May. 19, 2014

For 2016 Hopefuls, Washington Experience Could Do More Harm than Good

Survey Report As the 2016 presidential campaign begins to take shape, Washington experience has become less of a potential asset for those seeking the White House. A new national survey testing candidate traits finds that 30% would be less likely to support a candidate with “many years” of experience as an elected official in Washington, […]

Nov. 26, 2012

Young Voters Supported Obama Less, But May Have Mattered More

In winning reelection, Barack Obama won 60% of the vote among those younger than 30. That was down somewhat from 2008, when Obama won nearly two-thirds (66%) of the votes of young people. However, Obama’s youth support may have been an even more important factor in his victory this year than it was in 2008. […]

Nov. 7, 2012

Changing Face of America Helps Assure Obama Victory

Barack Obama retained enough support from key elements of his base to win reelection, even as he lost ground nationally since 2008. In particular, Obama maintained wide advantages among young people, women, minorities, and both the less affluent and the well-educated. Overall, Obama benefited from relatively strong turnout – both nationally and in key battleground […]

Nov. 4, 2012

Graphic: The Final Days of Campaign 2012

Obama and Romney have switched places in poll results over the final two months of the campaign. This chart tracks likely voters, based on national polls conducted by Pew Research Center. Read Pew Research’s final estimate for Election Day, which allocates a portion of the undecided voters to each candidate here.

Nov. 4, 2012

Obama Gains Edge in Campaign’s Final Days

Barack Obama has edged ahead of Mitt Romney in the final days of the presidential campaign. In the Pew Research Center’s election weekend survey, Obama holds a 48% to 45% lead over Romney among likely voters. The survey finds that Obama maintains his modest lead when the probable decisions of undecided voters are taken […]

Nov. 1, 2012

Nonvoters: Who They Are, What They Think

In the final days before Tuesday’s election, most of the focus will be on those likely to cast votes. But a sizable minority of adults choose not to vote or are unable to vote. By their absence, they also will affect the outcome. Nonvoters are numerous; in 2008, they constituted about 43% of the […]

Oct. 31, 2012

In Deadlocked Race, Neither Side Has Ground Game Advantage

Just as the presidential race is deadlocked in the campaign’s final days, the candidates are also running about even when it comes to the ground game. Voters nationally, as well those in the closely contested battleground states, report being contacted at about the same rates by each of the campaigns. And with a fifth […]

Oct. 29, 2012

Presidential Race Dead Even; Romney Maintains Turnout Edge

As the presidential campaign enters its final week, Barack Obama has failed to regain much of the support he lost in the days following the first presidential debate and the race is now even among likely voters: 47% favor Obama while an identical percentage supports Mitt Romney. The latest national survey by the Pew […]

Oct. 23, 2012

Republicans Increasingly Positive About Campaign

Republicans express increasingly positive opinions about the presidential campaign and are now about as likely as Democrats to view the campaign as interesting and informative. In early September, shortly after the party conventions, far more Democrats than Republicans said the campaign was interesting and informative. The new survey by the Pew Research Center for […]

Oct. 10, 2012

Biden Viewed Unfavorably, Divided Opinions about Ryan

Ahead of Thursday’s vice presidential debate, more voters view Joe Biden unfavorably than favorably, while opinions about Paul Ryan are more evenly divided. Biden’s image is far less positive than it was shortly before his 2008 debate with Sarah Palin; Ryan is viewed less favorably than Palin was just prior to the last vice-presidential […]

Oct. 8, 2012

Romney’s Strong Debate Performance Erases Obama’s Lead

2012 Election Voter Preference Trends Track voter preferences for Obama vs. Romney overall and by demographic group among registered voters. Mitt Romney no longer trails Barack Obama in the Pew Research Center’s presidential election polling. By about three-to-one, voters say Romney did a better job than Obama in the Oct. 3 debate, and the […]

Sep. 28, 2012

Youth Engagement Falls; Registration Also Declines

Young voters are significantly less engaged in this year’s election than at a comparable point in 2008 and now lag far behind older voters in interest in the campaign and intention to vote. The share of voters younger than 30 who are following campaign news very closely is roughly half what it was at this […]

Sep. 24, 2012

Fewer Satisfied with Candidates than in Any Campaign Since 1992

Approaching the first presidential debate, voters offer tepid ratings of the 2012 field. Just over half (54%) say they are either very or fairly satisfied with the presidential choices this year, while 40% say they are not too or not at all satisfied. The percentage expressing satisfaction with the candidates is now lower than it […]

Sep. 19, 2012

Obama Ahead with Stronger Support, Better Image and Lead on Most Issues

At this stage in the campaign, Barack Obama is in a strong position compared with past victorious presidential candidates. With an eight-point lead over Mitt Romney among likely voters, Obama holds a bigger September lead than the last three candidates who went on to win in November, including Obama four years ago.

Sep. 17, 2012

Middle East Turmoil Closely Followed; Romney’s Comments Viewed Negatively

About four-in-ten Americans (43%) have followed news about the attacks on U.S. embassies in the Middle East and the killing of an American ambassador very closely, making it by far the most closely followed foreign news story of the year. Those who have followed this story have much more positive opinions about Barack Obama’s […]

Sep. 12, 2012

Democrats Now More Positive on Campaign 2012

In the wake of the party conventions, Democrats express increasingly positive views of the presidential campaign. And today, substantially more Democrats than Republicans view the campaign as interesting and informative. The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Sept. 7-9 among 1,012 adults, finds that 66% […]

Aug. 21, 2012

Medicare Voucher Plan Remains Unpopular

Paul Ryan’s selection to the Republican ticket has put the issue of Medicare squarely on the 2012 campaign agenda. And the latest Pew Research Center survey continues to find the public is aware of a proposal to gradually shift Medicare to a system of vouchers and is, on balance, more opposed than supportive of […]

Aug. 3, 2012

Party Affiliation and Election Polls

In every campaign cycle, pollwatchers pay close attention to the details of every election survey. And well they should. But focusing on the partisan balance of surveys is, in almost every circumstance, the wrong place to look. The latest Pew Research Center survey conducted July 16-26 among 1,956 registered voters nationwide found 51% supporting Barack […]

Aug. 2, 2012

Romney’s Personal Image Remains Negative

2012 Election Voter Preference Trends Track voter preferences for Obama vs. Romney overall and by demographic group. By a 52% to 37% margin, more voters say they have an unfavorable than favorable view of Mitt Romney. The poll, conducted prior to Romney’s recent overseas trip, represents the sixth consecutive survey over the past nine […]

Jul. 24, 2012

Most Say They Already Know Enough about the Candidates

With more than three months to go before Election Day, most voters already feel that there’s little left to learn about the presidential candidates. When it comes to Barack Obama, 90% say they already pretty much know what they need to know about him; just 8% say they need to learn more. A substantial […]