Jul. 10, 2008

Likely Rise in Voter Turnout Bodes Well for Democrats

The outlook for the presidential election at mid-year is substantially different than at comparable points in time in recent campaigns. First, turnout is likely to be higher this fall – perhaps much higher than in previous elections – as voter interest continues at record levels. Second, as has been the case since the start […]

Jun. 2, 2008

The Iraq Challenge

It turns out that Iraq is not the pivotal campaign issue that it seemed to be less than a year ago. Indeed, the war is no longer the top concern among voters. At the same time, the war’s impact is complicated by ambivalent and contradictory public opinions. In many respects, as far as Iraq is […]

May. 29, 2008

McCain’s Negatives Mostly Political, Obama’s More Personal

As the end of the primary season draws near, Barack Obama is the clear favorite of Democratic voters for their party’s presidential nomination. He currently holds a wide 54% to 41% lead over Hillary Clinton. But when the Illinois Democrat is tested against John McCain in a general election matchup, he now runs about […]

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; […]

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. 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 […]

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%) […]

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. 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 […]

Jan. 16, 2008

In GOP Primaries: Three Victors, Three Constituencies

Summary of Findings The Republican nomination contest is being increasingly shaped by ideology and religion as it moves toward the Super Tuesday states on Feb. 5. John McCain has moved out to a solid lead nationally, increasing his support among Republican and GOP-leaning voters from 22% in late December to 29% currently. Mike Huckabee, at […]

Dec. 4, 2007

Public Opinion About Mormons

On Thursday Dec. 6, Mitt Romney will deliver an address outlining the way his religious faith has influenced his political career. Recent Pew polling finds that Romney, more than any other presidential candidate (Republican or Democrat), is viewed as very religious by the public. This perception is, for the most part, an asset for Romney’s […]

Oct. 31, 2007

A Year Ahead, Republicans Face Tough Political Terrain

Introduction and Summary A year before the 2008 presidential election, most major national opinion trends decidedly favor the Democrats. Discontent with the state of the nation is markedly greater than it was four years ago. President Bush’s approval rating has fallen from 50% to 30% over this period. And the Democrats’ advantage over the Republicans […]

Sep. 20, 2007

Clinton Seen as ’Tough’ and ’Smart’ — Giuliani as ’Energetic’

Summary of Findings The public is no more engaged by the presidential campaign than it was in the spring, and the candidates’ images remain somewhat blurry. But the personal strengths of several leading candidates are beginning to come into focus for voters. Views of Hillary Clinton are more sharply drawn than those of other leading […]

Sep. 6, 2007

Clinton and Giuliani Seen as Not Highly Religious; Romney’s Religion Raises Concerns

Summary of Findings So far religion is not proving to be a clear-cut positive in the 2008 presidential campaign. The candidates viewed by voters as the least religious among the leading contenders are the current frontrunners for the Democratic and Republican nominations — Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani, respectively. On the other hand, the candidate […]

Aug. 23, 2007

Clinton and Giuliani’s Contrasting Images

Summary of Findings Sen. Hillary Clinton is by far the most popular presidential candidate among her own party’s voters, but has among the lowest overall favorable ratings of the leading candidates. In sharp contrast, the front-running Republican candidate, Rudy Giuliani, evokes relatively modest enthusiasm from the GOP base, but is as broadly popular with all […]

May. 9, 2007

Are Americans Ready to Elect a Female President?

When evaluating Sen. Hillary Clinton’s 2008 prospects, one question remains inescapable: Are voters ready to elect a female president? On one level, the question would appear to be settled. In February, Gallup found 88% saying they would vote for a well-qualified woman for president. Contrast this with public opinion in 1969, the year Clinton graduated […]

Apr. 26, 2007

Both Sides Reject Compromise in Iraq Funding Fight

Summary of Findings With battle lines drawn over legislation funding the Iraq war, the public is showing little appetite for compromise. Overall, a solid majority of Americans (59%) continue to say they want their representative to support a bill calling for a U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq by August 2008, while just a third want […]

Feb. 23, 2007

Voters Remain In Neutral As Presidential Campaign Moves Into High Gear

Summary of Findings The 2008 presidential campaign has kicked off earlier than usual with more candidates than usual, but many people appear not to have noticed. Americans are no more likely to say they have given the presidential campaign much thought than they did in December, and just small minorities can name a candidate they […]

Apr. 6, 2005

The Dean Activists: Their Profile and Prospects

Introduction Although former Vermont governor Howard Dean failed to win the Democratic presidential nomination, his campaign left a strong imprint on the political world. It assembled a network of over a half-million active supporters and contributors, raised over $20 million in mostly small donations online, and demonstrated the power of the internet as a networking […]

Oct. 20, 2004

Race Tightens Again, Kerry’s Image Improves

Summary of Findings As the campaign heads into its final stages, the presidential race is again extremely close. The latest Pew Research Center survey of 1,307 registered voters, conducted Oct. 15-19, finds President George W. Bush and Sen. John Kerry tied at 45%-45% among registered voters, and 47%-47% among likely voters.(1) These findings represent a […]