Oct. 4, 2004

Kerry Wins Debate, But Little Change in Candidate Images

Summary of Findings By two-to-one, voters who watched the first presidential debate believe that John Kerry prevailed. But the widely viewed Sept. 30 showdown did not result in a sea change in opinions of the candidates. As a consequence, George W. Bush continues to have a much stronger personal image than his Democratic challenger, while […]

Sep. 30, 2004

Young People More Engaged, More Uncertain

Debates More Important to Young Voters

Sep. 28, 2004

Bush Margin Widens Again, Despite Vulnerabilities

Summary of Findings George W. Bush has reopened a significant lead over challenger John Kerry over the past week, even as voters express less confidence in the president on Iraq and he continues to trail Kerry on the economy. Two successive nationwide surveys of nearly 1,000 registered voters each show Bush’s margin over Kerry growing […]

Sep. 24, 2004

When Presidential Debates Matter

Pew Research Center Commentary

Sep. 16, 2004

Kerry Support Rebounds, Race Again Even

Introduction and Summary Voter opinion in the presidential race has seesawed dramatically in the first two weeks of September. Following a successful nominating convention, George W. Bush broke open a deadlocked contest and jumped out to a big lead over John Kerry. However, polling this past week finds that Bush’s edge over his Democratic rival […]

Aug. 12, 2004

Public Faults Bush on Economy – 55% Say Jobs are Scarce

Summary of Findings With three months to go until the presidential election, the American public remains largely dissatisfied with economic conditions and with President Bush’s stewardship of the economy. Two-thirds rate the national economy as “only fair” or “poor,” while just one-third judge it to be “excellent” or “good.” Accordingly, Bush gets low ratings for […]

Jul. 26, 2004

Democrats Gain Edge in Party Identification

The Democratic Party has achieved a small gain in party affiliation and holds a 33%-29% edge over the GOP in Pew surveys conducted in 2004. This represents a modest shift from the two year period following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, when the Republican Party had drawn virtually even with the Democrats. The current […]

Jul. 23, 2004

Bush Holds Modest Advantage Among Veterans

Despite Sen. John Kerry’s military background and his campaign’s concerted efforts to court veterans, he runs no better among this group than Al Gore did four years ago. Based on surveys conducted March, May, June and July, men who have served in the armed forces favor Bush over Kerry by a 49% to 40% margin. […]

Jul. 21, 2004

Democratic Party Image Improvement

Summary of Findings Sen. John Kerry enters the Democratic convention next week bolstered by a number of favorable trends in public opinion, although he remains locked in a statistical tie for voter support with President George W. Bush. His party is dominant on key domestic issues and at least competitive with the Republicans on every […]

Jul. 16, 2004

Horse Race Polls Not More Variable This Year

Lead Changes Contribute to Erroneous Perception

Jul. 8, 2004

Voters More Engaged, But Campaign Gets Lukewarm Ratings

Summary of Findings The presidential election is capturing the public’s attention much more now than it did at this point four and eight years ago. Nearly half of Americans (47%) say they are more interested in politics than they were four years ago, up from 38% who expressed that view in June 2000. Public attention […]

Jun. 24, 2004

Swing Vote Smaller Than Usual, But Still Sizable

Summary of Findings There are considerably fewer swing voters now than at this point in the previous three presidential campaigns. But the swing vote, while smaller in relative terms, is still substantial and certainly large enough for a presidential candidate to win a big victory. Pew’s most recent survey, conducted June 3-13, finds 21% of […]

Jun. 17, 2004

Public Support for War Resilient

Summary of Findings Americans are paying markedly less attention to Iraq than in the last two months. At the same time, their opinions about the war have become more positive. The number of Americans who think the U.S. military effort is going well has jumped from 46% in May to 57%, despite ongoing violence in […]

May. 12, 2004

Iraq Prison Scandal Hits Home, But Most Reject Troop Pullout

Summary of Findings Public satisfaction with national conditions has fallen to 33%, its lowest level in eight years, in the wake of revelations of prisoner abuse committed by U.S. soldiers at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. President Bush’s overall job approval rating also has dropped into negative territory: 44% approve of his job performance, while […]

May. 12, 2004

Why the Polls Don’t Add Up

by Andrew Kohut in The New York Times

Mar. 29, 2004

Bush Support Steady in Wake of Clarke Criticisms

Summary of Findings A week’s worth of criticism of his pre-Sept. 11 record on terrorism has had little impact on President Bush’s support among voters. He is now running even with Sen. John Kerry in a head-to-head match-up among registered voters (47% Kerry- 46% Bush) after trailing Kerry by 52%-43% in mid-March. Voter opinions have […]

Mar. 25, 2004

Far More Voters Believe Election Outcome Matters

Summary of Findings The long general election campaign begins with voters paying much more attention than usual and a decidedly greater number of Americans thinking that it matters who wins in the fall than felt that way four years ago. However, roughly half of Americans already say the campaign is too long, “boring” and “too […]

Mar. 3, 2004

Three-in-Ten Voters Open to Persuasion

Summary of Findings Heading into an eight-month marathon to Election Day, President Bush and Sen. John Kerry already command strong support from their respective parties and will now try to win over those in the middle: ­ the estimated three-in-ten voters who have not yet fully committed to either candidate. Overall, 38% of voters support […]

Feb. 19, 2004

Democratic Primary Campaign Impresses Voters

Introduction and Summary So far, the presidential primary campaign has been very good for the Democratic Party. Public interest in the race has been relatively high. Nearly half of Americans (45%) have a positive overall impression of the Democratic field, up from 31% just a month ago. And while a slim majority of the public […]

Jan. 29, 2004

A Good Day for the Pollsters

The Accuracy of Pre-Election Tracking Polls in New Hampshire