Mar. 18, 2010

Gloomy Americans Bash Congress, Are Divided on Obama

As the day of reckoning for health care reform approaches, Americans have little to cheer about. Nearly everyone (92%) gives the national economy a negative rating. Closer to home, 85% say that jobs are hard to find in their community. A majority (54%) now says that someone in their household has been without a […]

Mar. 16, 2010

With Growing Awareness of Census, Most Ready to Fill Out Forms

As forms for the 2010 U.S. Census arrive in households across the nation this week, a new Pew Research Center survey finds nearly universal awareness of the census, with 94% of Americans saying they have heard of the census and 79% having heard something recently about it. Nearly nine-in-ten Americans (87%) now say they […]

Feb. 12, 2010

Midterm Election Challenges for Both Parties

Summary of Findings Nine months ahead of the midterm elections, voters have conflicted attitudes about both political parties. Opinions of the Republican Party have improved significantly, and for the first time in years the GOP’s favorable ratings nearly equal the Democratic Party’s. Voting intentions for the fall elections also remain closely divided. However, the Democratic […]

Jan. 28, 2010

Senate Legislative Process A Mystery To Many

The public has consistently expressed strong interest in the health care debate, but relatively few Americans can correctly answer two key questions related to the Senate’s consideration of health care legislation. In the latest installment of the Pew Research Center’s News IQ Quiz, just 32% know that the Senate passed its version of the […]

Jan. 20, 2010

Most View Census Positively, But Some Have Doubts

As the federal government gears up for its decennial count of the country’s population, most Americans think the census is very important and say they will definitely participate. But acceptance of and enthusiasm for the census are not universal. Certain segments of the population such as younger people, Hispanics and the less well educated […]

Jan. 14, 2010

Obama Image Unscathed By Terrorism Controversy

Summary of Findings In the aftermath of the failed Christmas Day terrorist attack on a Detroit-bound airliner, the government’s ratings for reducing the threat of terrorism have slipped. In addition, 33% now say that the ability of terrorists to launch a major attack on the U.S. is greater than it was at the time of […]

Sep. 2, 2009

Congressional Favorability at 24-Year Low

Americans are extremely displeased with Congress, and there are already some signs that this could take a toll on the Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections. Currently, 37% express a favorable opinion of Congress, while 52% hold an unfavorable view. Positive opinions of Congress have declined by 13 points since April and are now […]

Aug. 19, 2009

More See White House and GOP Leaders at Odds

Americans are in an increasingly sour mood about Washington. Barack Obama’s approval ratings continue to inch downward and a growing proportion of Americans (63%) think that the president and Republican leaders are not working together to deal with important issues facing the nation; in June, 50% said the two sides were not cooperating. While […]

Aug. 11, 2009

Budget Woes Take Toll on Views of State Governments

With the economy wreaking havoc on state budgets, the favorability ratings of state governments have declined from a year ago. Overall, 50% of the public now holds a favorable opinion of their state government, down from 59% in April 2008. The falloff in positive views has been greater in states with large and moderate […]

Aug. 6, 2009

The Republican Party’s Dilemma

Jun. 18, 2009

Obama’s Ratings Remain High Despite Some Policy Concerns

A solid majority of Americans (61%) continue to approve of Barack Obama’s job performance, although they express mixed views of several of his policies. An important positive sign for Obama is the public’s continued optimism that his policies will improve the economy – fully 65% express this view. A smaller majority (55%) is optimistic […]

May. 21, 2009

Independents Take Center Stage in Obama Era

Centrism has emerged as a dominant factor in public opinion as the Obama era begins. The political values and core attitudes that the Pew Research Center has monitored since 1987 show little overall ideological movement. Republicans and Democrats are even more divided than in the past, while the growing political middle is steadfastly mixed […]

Sep. 23, 2008

57% of Public Favors Wall Street Bailout

By a margin of almost two-to-one the American public thinks the government is doing the right thing in investing billions of dollars to try to keep financial institutions and markets secure. Reacting to initial reports of the federal bailout plan over the weekend, 57% said the government was doing the right thing, while 30% […]

Jun. 3, 2008

Democratic Party’s Favorables Rise, Congress Still Unpopular

Summary of Findings The overall image of the Democratic Party has improved over the past year, although the Democratic-led Congress remains widely unpopular. A majority of Americans (57%) say they have a favorable view of the Democratic Party, up six points since July 2007 and 10 points since July 2006. In contrast, views of the […]

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 […]