InteractivesApril 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 […]

InteractivesApril 4, 2013

Marijuana in America: Shifting Attitudes, Events and Laws

Featured ReportApril 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 […]

Featured ReportApril 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 […]

Multi-section ReportsMarch 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 […]

Featured ReportMarch 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 […]

Featured ReportFebruary 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 […]

PublicationsFebruary 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 […]

Featured ReportFebruary 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 […]

PublicationsFebruary 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 […]

Featured ReportJanuary 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 […]

PublicationsJanuary 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% […]

PublicationsJanuary 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 […]

PublicationsDecember 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 […]

Featured ReportDecember 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 […]

Featured ReportDecember 4, 2012

Pessimism About Fiscal Cliff Deal, Republicans Still Get More Blame

With Washington making little apparent progress in efforts to avoid going over the “fiscal cliff,” public opinion about the situation has changed little over the past three weeks. The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and The Washington Post, conducted Nov. 29-Dec. 2 among 1,003 adults, […]

Featured ReportNovember 13, 2012

Broad Concern about ’Fiscal Cliff’ Consequences

As the president and congressional leaders begin negotiations to avoid the “fiscal cliff” deadline at the end of the year, there is widespread public concern about the possible financial consequences. More say the automatic spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to take effect in January would have a major effect on the U.S. economy […]

PublicationsOctober 12, 2012

Deep Divisions over Debt Reduction Proposals

Public concern over the debt and deficit, already extensive, is only likely to increase as the so-called “fiscal cliff” approaches at the end of the year. Yet among a dozen specific options for reducing the debt and deficit, only two win majority approval from the public – raising taxes on annual incomes over $250,000 […]

PublicationsAugust 21, 2012

Medicare Voucher Plan Remains Unpopular

Paul Ryan’s selection to the Republican ticket has put the issue of Medicare squarely on the 2012 campaign agenda. And the latest Pew Research Center survey continues to find the public is aware of a proposal to gradually shift Medicare to a system of vouchers and is, on balance, more opposed than supportive of […]

CommentaryAugust 13, 2012

Older Americans Have Been Highly Resistant to Medicare Changes

Older Americans are wary of changes to Medicare. Compared with younger people, they are more positive about the way the program operates, less apt to think that changes are needed and far less disposed towards Paul Ryan’s proposal to reshape Medicare. A Pew Research survey in May of 2011 found that those 65 and older […]