Oct. 4, 2004

Kerry Wins Debate, But Little Change in Candidate Images

Summary of Findings By two-to-one, voters who watched the first presidential debate believe that John Kerry prevailed. But the widely viewed Sept. 30 showdown did not result in a sea change in opinions of the candidates. As a consequence, George W. Bush continues to have a much stronger personal image than his Democratic challenger, while […]

Sep. 28, 2004

Bush Margin Widens Again, Despite Vulnerabilities

Summary of Findings George W. Bush has reopened a significant lead over challenger John Kerry over the past week, even as voters express less confidence in the president on Iraq and he continues to trail Kerry on the economy. Two successive nationwide surveys of nearly 1,000 registered voters each show Bush’s margin over Kerry growing […]

Sep. 16, 2004

Kerry Support Rebounds, Race Again Even

Introduction and Summary Voter opinion in the presidential race has seesawed dramatically in the first two weeks of September. Following a successful nominating convention, George W. Bush broke open a deadlocked contest and jumped out to a big lead over John Kerry. However, polling this past week finds that Bush’s edge over his Democratic rival […]

Aug. 12, 2004

Public Faults Bush on Economy – 55% Say Jobs are Scarce

Summary of Findings With three months to go until the presidential election, the American public remains largely dissatisfied with economic conditions and with President Bush’s stewardship of the economy. Two-thirds rate the national economy as “only fair” or “poor,” while just one-third judge it to be “excellent” or “good.” Accordingly, Bush gets low ratings for […]

Jul. 21, 2004

Democratic Party Image Improvement

Summary of Findings Sen. John Kerry enters the Democratic convention next week bolstered by a number of favorable trends in public opinion, although he remains locked in a statistical tie for voter support with President George W. Bush. His party is dominant on key domestic issues and at least competitive with the Republicans on every […]

May. 12, 2004

Iraq Prison Scandal Hits Home, But Most Reject Troop Pullout

Summary of Findings Public satisfaction with national conditions has fallen to 33%, its lowest level in eight years, in the wake of revelations of prisoner abuse committed by U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. President Bush’s overall job approval rating also has dropped into negative territory: 44% approve of his job performance, while […]

Feb. 19, 2004

Democratic Primary Campaign Impresses Voters

Introduction and Summary So far, the presidential primary campaign has been very good for the Democratic Party. Public interest in the race has been relatively high. Nearly half of Americans (45%) have a positive overall impression of the Democratic field, up from 31% just a month ago. And while a slim majority of the public […]

Nov. 16, 2000

Campaign 2000 Highly Rated

Introduction and Summary Even with an uncertain conclusion, Campaign 2000 gets better grades from the public than most recent presidential contests. Fully 83% of voters say they learned enough from the campaign to make an informed choice — a larger percentage than expressed that view in surveys conducted in the days following the three previous […]

Nov. 1, 2000

Bush Gains on Personal Qualities

Introduction and Summary With less than a week to go before the presidential election, George W. Bush’s advantage with the voters on personal qualities is now trumping Al Gore’s edge on the issues. A steadily growing plurality has come to see the GOP candidate as more likable, more honest, more able to get things done, […]

Oct. 25, 2000

Voter Opinions Stalled

Introduction and Summary With two weeks to go until Election Day, voters still can’t choose between Al Gore and George W. Bush. The perceived strengths and weaknesses of both candidates continue to drive voter indecision. People have a better opinion of the Texas governor personally than they had in September, prior to the debates. At […]

Oct. 10, 2000

Presidential Debate Clouds Voters’ Choice

Introduction and Summary Al Gore’s personality may be costing him votes. Although a plurality of voters believe he won the first presidential debate, he has lost his small September lead over George W. Bush. As the race has narrowed, an increasing number of voters who oppose the vice president say they dislike his personality. On […]

Jul. 27, 2000

Voters Unmoved By Media Characterizations of Bush and Gore

Introduction and Summary American voters, who continue to divide their support equally between Al Gore and George W. Bush, have not been strongly influenced by the way the American news media have covered the personal character of the presidential candidates. As the conventions approach there is ample opportunity for the campaigns to make powerful appeals […]

Jul. 13, 2000

Voter Turnout May Slip Again

Introduction and Summary Americans are more satisfied with their choice of presidential candidates this year than in 1996 and 1992, and they are, if anything, less critical of the way the campaigns are being conducted and covered by the news media than they were at comparable points in those elections. Yet voters are more disengaged […]

Mar. 23, 2000

Bush Pays Price for Primary Victory

Introduction and Summary The presidential primary season may prove to be a decisive factor in Campaign 2000, not only for who won, but for the way the winners emerged from the process in the eyes of the voters. Al Gore was clearly helped, and George W. Bush was just as clearly hurt. The vice president […]

Feb. 17, 2000

McCain Appeals To Pivotal Older Voters and Independents

Introduction and Summary The outcome of the New Hampshire primary has changed candidate support patterns that last year seemed all but cast in stone. Al Gore has drawn into a statistical dead-heat with George W. Bush in a general-election ballot test, largely because core Democrats are rallying behind the vice president. At the same time, […]

Feb. 2, 2000

Bush Faces Stature Gap, Bradley a Gender Gap

Notes from the New Hampshire Exit Polls

Dec. 10, 1999

Independents Drive New Hampshire Poll Shifts

Also: The Civilian-Military Gap Flap

Oct. 18, 1999

Candidate Qualities May Trump Issues in 2000

Introduction and Summary Even though Americans say that issues matter most, candidates’ personal qualities may be decisive in a campaign without dominant issues. Voters make fine distinctions, however, about what they want to know about candidates personally. Americans strongly reject press inquiry into most avenues of candidates’ private lives, yet at the same time place […]

Sep. 15, 1999

Too Much Money, Too Much Media Say Voters

Introduction and Summary Americans are showing signs of disaffection with a presidential campaign that is just beginning. The public thinks the press and large campaign contributors are having too much influence on who gets nominated, and a 60% majority thinks voters themselves have too little say. The latest Pew Research Center survey, conducted on the […]

Jun. 17, 1998

Don’t Blame Us

Introduction and Summary Political consultants have clear consciences: Most do not think campaign practices that suppress turnout, use scare tactics and take facts out of context are unethical. They are nearly unanimous — 97% — in the belief that negative advertising is not wrong, and few blame themselves for public disillusionment with the political process. […]