Aug. 27, 2012

More Interest in GOP Platform than Romney’s Speech

As the Republican convention gets underway, more Americans express interest in learning about what’s in the GOP platform than in the speeches by either Mitt Romney or his running mate. About half of the public (52%) is interested in learning about the Republican Party’s platform, while 44% are interested in Romney’s acceptance speech and […]

Aug. 23, 2012

A Closer Look at the Parties in 2012

As the 2012 party conventions approach, the Democratic Party continues to maintain an advantage in party identification among voters, but its lead is much smaller than it was in 2008. In more than 13,000 interviews conducted so far in 2012, 35% of registered voters identify with the Democratic Party, 28% with the Republican Party and […]

Aug. 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 […]

Aug. 10, 2012

What Voters Know about Campaign 2012

Before you read the report, test your own News IQ by taking the interactive knowledge quiz. The short quiz includes many of the questions that were included in a national poll. Participants will instantly learn how they did on the quiz in comparison with the voting public as well as with people like them. […]

Aug. 3, 2012

Party Affiliation and Election Polls

In every campaign cycle, pollwatchers pay close attention to the details of every election survey. And well they should. But focusing on the partisan balance of surveys is, in almost every circumstance, the wrong place to look. The latest Pew Research Center survey conducted July 16-26 among 1,956 registered voters nationwide found 51% supporting Barack […]

Aug. 2, 2012

Romney’s Personal Image Remains Negative

2012 Election Voter Preference Trends Track voter preferences for Obama vs. Romney overall and by demographic group. By a 52% to 37% margin, more voters say they have an unfavorable than favorable view of Mitt Romney. The poll, conducted prior to Romney’s recent overseas trip, represents the sixth consecutive survey over the past nine […]

Aug. 2, 2012

Little Public Awareness of Outside Campaign Spending Boom

The public is hearing little about increased spending by outside groups in the 2012 election. Just 25% have heard a lot about outside spending by groups not associated with the candidates or campaigns, while three-quarters are hearing a little (36%) or nothing at all (39%) about this. In fact, the term “super PAC” itself is […]

Jul. 24, 2012

Most Say They Already Know Enough about the Candidates

With more than three months to go before Election Day, most voters already feel that there’s little left to learn about the presidential candidates. When it comes to Barack Obama, 90% say they already pretty much know what they need to know about him; just 8% say they need to learn more. A substantial […]

Jul. 24, 2012

Romney’s Overseas Trip a Chance to Burnish Foreign Policy Credentials

Mitt Romney’s trip to Europe and Israel this week highlights a potential weakness of his candidacy. The former Massachusetts governor trails Barack Obama by eight points among registered voters as the candidate best able to handle foreign policy and 12 points as best able to defend against terrorist attacks, according to the Pew Research Center’s […]

Jul. 12, 2012

Obama Holds Lead; Romney Trails on Most Issues

Despite the stagnant economy and broad dissatisfaction with national conditions, Barack Obama holds a significant lead over Mitt Romney. Currently, Obama is favored by a 50% to 43% margin among registered voters nationwide. Obama has led by at least a slim margin in every poll this year, and there is no clear trend in […]

Jul. 5, 2012

Partisans Agree: Presidential Election Will Be Exhausting

Republicans and Democrats find little to agree on these days, but they have some similar reactions to the 2012 presidential campaign. Nearly identical percentages of Republicans and Democrats say the election will be exhausting. On the positive side, there also is widespread partisan agreement that the campaign will be informative. The national survey by […]

Jul. 3, 2012

PBS NewsHour’s Jim Lehrer and Pew Research Center President Andrew Kohut Discuss the 2012 Election

  On Monday, July 2, retiring “PBS NewsHour” anchor Jim Lehrer interviewed Pew Research Center President Andrew Kohut at the Chautauqua Institution’s Morning Lecture Series, titled, “The Lehrer Report: What Informed Voters Need to Know.” The discussion was part of the New York institution’s annual summer event held before an audience of 3,500. Lehrer and Kohut discussed the […]

Jun. 21, 2012

GOP Holds Early Turnout Edge, But Little Enthusiasm for Romney

Less than five months before Election Day, voters are not as engaged with the presidential campaign as they were at this point four years ago, when interest in the campaign reached record levels. But voter engagement today generally equals or surpasses levels from the four campaigns prior to 2008, indicating that 2012 could be […]

Jun. 12, 2012

Economy, Election Are Public’s Top Stories

The public continued to track news about the economy and the presidential election, while paying less attention to another important political story – Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s victory in a hard-fought recall election. The latest weekly News Interest Index, conducted June 7-10 among 1,000 adults by the Pew Research Center for the People & […]

May. 31, 2012

Presidential Campaign Public’s Top Story

Americans continued to follow news about the presidential campaign more closely than any other news last week, though they also closely followed news about the price of gasoline. Nearly three-in-ten (28%) say news about the candidates for president was their top story, while 17% say they followed news about gas prices most closely. One-in-ten […]

May. 22, 2012

Presidential Campaign Tops Public’s News Interest

Americans focused most closely last week on news about the presidential election, as the race increasingly shifted from the Republican primary contest to the head-to-head fight between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Nearly three-in-ten (28%) say the campaign was their top story, while 16% say they most closely followed news about the economy, according […]

Apr. 17, 2012

With Voters Focused on Economy, Obama Lead Narrows

With voters continuing to focus on economic issues, Barack Obama holds a slim 49% to 45% advantage over Mitt Romney in the latest Pew Research Center survey of nearly 2,400 registered voters nationwide. Obama’s lead has narrowed since last month, when he had a 12-point advantage, though it is comparable to margins from earlier […]

Apr. 16, 2012

Obama vs. Romney: Which One Can Defy Political History to Win?

With the focus now fully on the campaign between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, commentary about the issues, the voting blocs and the strategies of the two campaigns dominates political discourse. But having polled on the last 10 presidential elections, I’m struck by a meta-question about each candidate’s viability that may trump all else. Obama […]

Apr. 9, 2012

74% of Republicans Say Romney ’Definitely’ the Nominee

Following primary victories in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia last Tuesday, Mitt Romney is clearly seen as the inevitable GOP nominee, and Republicans now see continued primaries as bad for the party. In the latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, conducted April 5-8, 2012, […]

Mar. 29, 2012

The Gender Gap: Three Decades Old, as Wide as Ever

The gender gap in presidential politics is not new. Democratic candidates have gotten more support from women than men for more than 30 years. Even so, Barack Obama’s advantages among women voters over his GOP rivals are striking. In the Pew Research Center’s most recent national survey, conducted March 7-11, Obama led Mitt Romney by […]