May. 20, 2013

Partisan Interest, Reactions to IRS and AP Controversies

So far, public interest in a trio of controversies connected to the Obama administration has been limited. Roughly a quarter (26%) of Americans say they are very closely following reports that the IRS targeted conservative groups. About the same number (25%) are tracking the Benghazi investigation very closely, and even fewer (16%) are very […]

May. 9, 2013

Most Say Immigration Policy Needs Big Changes

Americans overwhelmingly say the nation’s immigration policy is in need of sweeping changes. Overall, 75% say immigration policy needs at least major changes, with 35% saying it needs to be “completely rebuilt”—among the highest of seven policy areas tested. Yet the broad public agreement that immigration policy should be revamped is not matched by […]

May. 1, 2013

Division, Uncertainty over New Immigration Bill

As Congress debates a bill to overhaul the nation’s immigration policy, much of the public has yet to form an opinion about the legislation. About as many say they favor (33%) as oppose (28%) the immigration bill before Congress, but fully 38% say they don’t know what they think of the legislation. At this […]

Apr. 29, 2013

Political Blame for Flight Delays Spread Evenly

As Washington sprang into action late last week to end the furlough of federal air-traffic controllers and delays at airports across the country, the public blamed both sides for the situation. Nearly equal percentages say congressional Republicans (34%) and the Obama administration (32%) are more to blame for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) budget […]

Apr. 11, 2013

A Third of Americans Say They Like Doing Their Income Taxes

Report As April 15 approaches, a majority of Americans (56%) have a negative reaction to doing their income taxes, with 26% saying they hate doing them. However, about a third (34%) say they either like (29%) or love (5%) doing their taxes. The national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted April 4-7 among 1,003 […]

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Apr. 11, 2013

How Do Americans Feel About Doing Their Taxes?

Ben Franklin once said that nothing in life is certain, but death and taxes. More than two centuries later, taxes remain a yearly ritual for most Americans. Most say they dislike – or even hate – doing their taxes, but about a third say they like it – or even love it. Click through the […]

Apr. 4, 2013

Marijuana in America: Shifting Attitudes, Events and Laws

Apr. 4, 2013

Majority Now Supports Legalizing Marijuana

Report For the first time in more than four decades of polling on the issue, a majority of Americans favor legalizing the use of marijuana. A national survey finds that 52% say that the use of marijuana should be made legal while 45% say it should not. Support for legalizing marijuana has risen 11 points […]

Apr. 2, 2013

Keystone XL Pipeline Draws Broad Support

As the Obama administration approaches a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, a national survey finds broad public support for the project. Two-thirds of Americans (66%) favor building the pipeline, which would transport oil from Canada’s oil sands region through the Midwest to refineries in Texas. Just 23% oppose construction of the pipeline. Support […]

Mar. 21, 2013

Obama Job Approval Slips as Economic Pessimism Rises

Barack Obama’s job approval rating has tumbled since shortly after his re-election, as the public’s economic expectations for the coming year have soured. Despite substantial public awareness of recent gains in the stock market and rebounding real-estate values, the percentage saying economic conditions will get worse over the next year has risen to its […]

Mar. 12, 2013

Why Own a Gun? Protection Is Now Top Reason

The vast majority of gun owners say that having a gun makes them feel safer. And far more today than in 1999 cite protection – rather than hunting or other activities – as the maireason they own guns. A national survey finds that nearly half of gun owners (48%) volunteer that the main reason […]

Feb. 25, 2013

Most Say Spending Cuts Would Have Major Impact on Economy, Military

While many Americans may be resigned to seeing automatic spending cuts in the budget sequester go into effect, the public is concerned about the potential impact of the reductions. A new national survey by the Pew Research Center and The Washington Post, conducted Feb. 21-24 among 1,000 adults, finds that most say the budget […]

Feb. 22, 2013

As Sequester Deadline Looms, Little Support for Cutting Most Programs

As the March 1 deadline for a possible budget sequester approaches, a new national survey finds limited public support for reducing spending for a range of specific programs, including defense, entitlements, education and health care. For 18 of 19 programs tested, majorities want either to increase spending or maintain it at current levels. The […]

Feb. 21, 2013

If No Deal is Struck, Four-in-Ten Say Let the Sequester Happen

After a series of fiscal crises over the past few years, the public is not expressing a particular sense of urgency over the pending March 1 sequester deadline. With little more than a week to go, barely a quarter have heard a lot about the scheduled cuts, while about as many have heard nothing […]

Feb. 14, 2013

Most Approve of Ending Saturday Mail Delivery

A majority of Americans (54%) approve of the U.S. Postal Service’s recent decision to halt Saturday delivery of letters, while 32% disapprove of the decision. The planned end of Saturday mail delivery is a rare government decision that garners bipartisan support – 58% of independents approve of the action, as do 57% of Republicans […]

Jan. 24, 2013

Deficit Reduction Rises on Public’s Agenda for Obama’s Second Term

When Barack Obama took office four years ago, reducing the budget deficit was a middle-tier item on the public’s agenda. Only about half of Americans (53%) viewed it as a top policy priority in January 2009, placing it ninth on a list of 20 policy goals. But as Obama begins his second term, only […]

Jan. 22, 2013

Mixed Reactions to Obama’s Gun Proposals

With the public paying close attention to the national debate over gun control, Barack Obama’s gun proposals receive a mixed rating from the public. A 39% plurality say Obama’s proposals are about right while another 13% say they do not go far enough. About three-in-ten (31%) say the president’s proposals go too far; 17% […]

Jan. 7, 2013

Obama Viewed as Fiscal Cliff Victor; Legislation Gets Lukewarm Reception

Barack Obama is viewed as the clear political winner in the fiscal cliff negotiations, but the legislation itself gets only a lukewarm reception from the public: As many disapprove as approve of the new tax legislation, and more say it will have a negative than positive impact on the federal budget deficit, the national […]

Dec. 18, 2012

Continued Pessimism about Fiscal Cliff Deal

With less than two weeks to go before the nation goes over the fiscal cliff, the public remains pessimistic about the possibility that the president and Congress will reach an agreement by the Jan. 1 deadline. In fact, opinions about the likelihood of a deal remain largely unchanged since early November, when negotiations between […]

Dec. 13, 2012

As Fiscal Cliff Nears, Democrats Have Public Opinion on Their Side

The Democrats are in a strong position with the public as they engage in negotiations to find a solution to the fiscal cliff crisis. Barack Obama’s first post-reelection job approval rating has risen to 55%, up five points since July and 11 points since the start of the year. Obama’s job rating is markedly […]