Jan. 12, 2012

Many Voters Unaware of Basic Facts about GOP Candidates

Many voters do not know basic facts about the Republican candidates running for president or the early primary calendar. While a sizable majority (69%) knows that Newt Gingrich served as speaker of the House, only about half (53%) identify Massachusetts as the state where Mitt Romney served as governor. Fewer than half of registered […]

Dec. 14, 2011

Top One-Word Reactions to GOP Frontrunners

When Americans are asked what comes to mind when they hear Newt Gingrich’s name, no single word stands out. Some refer to the Republican frontrunner’s intellect and conservatism.Others see him as “old school” or even as an “idiot.” Most frequently, they offer a quick negative assessment of Gingrich’s White House bid: “no” or “no way.” […]

Dec. 8, 2011

For Gingrich, Age May Just Be a Number

As the newly anointed GOP frontrunner, Newt Gingrich is facing increased scrutiny about his record, policy proposals and temperament. But so far, Gingrich’s age – he will turn 69 next summer – has virtually escaped notice. This marks quite a change from the last presidential campaign, when then 72-year-old John McCain faced persistent questions about […]

Nov. 23, 2011

Romney’s Mormon Faith Likely a Factor in Primaries, Not in a General Election

A new survey finds that there has been virtually no change in Americans’ impressions of the Mormon faith over the past four years. Meanwhile, about half of all voters, and 60% of evangelical Republicans, know that Mitt Romney is a Mormon. Romney’s religion has implications for his nomination run but not for the general election […]

Nov. 7, 2011

39% Think Cain Allegations True, 24% False

Americans who have heard about the sexual harassment allegations against Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain, on balance, think they are true rather than false. At the same time, a plurality thinks that recent coverage of Cain has been fair. Three-quarters of the public say they have heard a lot (51%) or a little (24%) […]

Oct. 18, 2011

Top One-Word Reaction to Cain Is a Number: 9-9-9

When Americans are asked to describe Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain in a single word, they most frequently offer a series of numbers: “9-9-9.” Cain’s tax proposal is mentioned more often than his background as a businessman. For Mitt Romney, the most frequently used single word is his religion – “Mormon.” And the most frequently […]

Sep. 26, 2011

Obama Draws More Confidence than GOP Leaders on Deficit

As the nation prepares for another round of deficit reduction debates, the public’s confidence in congressional leaders, particularly Republican leaders in Congress, has plummeted. Just 35% say they have a great deal or fair amount of confidence in Republican leaders in Congress to do the right thing when it comes to dealing with the […]

Jul. 5, 2011

Are Republicans Ready Now for a Mormon President?

By Carroll Doherty, Associate Director, Pew Research Center. Special to the New York Times.  For more debate on Mormon candidates in the 2012 election click here. Overall, being a Mormon is hardly an asset for presidential candidates, but it is not a deal-breaker for most Americans. A quarter of Americans say they would be less […]

Jun. 2, 2011

Republican Candidates Stir Little Enthusiasm

The emerging Republican presidential field draws tepid ratings. Just a quarter of voters (25%) have an excellent or good impression of the possible GOP candidates, and a separate survey conducted jointly with The Washington Post finds that negative descriptions of the field far outnumber positive ones. Asked for a single word to describe the […]

May. 16, 2011

When Private Lives Become Public

For more on how a candidate’s marital and family life affects voters’ views, click here. Generally, the issues matter most in voters’ judgments about presidential candidates, but personality, character and values are not far behind. This is especially the case in the primaries where differences between candidates of the same party tend to be modest. […]

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% […]

Aug. 2, 2010

Earmarks Could Help Candidates in Midterms; Palin and Tea Party Connections Could Hurt

In the congressional elections this fall, candidates with a record of bringing government projects and money to their districts may have an edge. A majority of Americans (53%) say they are more likely to vote for a candidate with a record of delivering earmarks for their districts; just 12% say they would be less […]

Oct. 21, 2008

Growing Doubts About McCain’s Judgment, Age and Campaign Conduct

Barack Obama’s lead over John McCain has steadily increased since mid-September, when the race was essentially even. Shortly after the first presidential debate on Sept. 26, Obama moved to a 49% to 42% lead; that margin inched up to 50% to 40% in a poll taken just after the second debate. Currently, Obama enjoys […]

Oct. 6, 2008

Post-Debate: Palin Still Seen as Unqualified, a Bump for Biden

While last week’s vice-presidential debate had a larger audience than any other in history, voters’ impressions of Sarah Palin have changed little. A special re-interview this weekend of voters who had been first polled a week ago found that most (55%) continue to have a favorable view of Palin, but most (52%) also still […]

Oct. 4, 2008

A Word about Debate Impressions

Oct. 1, 2008

Obama Boosts Leadership Image and Regains Lead Over McCain

Barack Obama has achieved a significant lead over John McCain in the days following the first presidential debate. Pew’s new survey conducted Sept. 27-29 finds that Obama has moved to a 49% to 42% advantage among registered voters. The race was virtually even in mid-September and early August. Obama had not led McCain by […]

Sep. 25, 2008

The Candidates: In a Word

Sep. 18, 2008

McCain Gains On Issues, But Stalls As Candidate Of Change

With two eventful and closely followed political conventions now in their rearview mirror, voters’ views of Barack Obama and John McCain have changed in some ways, yet remain the same in others. What has not changed is that the race remains very close: a national survey of 2,509 voters interviewed Sept. 9-14 on both […]

Aug. 21, 2008

More Americans Question Religion’s Role In Politics

Some Americans are having a change of heart about mixing religion and politics. A new survey finds a narrow majority of the public saying that churches and other houses of worship should keep out of political matters and not express their views on day-to-day social and political matters. For a decade, majorities of Americans […]

Jul. 15, 2008

Belief that Obama is Muslim is Durable, Bipartisan – but Most Likely to Sway Democratic Votes