May. 14, 2008

Federal Government’s Favorable Ratings Slump

Summary of Findings Americans continue to hold their local and state governments in fairly high esteem, but positive views of the federal government are at their lowest point in at least a decade. Only 37% of people say they hold a favorable view of the federal government, while 58% express an unfavorable opinion. By comparison, […]

Mar. 19, 2008

Public Continues to Fault Government for Troop Care

Summary of Findings A year after the problems at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and other military hospitals made major news, the public remains highly critical of the government’s performance in supporting and caring for soldiers who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan. Fully 72% say the government does not give enough support to soldiers […]

Feb. 28, 2008

Obama Has The Lead, But Potential Problems Too

Summary of Findings Barack Obama is riding high as the March 4 primaries approach. Obama has moved out to a broad-based advantage over Hillary Clinton in the national Democratic primary contest and holds a 50%-43% lead over John McCain in a general election matchup. However, the survey results point to several potential hazards for Obama. […]

Nov. 7, 2007

Public Dissatisfied with Democratic Leaders, But Still Happy They Won

Summary of Findings A year after the Democratic Party won control of both houses of Congress, Americans are increasingly dissatisfied with the party’s congressional leaders. Just 31% approve of their job performance, down 10 points since February. Despite these tepid ratings, most Americans (54%) say that they are happy that the Democrats won control of […]

Aug. 2, 2007

A Summer of Discontent with Washington

Summary of Findings As official Washington winds down for its summer holiday, all three branches of government are coming under fire from the American public. Just 29% approve of the way President Bush is handling his job, and only slightly more, 33%, approve of the job performance of the Democratic leaders of Congress. Even the […]

Mar. 29, 2007

Democrats Fail to Impress in First 100 Days

Summary of Findings As the Democratic-led Congress approaches the 100-day mark, pluralities of Americans approve of the way that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are handling their leadership roles. However, the public gives Democrats mixed reviews for delivering on their campaign promises and for their policies and proposals. Slightly more […]

Mar. 26, 2007

Solid Majority Favors Congressional Troop Deadline

Summary of Findings A solid majority of Americans say they want their congressional representative to support a bill calling for a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq by August 2008. Nearly six-in-ten (59%) say they would like to see their representative vote for such legislation, compared with just 33% who want their representative to oppose […]

Jan. 22, 2007

Broad Support for Political Compromise in Washington

Summary of Findings A survey conducted in association with National Public Radio A large majority of the American public thinks the country is more politically polarized than in the past, and an even greater number expresses a strong desire for political compromise. Fully three-quarters say they like political leaders who are willing to compromise, compared […]

Apr. 20, 2006

Public Disillusionment with Congress at Record Levels

Summary of Findings The American public is angry with Congress, and this is bad news for the Republican Party. The belief that this Congress has accomplished less than its predecessors is markedly higher than at any point in the past nine years, and by a wide margin Republican leaders are blamed for this. Many more […]

Mar. 15, 2006

Bush Approval Falls to 33%, Congress Earns Rare Praise

Summary of Findings In the aftermath of the Dubai ports deal, President Bush’s approval rating has hit a new low and his image for honesty and effectiveness has been damaged. Yet the public uncharacteristically has good things to say about the role that Congress played in this high-profile Washington controversy. Most Americans (58%) believe Congress […]

Nov. 8, 2005

Alito Viewed Positively, But Libby Takes a Toll

Summary of Findings President George W. Bush’s approval ratings have fallen to another new low, amid a growing focus on alleged ethical lapses in his administration. Just 36% now believe that Bush has lived up to his campaign pledge to restore integrity to the White House. In contrast, fully 79% of Americans say the recent […]

Nov. 2, 2005

Public Opinion Supports Alito on Spousal Notification Even as It Favors Roe v. Wade

Of all the opinions that Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. has handed down during 15 years on the federal bench, the one drawing the most attention since his nomination to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court is his support in a 1991 case for a provision in a Pennsylvania law that required women, with few […]

Oct. 25, 2005

Public Sours on Government and Business

Summary of Findings Americans express increasingly negative views of a wide range major institutions, reflecting strong discontent with national conditions. Over the past year, ratings have tumbled for the federal government and Congress. And it is not just Washington institutions that are being viewed less positively. Favorable opinions of business corporations are at their lowest […]

Oct. 11, 2005

Miers Concerns Center on Qualifications and Cronyism

Summary of Findings Americans are divided over whether Harriet Miers should be confirmed to the Supreme Court. Based on what they have heard so far, a third say they favor Miers’ confirmation, while 27% are opposed; four-in-ten express no opinion. In mid-September, about two months after John Roberts had been nominated to the court, the […]

Oct. 3, 2005

Abortion, the Court and the Public

The confirmation hearings for Harriet Miers to become a justice of the Supreme Court will once again highlight a complex web of issues related to abortion, on which she may become the swing vote. While activists on both sides describe abortion as an issue on which there is no middle ground, decades of polling have […]

Sep. 12, 2005

Four-in-ten Question Rebuilding New Orleans in Present Location

Summary of Findings With hearings on the nomination of John Roberts beginning today in Washington, a growing number of Americans say that Roberts should be confirmed as chief justice. In polling conducted over the weekend by the Pew Research Center, 46% expressed support for Roberts’s confirmation, up from 35% in a poll conducted last week. […]

Aug. 3, 2005

Abortion and Rights of Terror Suspects Top Court Issues

Summary of Findings Abortion has dominated the early skirmishing over President Bush’s nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court. But the public takes a more expansive view of the court’s agenda. Indeed, about as many Americans rate the rights of detained terrorist suspects as a very important issue for the Supreme Court as say […]

Jul. 1, 2005

Abortion Wild Card In Battle Over O’Connor’s Successor

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s decision to step down from the Supreme Court sets up a possible next chapter in the nation’s culture wars. If the debate over O’Connor’s replacement turns into a referendum on Roe vs. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision establishing a woman’s right to abortion, the argument is likely to galvanize a significant […]

Jun. 15, 2005

Supreme Court’s Image Declines as Nomination Battle Looms

Summary of Findings With an aging Supreme Court possibly facing major changes, the court’s public image has eroded significantly. Currently, 57% of Americans have a favorable opinion of the Supreme Court, with 30% expressing an unfavorable view. In the past, favorable views of the court typically surpassed 70%; even in January 2001, shortly after the […]

Apr. 19, 2005

Support for Tougher Indecency Measures, But Worries About Government Intrusiveness

Introduction and Summary Americans have ambivalent views about the appropriate role for government in curbing sex, violence and indecency in the entertainment media. They have doubts about the effectiveness of government action, and believe that public pressure ­ in the form of complaints and boycotts ­ is a better way of dealing with the problem. […]