PublicationsSeptember 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. […]

PublicationsAugust 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 […]

PublicationsJuly 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 […]

PublicationsJune 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 […]

PublicationsApril 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. […]

PublicationsMarch 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 […]

PublicationsNovember 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 […]

PublicationsJune 10, 2002

President Bush Distanced From 9/11 Blame

by Andrew Kohut for America Online

PublicationsJuly 24, 2001

Laura and Hillary Polls Apart

Introduction and Summary Six months into her husband’s presidency, Laura Bush has made a positive impression on the American public. A strong majority (64%) has a favorable opinion of the first lady, and most approve of the way she’s handling her job. Although her predecessor, Hillary Clinton, drew a comparable favorability rating of 60% at […]

PublicationsJune 18, 2001

Bush’s Europe Trip Yields No Public Dividend

Introduction and Summary As President Bush returns from his first overseas trip, his approval ratings are inching downward and an increasing number of Americans now say they disapprove of the job performance of GOP leaders on Capitol Hill. By contrast, the newly-installed Democratic leaders in the Senate are winning initially positive approval marks (50% vs. […]

PublicationsMay 13, 2001

No Consensus on the Census

Introduction and Summary Dramatic increases in both the size and ethnic diversity of America’s population, reflected in the 2000 census, are drawing a mixed reaction from the public. Consistent with a long-term rise in favorable attitudes toward immigrants, more people say today’s immigrants are better able to adapt to American life than did so four […]

PublicationsJanuary 11, 2001

Clinton Nostalgia Sets in, Bush Reaction Mixed

Introduction and Summary As the country awaits the formal transfer of presidential power, Bill Clinton has never looked better to the American public, while his successor George W. Bush is receiving initial reviews that are more mixed, though still positive. The president leaves office with 61% of the public approving of the way he is […]

PublicationsApril 12, 2000

Performance and Purpose; Constituents Rate Government Agencies

Introduction and Summary Americans have long been ambivalent, if not downright conflicted, in their attitudes toward the federal government. They rail against the government’s inefficiency, but clamor for government programs that benefit them. Since the era of Vietnam and Watergate, a majority of Americans have said they can seldom trust the government to do the […]

PublicationsMay 24, 1999

Public Cool To Presidential Pay Raise

Introduction and Summary There is little public support for a plan to give the president a pay raise for the first time since 1969. When told that the president’s salary has not been increased since 1969, 49% favor a pay raise for the next president to take office, while 39% oppose it. But when people […]

PublicationsOctober 21, 1998

GOP Congressional Lead Not Undercut by Backlash

Introduction and Summary The House of Representatives’ decision to hold impeachment hearings has not significantly eroded support for Republicans. Despite a public backlash against proceeding with the inquiry, Republican congressional candidates continue to hold a small lead over Democrats among likely voters nationwide. Further, the Pew Research Center’s latest survey includes an oversample of voters […]

PublicationsSeptember 10, 1998

GOP Image Improves, But Congressional Race Remains Close

Introduction and Summary American voters divided their support for Republican and Democratic congressional candidates nearly equally in the weeks between President Clinton’s televised admission that he had an improper relationship with Monica Lewinsky and news of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr’s report to Congress on the matter. But with two months to go until the midterm […]

PublicationsAugust 7, 1998

More Rancorous, But Not “Do Nothing”

Introduction and Summary As Congress heads home for the summer campaign season, both parties face tough sells for their election themes. Despite Democratic charges of a Republican-led do-nothing Congress, Americans see the 105th Congress as no different than others in recent memory. But the GOP will have to shore up its image on issues, as […]

PublicationsApril 17, 1998

Washington Leaders Wary of Public Opinion

Introduction and Summary Washington’s leaders and the American public are out of step with one another. Public distrust of government is paralleled by a belief among members of Congress, presidential appointees and senior civil servants that the American public is too ill-informed to make wise decisions about important issues. Washington leaders also significantly underestimate the […]

PublicationsMarch 10, 1998

How Americans View Government

Introduction and Summary Americans continue to distrust the government, although there are signs that hostility toward government has begun to diminish. There is also considerable evidence that distrust of government is strongly connected to how people feel about the overall state of the nation. Today, personal satisfaction is soaring, the economy is thriving and confidence […]

PublicationsAugust 15, 1997

When Washington Works, Incumbents Prosper

Introduction and Summary For the first time in a very long time, Americans are happy with the country’s course and it is beginning to pay dividends to the political establishment. Not only are Bill Clinton’s approval ratings approaching Reagan’s at a comparable point, but support for Congressional incumbents is at a decade high, and interest […]