Dec. 19, 2013

In Deficit Debate, Public Resists Cuts in Entitlements and Aid to Poor

Survey Report As President Obama prepares to sign a bipartisan budget agreement that its proponents describe as a modest step toward addressing the deficit, the public shows little appetite for making some of the spending cuts often discussed as part of a broader “grand bargain” on the budget. The latest national survey by the Pew […]

Feb. 22, 2013

As Sequester Deadline Looms, Little Support for Cutting Most Programs

As the March 1 deadline for a possible budget sequester approaches, a new national survey finds limited public support for reducing spending for a range of specific programs, including defense, entitlements, education and health care. For 18 of 19 programs tested, majorities want either to increase spending or maintain it at current levels. The […]

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. 13, 2012

Older Americans Have Been Highly Resistant to Medicare Changes

Older Americans are wary of changes to Medicare. Compared with younger people, they are more positive about the way the program operates, less apt to think that changes are needed and far less disposed towards Paul Ryan’s proposal to reshape Medicare. A Pew Research survey in May of 2011 found that those 65 and older […]

Jun. 14, 2012

Debt and Deficit: A Public Opinion Dilemma

The issue of the debt and the deficit – and what to do about it – has paralyzed Washington lawmakers. But when it comes to measures for reducing the deficit on which they might reach common ground, they will get little help in building support for an agreement by turning to public opinion. In my […]

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. […]

Nov. 3, 2011

The Generation Gap and the 2012 Election

In the last four national elections, generational differences have mattered more than they have in decades. According to the exit polls, younger people have voted substantially more Democratic than other age groups in each election since 2004, while older voters have cast more ballots for Republican candidates in each election since 2006. The latest […]

Jun. 6, 2011

Opposition to Ryan Medicare Plan from Older, Attentive Americans

The public offers a mixed reaction to a proposal to change Medicare into a program that would give future participants a credit toward purchasing private health insurance coverage: 41% oppose such a change, 36% favor it, and nearly a quarter (23%) have no opinion either way. Despite this even division of opinion overall, […]

May. 2, 2007

Surge in Support for Social Safety Net

Support for government programs to help disadvantaged Americans, as well as sympathy for the plight of the poor, have surged since 1994 and returned to levels last seen in 1990 prior to welfare reform, with gains occurring among virtually every major social, political and demographic group. Read full analysis at Pewresearch.org

Mar. 22, 2007

Trends in Political Values and Core Attitudes: 1987-2007

Summary of Findings Increased public support for the social safety net, signs of growing public concern about income inequality, and a diminished appetite for assertive national security policies have improved the political landscape for the Democrats as the 2008 presidential campaign gets underway. At the same time, many of the key trends that nurtured the […]

Mar. 22, 2006

Less Opposition to Gay Marriage, Adoption and Military Service

Summary of Findings Public acceptance of homosexuality has increased in a number of ways in recent years, though it remains a deeply divisive issue. Half of Americans (51%) continue to oppose legalizing gay marriage, but this number has declined significantly from 63% in February 2004, when opposition spiked following the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision and […]

Dec. 14, 2005

Public Unmoved by Washington’s Rhetoric on Iraq

Summary of Findings The political debate over the Iraq war has grown more pointed in recent weeks, as President Bush has embarked upon a series of high-profile speeches defending the war and Democratic Rep. John Murtha has made headlines with his calls for a withdrawal of U.S. forces. But fundamental public attitudes toward the war […]

Apr. 29, 2005

Did the President Score on Social Security?

President Bush’s proposals on Social Security resonate with the public opinion in some respects but are off key in others. The public is squarely with the president on the urgency of the issue. Pew Research Center polling in February found nearly three-quarters of Americans wanting action on fixing Social Security, either right away or in […]

Mar. 24, 2005

Disapproval of GOP Congressional Leaders, But Democrats Fare No Better

Summary of Findings The American public is not happy with the nation’s political leadership. President Bush’s approval rating remains below 50%, and just 39% approve of the job performance of Republican congressional leaders. Despite the paltry ratings for GOP leaders, however, Democrats have failed to benefit. The public has about the same low regard for […]

Mar. 2, 2005

Bush Failing in Social Security Push

Summary of Findings President George W. Bush is losing ground with the public in his efforts to build support for private retirement accounts in Social Security. Despite Bush’s intensive campaign to promote the idea, the percentage of Americans who say they favor private accounts has tumbled to 46% in Pew’s latest nationwide survey, down from […]

Jan. 27, 2005

Cross-Currents in Opinion About Private Accounts

Social Security Polling

Nov. 5, 2003

The 2004 Political Landscape

Over the past four years, the American electorate has been dealt a series of body blows, each capable of altering the political landscape. The voting system broke down in a presidential election. A booming economy faltered, punctuated by revelations of one of the worst business scandals in U.S. history. And the country endured a […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]