Sep. 6, 2001

Economy, Education, Social Security Dominate Public’s Policy Agenda

Introduction and Summary As President Bush and Congress return to work, a trio of long-standing concerns dominate the public’s list of policy priorities. The economy is the public’s leading priority, cited by eight-in-ten Americans, followed closely by education (76%) and Social Security (74%). Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill hold a 44%-37% edge over the president […]

Aug. 9, 2001

Wobbly Economic Attitudes Key to Bush’s Future

by Andrew Kohut for America Online

Feb. 22, 2001

Bush Approval on Par, No Tax Cut Momentum

Introduction and Summary The public’s view of George W. Bush’s first month in office is remarkably unremarkable. Despite the extraordinary path he took to the White House, Americans are reacting to Bush in much the same way they responded to his predecessors. Bush’s modest February job approval rating (53%) is comparable to ratings accorded Bill […]

Nov. 11, 1999

Retro-Politics

Foreword and Overview Foreword In 1987, we embarked on an ambitious project to better understand the nature of American politics. We identified a broad range of beliefs and values that underlie common political labels and that ultimately drive political action. A voter typology emerged from this effort which classifies the electorate into distinct groupings, defined […]

Oct. 24, 1999

Optimism Reigns, Technology Plays Key Role

Introduction and Summary Americans anticipate many perils in the next century, but none of them, no matter how grave, can dim the public’s positive view of the future. Despite consensus forecasts of natural disasters, environmental calamities and international terrorism, Americans are near unanimous in their confidence that life will get better for themselves, their families […]

Apr. 8, 1999

Americans Divided on China Policy

Introduction and Summary The public is deeply divided about the future of U.S.-China relations. Although a solid 60% majority say relations between the United States and China are stable — neither improving nor getting worse — there is little agreement over the question of whether our current handling of China is tough enough and no […]

Jan. 26, 1999

Support for Clinton, But Not for Social Security Funds in Market

Introduction and Summary The American people had a mixed reaction to events in Washington last week. They continue to support Bill Clinton and all but ignore his Senate impeachment trial, which 88% describe as providing little that is new or interesting. But by a 52%-34% margin they also reject Clinton’s surprise proposal to put some […]

Aug. 7, 1998

More Rancorous, But Not “Do Nothing”

Introduction and Summary As Congress heads home for the summer campaign season, both parties face tough sells for their election themes. Despite Democratic charges of a Republican-led do-nothing Congress, Americans see the 105th Congress as no different than others in recent memory. But the GOP will have to shore up its image on issues, as […]

Apr. 17, 1998

Washington Leaders Wary of Public Opinion

Introduction and Summary Washington’s leaders and the American public are out of step with one another. Public distrust of government is paralleled by a belief among members of Congress, presidential appointees and senior civil servants that the American public is too ill-informed to make wise decisions about important issues. Washington leaders also significantly underestimate the […]

Jan. 28, 1998

Young, Old Differ On Using Surplus To Fix Social Security

Introduction and Summary President Clinton faces a potentially wide generation gap on his proposal to “fix Social Security first.” Older Americans embrace the idea, but younger people are far more interested in spending any budget surplus on programs that benefit their families today. Fully 82% of those age 50 and older say making Social Security […]

Jan. 23, 1998

Spending Favored Over Tax Cuts or Debt Reduction

Introduction and Summary In his sixth State of the Union next week, President Clinton will face an American public that retains a healthy appetite for government activism — fully two-thirds advocate spending any budget surplus this year. But that enthusiasm is tempered by often sharp generational differences on federal spending priorities. In a clear signal […]

Aug. 15, 1997

When Washington Works, Incumbents Prosper

Introduction and Summary For the first time in a very long time, Americans are happy with the country’s course and it is beginning to pay dividends to the political establishment. Not only are Bill Clinton’s approval ratings approaching Reagan’s at a comparable point, but support for Congressional incumbents is at a decade high, and interest […]

Jun. 27, 1997

Public Divided on Medicare Reforms

Survey Findings Pew’s latest News Interest Index finds that a little bit of news about Medicare reform travels a long way, while a lot of news about tax relief is mostly greeted with shrugs and disbelief. Fewer than four in ten Americans (38%) paid close attention to the ongoing Washington debate about how to cut […]

May. 23, 1997

Other Important Findings and Analyses

Budget Agreement Clearly, Bill Clinton’s continued high ratings, despite Whitewater and the DNC fund raising scandal, seem more tied to a reduction in economic anxiety than to success with the budget. News interest in the budget debate once again edged down at the very time the President and Republican leaders had come to their historic […]

May. 23, 1997

Americans Only a Little Better Off, But Much Less Anxious

Introduction and Summary Psychologically, Americans have turned an important corner recently. They have become much less concerned about meeting major financial commitments, even though they say their material conditions have not dramatically improved. Heightened worries about affording health care, saving for retirement, or saving for a child’s college education have fallen off significantly in recent […]

Feb. 28, 1997

Widespread Pessimism about Balanced Budget

Survey Findings Despite the new spirit of bipartisanship in Washington and the sense of optimism inside the beltway that a budget agreement may finally be at hand, the American public is extremely bearish about the prospects for a balanced budget. Just 28% believe President Clinton and the GOP Congressional leaders will be able to reach […]

Jun. 5, 1996

Bill Clinton’s Big Lead and The Electoral College

Also: Tax Cuts and Deficit Reduction … In What Context?; Chance Error and Horse Race Leads

Jan. 18, 1996

Clinton Ratings Hold: Balanced Budget A Public Priority, But Few See Personal Payoff

Introduction and Summary Age and income make a difference in the perceived impact of a balanced budget and changes to Medicare. A majority of Americans with family incomes of $75,000 or more think they will be helped personally by a balanced budget, while smaller percentages of middle and lower income people foresee a personal payoff. […]

Feb. 17, 1995

Strong Support for Minimum Wage Hike and Preserving Entitlements

Report Summary While the Contract for America is getting all the play in Washington these days, there is still a lot of New Deal thinking in the rest of the country. No fewer than 79% of respondents in the latest Times Mirror Center survey say they approve of Bill Clinton’s proposal to increase the minimum […]

Dec. 8, 1994

Public Expects GOP Miracles

Report Summary The GOP is riding high with the public in the after-glow of its big election victory. Most Americans (57%) are happy the Republicans won, approve of their plans and policies for the future (52%), and think party leaders will be successful in getting things done in Washington (62%).