PublicationsApril 29, 2013

Modest Support for Military Force if Syria Used Chemical Weapons

By a 45% to 31% margin, more Americans favor than oppose the U.S. and its allies taking military action against Syria, if it is confirmed that Syria used chemical weapons against anti-government groups. Public interest in the Syrian conflict remains low, and nearly a quarter of Americans (23%) have no opinion about the use […]

Featured ReportApril 23, 2013

Most Expect ’Occasional Acts of Terrorism’ in the Future

Last week’s bombings at the Boston Marathon attracted broad public interest: 63% of Americans say they followed the story very closely, among the highest interest in any news story in the past decade. And the bombings drew far more public attention than any terrorist event since Sept. 11, 2001, which 78% reported following very […]

Featured ReportApril 9, 2013

Public Divided over North Korea’s Intentions, Capability

A majority of Americans say that the United States should take North Korea’s nuclear threats very seriously. At the same time, the public is divided over whether North Korea’s leadership is willing and capable of following through on its threats against the United States. The national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted April […]

PublicationsApril 8, 2013

Gun Debate Draws More Interest than Immigration Policy Debate

As Congress returns to Washington to resume work on gun control and immigration legislation, the public is paying far closer attention to news about the gun control debate than news about the debate over immigration policy. A national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted April 4-7 among 1,003 adults, finds 37% say they […]

PublicationsFebruary 20, 2013

Hagel Better Known, Viewed More Negatively

Unfavorable opinions of Chuck Hagel have increased over the past month as he has faced a bruising confirmation battle to become President Obama’s secretary of defense. A national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Feb. 14-17 among 1,003 adults, finds that 22% have a favorable opinion of Hagel while 28% have an unfavorable […]

PublicationsFebruary 11, 2013

Continued Support for U.S. Drone Strikes

While U.S. drone strikes have faced new scrutiny in recent weeks, a majority of the public continues to support the program. Overall, 56% approve of the U.S. conducting missile strikes from pilotless aircraft to target extremists in countries such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia; just 26% say they disapprove. Opinion is largely unchanged from […]

Featured ReportSeptember 17, 2012

Middle East Turmoil Closely Followed; Romney’s Comments Viewed Negatively

About four-in-ten Americans (43%) have followed news about the attacks on U.S. embassies in the Middle East and the killing of an American ambassador very closely, making it by far the most closely followed foreign news story of the year. Those who have followed this story have much more positive opinions about Barack Obama’s […]

Multi-section ReportsJune 4, 2012

Partisan Polarization Surges in Bush, Obama Years

As Americans head to the polls this November, their values and basic beliefs are more polarized along partisan lines than at any point in the past 25 years. Unlike in 1987, when this series of surveys began, the values gap between Republicans and Democrats is now greater than gender, age, race or class divides. […]

PublicationsFebruary 15, 2012

Public Takes Strong Stance Against Iran’s Nuclear Program

The public supports tough measures – including the possible use of military force – to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Nearly six-in-ten (58%) say it is more important to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, even if it means taking military action. Just 30% say it is more important to avoid a military […]

PublicationsSeptember 1, 2011

United in Remembrance, Divided over Policies

Ten years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the events of that day retain a powerful hold on the public’s collective consciousness. Virtually every American remembers what they were doing at the moment the attacks occurred. Substantial majorities say that 9/11 had a profound personal impact and that the attacks changed the […]

PublicationsMay 9, 2011

Obama Bump Recedes a Bit

Barack Obama’s job approval rating has fallen slightly since the day after Osama bin Laden’s death was announced. But the balance of opinion regarding Obama’s job performance remains more positive than it was in early April. There also continues to be more optimism about the U.S. achieving its goals in Afghanistan than there was […]

Multi-section ReportsMay 4, 2011

Beyond Red vs. Blue: The Political Typology

With the economy still struggling and the nation involved in multiple military operations overseas, the public’s political mood is fractious. In this environment, many political attitudes have become more doctrinaire at both ends of the ideological spectrum, a polarization that reflects the current atmosphere in Washington. Yet at the same time, a growing number […]

Pew Research/Washington Post SurveysMay 3, 2011

More Optimism about Afghanistan, But No Boost in Support for Troop Presence

The killing of Osama bin Laden has bolstered the public’s confidence on two fronts: that the government can prevent a possible terrorist attack, and that the U.S. will succeed in achieving its goals in Afghanistan. However, the public’s basic views about U.S. forces in Afghanistan and the threat of terrorism in the United States […]

Pew Research/Washington Post SurveysMay 3, 2011

Public “Relieved” By bin Laden’s Death, Obama’s Job Approval Rises

The public is reacting to the killing of Osama bin Laden with relief, happiness and pride. And Americans overwhelmingly credit the U.S. military and the CIA for the success of the operation. An overnight survey of 654 adults, conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and The Washington Post […]

PublicationsFebruary 15, 2011

Public Remains Divided Over the Patriot Act

Public views of the Patriot Act, whose renewal is being debated by Congress, have changed little since the Bush administration. Currently, 42% say the Patriot Act is a necessary tool that helps the government find terrorists, while somewhat fewer (34%) say the Patriot Act goes too far and poses a threat to civil liberties. […]

Multi-section ReportsDecember 7, 2010

Mixed Views on Tax Cuts, Support for START and Allowing Gays to Serve Openly

With the public giving subpar approval ratings to President Obama and continuing to express negative views of Congress and the political parties, it goes its own way on many of the remaining issues before the lame-duck Congress. In a survey conducted before Obama and GOP leaders agreed to temporarily extend all Bush-era tax cuts, […]

PublicationsDecember 2, 2010

Despite Years of Terror Scares, Public’s Concerns Remain Fairly Steady

Since 9/11, there have been major terrorist attacks in Great Britain, Spain and other countries. And in the United States, there have been Orange Alerts and numerous near misses involving bombs smuggled aboard aircraft and in parked cars. But over the course of all of this, there is little evidence that close calls in […]

PublicationsNovember 29, 2010

Most Continue to Favor Gays Serving Openly in Military

PublicationsOctober 22, 2010

Continued Positive Marks for Government Anti-Terror Efforts

The federal government continues to get positive marks for efforts to reduce the threat of terrorism, but many Americans say luck is a big reason why the United States has not suffered a major attack at home since Sept. 11, 2001. About seven-in-ten (69%) say the government is doing very (15%) or fairly well […]

PublicationsAugust 26, 2010

Five Years After Katrina, Most Say Nation is Not Better Prepared

Five years after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, a majority of Americans (57%) say that the nation is no better prepared for hurricanes and other natural disasters than it was in 2005. However, the public does see progress in rebuilding New Orleans and the Gulf region: 69% say there has […]