks for the 2012 Election

The 2012 presidential campaign was a frustrating experience for many voters, who say the campaign was more negative than usual and had less discussion of issues than in most previous campaigns. Both Obama and Romney get mixed grades for the job they did reaching out to voters, as do campaign consultants, the press and […]