Nov. 13, 2008

High Marks for the Campaign, a High Bar for Obama

A week after the election, voters are feeling good about themselves, the presidential campaign and Barack Obama. Looking ahead, they have high expectations for the Obama administration, with two-thirds predicting that he will have a successful first term. The quadrennial post-election survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press finds […]

Nov. 6, 2008

Election Weekend News Interest Hits 20-Year High

Summary of Findings As the long presidential campaign wound down last week, the public remained highly engaged. Fully 60% of registered voters said they were following campaign news very closely, while 28% said they were following fairly closely. That is the highest level of voter interest just before a presidential election since the Pew Research […]

Oct. 31, 2008

Internet Now Major Source of Campaign News

Oct. 31, 2008

Internet Now Major Source of Campaign News

Summary of Findings Many more Americans are turning to the internet for campaign news this year as the web becomes a key source of election news. Television remains the dominant source, but the percent who say they get most of their campaign news from the internet has tripled since October 2004 (from 10% then to […]

Jul. 10, 2008

Likely Rise in Voter Turnout Bodes Well for Democrats

The outlook for the presidential election at mid-year is substantially different than at comparable points in time in recent campaigns. First, turnout is likely to be higher this fall – perhaps much higher than in previous elections – as voter interest continues at record levels. Second, as has been the case since the start […]

Jul. 9, 2008

Interest In Gas Prices Remains High

Summary of Findings The public’s top story last week was the rising price of gasoline. Fully 62% of Americans followed news about gas prices very closely, and four-in-ten said it was the story they followed more closely than any other. Gas prices overshadowed the presidential campaign as the public’s most closely followed story by a […]

Jun. 5, 2008

Many Say Coverage is Biased in Favor of Obama

Summary of Findings Over the course of the primary campaign season greater numbers heard about controversies associated with Barack Obama than heard about other campaign events. Nonetheless, far more Americans believe that the press coverage has favored Barack Obama than think it has favored Hillary Clinton. Nearly four-in-ten (37%) say that in covering the Democratic […]

May. 22, 2008

Foreign Disasters Attract Interest Despite Modest Coverage

Summary of Findings The American public expressed strong news interest in the earthquake in China last week even as the news media remained heavily focused on the presidential campaign. In spite of modest coverage of both the earthquake in China and the cyclone that hit Burma, the public had a fairly good sense of the […]

May. 1, 2008

Democratic Campaign Taking a Toll on Both Obama and Clinton

Summary of Findings Over the past six weeks the intense, and often negative, contest between Obama and Clinton has dominated media coverage of the campaign as well as public attention. And over this period, more Americans have consistently said their views of Obama and Clinton have become less favorable, rather than more favorable, in recent […]

Apr. 17, 2008

Less News is Good News for McCain

Summary of Findings John McCain’s campaign for president has been flying under the news media’s radar since he sewed up the Republican nomination in early March. In recent weeks, he has received less news coverage – and has been consistently less visible to the public – than either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton. Nonetheless, far […]

Apr. 3, 2008

Clinton Controversy Heavily Covered but Obama Maintains Visibility Edge

Summary of Findings Hillary Clinton’s retraction of her claim that she came under sniper fire while visiting Bosnia in 1996 was one of the main campaign storylines last week. But the controversy over her statements did not resonate as widely as the furor over statements made by Barack Obama’s pastor earlier in March. Roughly four-in-ten […]

Mar. 27, 2008

Obama and Wright Controversy Dominate News Cycle

Summary of Findings Barack Obama’s March 18th speech on race and politics is arguably the biggest political event of the campaign so far. Fully 85% of Americans say they heard at least a little about Obama’s speech, and most (54%) say they heard a lot about it. Not surprisingly, Barack Obama has been far and […]

Mar. 13, 2008

Public Closely Tracking Details of Campaign

Summary of Findings Not only are Americans following election news in record numbers this year, they are tracking the details of the campaign — the charges, countercharges and controversial advertisements — extremely closely. Large majorities say they have heard at least something about rumors that Barack Obama is a Muslim; Hillary Clinton’s 3:00 a.m. phone […]

Mar. 6, 2008

Just 28% Say Media Going Easy on Obama

Summary of Findings As is often the case, voters say they would like to see more coverage of the candidates’ positions on the issues and less coverage of which candidate is leading in the latest polls. More than three-quarters of the public (78%) would like to see more coverage of the candidates’ positions on domestic […]

Feb. 27, 2008

NY Times’ McCain Story Draws Public Interest – And Disapproval

Summary of Findings An overwhelming majority of Americans (81%) are aware of news reports that John McCain may have had an improper relationship with a female lobbyist several years ago. About half (48%) of the public has heard a lot about this story, which first appeared in the New York Times late last week. Another […]

Feb. 7, 2008

Many Democrats Say Media Tougher on Clinton than Obama

Feb. 7, 2008

Public Sees Candidates Focusing on Economy

Summary of Findings Public interest in economic news remained high last week as 40% of Americans followed news about the condition of the U.S. economy very closely. Nearly one-in-four Americans (23%) listed the economy as the single news story they were following more closely than any other, placing it second only to the presidential campaign. […]

Jan. 11, 2008

Internet’s Broader Role in Campaign 2008

Summary of Findings The internet is living up to its potential as a major source for news about the presidential campaign. Nearly a quarter of Americans (24%) say they regularly learn something about the campaign from the internet, almost double the percentage from a comparable point in the 2004 campaign (13%). Moreover, the internet has […]

Jan. 11, 2008

The G.O.P.’s Unanswered Question

Thursday night’s Republican debate in South Carolina in the wake of John McCain’s comeback victory in New Hampshire and Mike Huckabee’s surprising win in Iowa emphasized what a difference one week can make in the nomination process. And in terms of who will get the nod, it raises more questions than answers. Sen. McCain’s win […]

Jan. 10, 2008

Intense Iowa Coverage Leads Many to Say “Too Much”

Summary of Findings In the wake of his victory in the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, Barack Obama for the first time supplanted Hillary Clinton as the most visible presidential candidate. Overall, 38% of Americans say they heard the most about Obama in the days immediately after the caucuses (Jan. 4-7), while 28% named Clinton as […]