May. 27, 2015

Free Trade Agreements Seen as Good for U.S., But Concerns Persist

As Congress considers a major new trade pact with Asia, there is broad public agreement that international free trade agreements are good for the United States. But fewer Americans express positive views of the impact of trade deals on their personal finances.

Mar. 4, 2015

Most Say Government Policies Since Recession Have Done Little to Help Middle Class, Poor

Survey Report The public makes sharp distinctions about which groups have benefited – and which have not – from the economic policies the government has put in place since the start of the recession. Majorities say that large banks, large corporations and the wealthy have been helped a great deal or a fair amount by […]

Jan. 14, 2015

Obama Job Rating Ticks Higher, Views of Nation’s Economy Turn More Positive

President Obama enters the seventh year of his presidency in a familiar position when compared with his recent predecessors. His 47% job approval rating places him squarely between George W. Bush (33%) and Bill Clinton (63%) at similar points in their second terms. Obama’s rating is comparable to Ronald Reagan’s in January 1987 (49%), when […]

Jan. 8, 2015

The Politics of Financial Insecurity

While the least financially secure Americans are more likely to back Democrats, that support is undercut by low political participation. Those who are financially insecure are far more likely to opt out of the political system altogether.

Sep. 4, 2014

Views of Job Market Tick Up, No Rise in Economic Optimism

Survey Report In advance of Friday’s jobs report, the public’s assessment of job availability in their local communities has improved modestly. But that has done nothing to boost overall economic optimism. For Americans, jobs are only part of the economic picture: 56% say their family’s incomes are falling behind the cost of living. That is […]

Sep. 12, 2013

Five Years after Market Crash, U.S. Economy Seen as ‘No More Secure’

Five years after the U.S. economy faced its most serious crisis since the Great Depression, a majority of Americans (63%) say the nation’s economic system is no more secure today than it was before the 2008 market crash. Just a third (33%) think the system is more secure now than it was then. Large […]

Jun. 19, 2013

Obama Job Approval Holds Steady, Economic Views Improve

In a second term marked by a series of controversies and little legislative success, President Obama’s job approval rating has nonetheless remained fairly steady. Currently, 49% approve of the way Obama is handling his job as president while 43% disapprove. That is little changed from a month ago, before the NSA surveillance controversy and […]

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 […]

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. 6, 2013

Public Hearing Better News about Housing and Financial Markets

As Barack Obama begins his second term in office, the public is hearing a mix of good and bad news about the economy, as it has for much of the past four years. Views of news about real estate values and financial markets have improved and are as positive as they have been in […]

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 […]

Jul. 16, 2012

Raising Taxes on Rich Seen as Good for Economy, Fairness

By two-to-one (44% to 22%), the public says that raising taxes on incomes above $250,00o would help the economy rather than hurt it, while 24% say this would not make a difference. Moreover, an identical percentage (44%) says a tax increase on higher incomes would make the tax system more fair, while just 21% […]

Jun. 4, 2012

Partisan Polarization Surges in Bush, Obama Years

As Americans head to the polls this November, their values and basic beliefs are more polarized along partisan lines than at any point in the past 25 years. Unlike in 1987, when this series of surveys began, the values gap between Republicans and Democrats is now greater than gender, age, race or class divides. […]

May. 31, 2012

Public Sees Gas Prices Down A Little Across Much of Nation

About half of Americans say the price of gasoline has gone down over the past month. But West Coast residents are much more likely to see gasoline prices going up, which is consistent with a rise in prices at the pump in that part of the country. In total, 51% of the public says that […]

Mar. 19, 2012

As Gas Prices Pinch, Support for Oil and Gas Production Grows

At a time of rising gas prices, the public’s energy priorities have changed. More Americans continue to view the development of alternative energy sources as a higher priority than the increased production of oil, coal and natural gas, but the gap has narrowed considerably over the past year. Moreover, support for allowing more offshore […]

Mar. 2, 2012

For the Public, It’s Not about Class Warfare, But Fairness

Income inequality has become a major issue in the presidential campaign. A recent Pew Research Center poll, for example, attracted wide attention when it found that as many as 66% of Americans believe there are “very strong” or “strong” conflicts between the rich and the poor, an increase of 19 percentage points since 2009. But […]

Mar. 1, 2012

Public Spreads Blame for Rising Gas Prices

The public spreads the blame for the recent rise in gasoline prices. While 18% say President Obama or his administration are most to blame, about as many (14%) volunteer the oil companies or domestic oil producers. Roughly one-in-ten (11%) mostly blame Iran, the upheaval in the Middle East or the threat of war in the […]

Feb. 2, 2012

Lower-Income Republicans Say Government Does Too Little for Poor People

Mitt Romney’s statement that he is focused solely on the problems of middle class Americans, not the poor, may not sit well with lower-income voters within his own party. Roughly a quarter of Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters have annual family incomes under $30,000, and most of them say that the government does not do […]

Jan. 27, 2012

It’s About Fairness, Not Class Warfare

Income inequality has become a hot-button issue during this political campaign. A recent Pew Research Center poll, for example, attracted an extraordinary amount of attention when it found that 66 percent of Americans believed there were “very strong” or “strong” conflicts between the rich and the poor — an increase of 19 percentage points since […]

Dec. 15, 2011

Frustration with Congress Could Hurt Republican Incumbents

Public discontent with Congress has reached record levels, and the implications for incumbents in next year’s elections could be stark. Two-in-three voters say most members of Congress should be voted out of office in 2012 – the highest on record. And the number who say their own member should be replaced matches the all-time […]