Dec. 11, 2008

Psychology of Bad Times Fueling Consumer Cutbacks

Americans continue to render extremely bleak assessments of economic conditions, both with respect to the national economy and their own financial situations. Fully 92% of the public rates the national economy as only fair or poor, and a substantial majority (61%) judges their personal finances that way. Both measures are among the most negative […]

Oct. 15, 2008

Public Not Desperate About Economy or Personal Finances

Americans are concerned about the nation’s economic problems almost to the exclusion of every other issue, and they register the lowest level of national satisfaction ever measured in a Pew Research Center survey. Just 11% say they are satisfied with the way things are going in the country – down 14 points in the […]

Sep. 30, 2008

Small Plurality Backs Bailout Plan

As Congress debated the financial bailout bill over the past week, public support for government action has declined. A new Pew Research Center survey conducted Sept. 27-29 finds a narrow 45%-38% plurality of the public saying that a government plan to invest or commit billions of dollars to secure financial institutions is the right […]

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% […]

Jul. 31, 2008

Inflation Staggers Public, Economy Still Seen as Fixable

The public continues to be extremely downbeat about the national economy. Just 10% say the economy is in good shape, while 72% say the economy is either in a recession (54%) or a depression (18%). On a personal level, concerns about rising prices have surged. Beyond widespread anxiety about energy costs, a growing number […]

Jul. 1, 2008

As Gas Prices Pinch, Support for Energy Exploration Rises

Amid record gas prices, public support for greater energy exploration is spiking. Compared with just a few months ago, many more Americans are giving higher priority to more energy exploration, rather than more conservation. An increasing proportion also says that developing new sources of energy – rather than protecting the environment – is the […]

May. 7, 2008

Hard Hats See Hard Times

While the latest labor statistics reported fewer job losses than analysts expected, the American public is expressing increasing concern about job availability. But those worries are not as widespread as in the 1992 election-year downturn, when majorities at all income levels judged jobs to be in short supply. Instead, today’s worries are far more heavily […]

May. 1, 2008

Obama’s Image Slips, His Lead Over Clinton Disappears

Summary of Findings Democratic voters are not as positive about Barack Obama as they were a month ago. Somewhat smaller percentages of Democrats describe Obama in favorable terms, and he has lost his lead over Hillary Clinton in the race for the Democratic nomination. Nationally, Democratic voters are about evenly divided between Obama and Clinton; […]

Mar. 27, 2008

Obama Weathers the Wright Storm, Clinton Faces Credibility Problem.

Summary of Findings The videos of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s controversial sermons and Barack Obama’s subsequent speech on race and politics have attracted more public attention than any events thus far in the 2008 presidential campaign. A majority of the public (51%) said they heard “a lot” about the videos, and an even larger percentage (54%) […]

Feb. 14, 2008

Economic Discontent Deepens as Inflation Concerns Rise

Summary of Findings Public views of the U.S. economy, already quite negative, have plummeted since January. Just 17% currently rate the nation’s economy as excellent or good, down from 26% last month. The percentage of Americans rating the economy as “poor” has increased even more dramatically, from 28% to 45% in one month. Moreover, there […]

Jan. 24, 2008

An Even More Partisan Agenda for 2008

Summary of Findings With the economy slowing and the stock market reeling, there is greater agreement among Republicans and Democrats that strengthening the nation’s economy should be a top priority for the president and Congress in the coming year. By contrast, partisan differences over the importance of other domestic issues — such as dealing with […]