PublicationsOctober 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 […]

CommentaryOctober 4, 2008

A Word about Debate Impressions

PublicationsOctober 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 […]

CommentarySeptember 25, 2008

The Candidates: In a Word

Multi-section ReportsSeptember 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 […]

Multi-section ReportsAugust 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 […]

CommentaryJuly 15, 2008

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

Multi-section ReportsJuly 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 […]

CommentaryJune 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 […]

Multi-section ReportsMay 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 […]

Multi-section ReportsMay 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; […]

PublicationsApril 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 […]

CommentaryApril 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 […]

Multi-section ReportsMarch 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%) […]

CommentaryFebruary 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 […]

PublicationsFebruary 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 […]

PublicationsJanuary 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 […]

CommentaryDecember 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 […]

Multi-section ReportsOctober 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 […]

PublicationsSeptember 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 […]