Dec. 16, 2009

Mixed Views of Obama at Year’s End

Public opinion about President Barack Obama and his major polices continues to be divided as the year comes to a close. His overall approval rating is 49%, which is largely unchanged from November (51%). However, the percentage expressing at least a fair amount of confidence in Obama to do the right thing when it […]

Dec. 3, 2009

U.S. Seen as Less Important, China as More Powerful

The general public and members of the Council on Foreign Relations are apprehensive and uncertain about America’s place in the world. Growing numbers in both groups see the United States playing a less important role globally, while acknowledging the increasing stature of China. And the general public, which is in a decidedly inward-looking frame […]

Nov. 5, 2009

Public Divided Over Afghan Troop Requests, But Still Sees Rationale for War

Oct. 6, 2009

Most Would Use Force to Stop Iranian Nukes

The public approves of direct negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program, although most Americans are not hopeful the talks will succeed. And a strong majority – 61% – says that it is more important to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, even if it means taking military action. Far fewer (24%) say it […]

Sep. 22, 2009

Public Support for Afghan Mission Slips

Public support for keeping U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan has declined since June and Americans express decidedly mixed views about whether the United States is making progress in reducing civilian casualties, defeating the Taliban militarily and establishing democracy in Afghanistan. Nonetheless, a sizable majority of the public (76%) views the possibility of the […]

Aug. 7, 2009

Public Supports Targeting Al Qaeda Leaders, Wants Congress in the Loop

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 […]

Apr. 28, 2009

Support for Free Trade Recovers Despite Recession

Despite the economic recession, public support for free trade agreements has recovered after declining a year ago. Currently, 44% say that free trade agreements like NAFTA and the policies of the World Trade Organization are good for the country, up from 35% a year ago. Slightly more than a third (35%) say that such […]

Apr. 23, 2009

Obama at 100 Days: Strong Job Approval, Even Higher Personal Ratings

As he approaches the 100-day mark of his presidency, Barack Obama’s job approval ratings are higher than those of his most recent predecessors. However, the 44th president is even more distinguished by his strong personal popularity. Fully 73% of Americans – including as many as 46% of Republicans – hold a favorable view of […]

Apr. 23, 2009

Public Remains Divided Over Use of Torture

Amid intense debate over the use of torture against suspected terrorists, public opinion about this issue remains fairly stable. Currently, nearly half say the use of torture under such circumstances is often (15%) or sometimes (34%) justified; about the same proportion believes that the torture of suspected terrorists is rarely (22%) or never (25%) […]

Mar. 26, 2009

Unusually Wide Gap in ’Satisfaction,’ ’Right Direction’ Measures

Mar. 25, 2009

Americans Favor Carbon Cap, Gays in the Military and Renewing U.S.-Cuba Ties

Washington’s policy agenda has been dominated by the economy and financial crisis during President Obama’s first two months in office. Yet a number of other policy proposals are currently being considered or may emerge in the future. The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted March […]

Mar. 16, 2009

Obama’s Approval Rating Slips Amid Division Over Economic Proposals

President Barack Obama’s approval rating has slipped, as a growing number of Americans see him listening more to his party’s liberals than to its moderates and many voice opposition to some of his key economic proposals. Obama’s job approval rating has slipped from 64% in February to 59% currently, while disapproval has jumped from […]

Feb. 18, 2009

Obama Faces Familiar Divisions Over Anti-Terror Policies

President Obama receives positive ratings for his handling of terrorism and most Americans say his administration’s policies will reduce the likelihood of another major attack on the United States. But as in recent years, the public remains deeply divided over how best to defend the nation against the threat of terrorism. Americans approve of […]

Jan. 29, 2009

Ideological Gaps Over Israel on Both Sides of Atlantic

Jan. 15, 2009

Strong Confidence in Obama – Country Seen As Less Politically Divided

Public confidence in Barack Obama to deal with the nation’s most pressing problems is quite high, with about seven-in-ten saying they have at least a fair amount of confidence that he will do the right thing when it comes to mending the economy, preventing terrorism, and in dealing with Iraq. Notably, many Americans not […]

Jan. 13, 2009

Modest Backing For Israel in Gaza Crisis

Americans have a mixed view of the war in the Gaza Strip, and see it in much the same way as they viewed Israel’s conflict with Hezbollah in 2006. While continuing to express strong general support for Israel, the public offers limited approval of Israel’s decision to take military action in Gaza. However, Hamas […]

Jan. 7, 2009

Gains Seen On Minority Discrimination – But Little Else

As Barack Obama prepares to take office, majorities say the country is losing ground on any number of key issues, particularly economic ones. Nearly eight-in-ten (79%) say the country is falling further behind on the federal budget deficit, far more than said that during the mid-1990s when the deficit was a top-tier policy issue. […]