Dec. 23, 2008

Internet Overtakes Newspapers As News Outlet

Summary of Findings The internet, which emerged this year as a leading source for campaign news, has now surpassed all other media except television as an outlet for national and international news. Currently, 40% say they get most of their news about national and international issues from the internet, up from just 24% in September […]

Dec. 18, 2008

Blagojevich Arrest Grabs Public Attention

Summary of Findings The arrest of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich last week on corruption charges drew public interest at levels rivaling or topping most national political scandals of the past few years. The charges include allegations that Blagojevich sought personal financial gain from his choice to fill President-elect Barack Obama’s senate seat. About three-in-ten (29%) […]

Dec. 11, 2008

Public Hearing Positive News About Obama Transition

Summary of Findings As President-elect Barack Obama prepares to take office and announces choices for key cabinet posts, a majority of Americans (56%) says news stories about the incoming administration are mostly positive. Very few (3%) say what they are hearing or reading about the new Obama administration is mostly negative, while four-in-ten (38%) say […]

Nov. 25, 2008

Public Closely Tracking Obama Transition

Summary of Findings In addition to following the major economic headlines last week, the public tuned into news about the Obama transition. Fully 49% followed news about plans for the new Obama administration very closely and one-in-four said this was the single news story they followed more closely than any other, making it the second […]

Nov. 20, 2008

Economic Problems, Especially in Detroit, Absorb Public’s Attention

Summary of Findings With the presidential election behind them, Americans have turned their attention back to the nation’s economy. The economy was by far the public’s top news story last week. Fully 56% of the public followed news about the economy very closely last week, and as many as 43% listed this as the single […]

Nov. 12, 2008

Few Will Miss Following Campaign News

Summary of Findings By all accounts, the public liked Campaign 2008 and followed election news avidly. But enough is enough. Fully 82% say they will not miss following election news, while only 17% say they will miss it. Even among Democrats, only a quarter say they will miss the campaign. Many Americans (23%) say they […]

Nov. 6, 2008

Election Weekend News Interest Hits 20-Year High

Summary of Findings As the long presidential campaign wound down last week, the public remained highly engaged. Fully 60% of registered voters said they were following campaign news very closely, while 28% said they were following fairly closely. That is the highest level of voter interest just before a presidential election since the Pew Research […]

Oct. 31, 2008

Internet Now Major Source of Campaign News

Summary of Findings Many more Americans are turning to the internet for campaign news this year as the web becomes a key source of election news. Television remains the dominant source, but the percent who say they get most of their campaign news from the internet has tripled since October 2004 (from 10% then to […]

Oct. 29, 2008

Palin Fatigue Now Rivals Obama Fatigue

Summary of Findings Many Americans say they are hearing too much about Barack Obama in these final days of the 2008 presidential election – just as they did last summer – but a similar percentage now says the same about Sarah Palin. However, the public’s complaints notwithstanding, a relatively small amount of media coverage was […]

Oct. 22, 2008

Most Voters Say News Media Wants Obama to Win

Summary of Findings Voters overwhelmingly believe that the media wants Barack Obama to win the presidential election. By a margin of 70%-9%, Americans say most journalists want to see Obama, not John McCain, win on Nov. 4. Another 8% say journalists don’t favor either candidate, and 13% say they don’t know which candidate most reporters […]

Oct. 16, 2008

Campaign Seen As Increasingly Negative

Summary of Findings With less than three weeks to go before the election, there is a growing sense among the public that the tone of the presidential campaign has changed. A majority of Americans (55%) now say that the campaign is too negative. This is up significantly from 43% a month ago and represents a […]

Oct. 15, 2008

Who Knows News? What You Read or View Matters, but Not Your Politics

Oct. 9, 2008

Many Say Press Has Been Too Tough on Palin

Summary of Findings Strong majorities of the public say the press has been fair to John McCain, Barack Obama and Joe Biden. But fewer than four-in-ten (38%) say the press has been fair to Sarah Palin. Many more believe the press has been too tough on Palin (38%) than say it has been too easy […]

Oct. 1, 2008

Interest in Economic News Surges

Summary of Findings Interest in news about the U.S. economy skyrocketed last week, with 70% of Americans following economic developments very closely, up from 56% the previous week. Interest in economic news is broadly bipartisan with equal proportions of Republicans, Democrats and independents following news about current economic conditions very closely. The public also paid […]

Sep. 25, 2008

McCain’s Image Faltered in Week of Wall Street Woes

Summary of Findings Views of John McCain turned somewhat more negative last week, amid record public interest in economic news. In a survey conducted Sept. 19-22, fully half of the public said their opinion of the GOP nominee had changed in the past few days, with 30% saying their opinion has become less favorable and […]

Sep. 18, 2008

Views of Palin Fluid as Spotlight Remains on GOP Ticket

Summary of Findings Sarah Palin continued to be a dominant factor in presidential campaign coverage last week, but her impact on the race remains unclear and her public image is very much in flux. Palin clearly has boosted John McCain’s visibility. From mid-June through the last week of August, Barack Obama consistently led McCain as […]

Sep. 10, 2008

McCain’s Image Improves – With Big Assist From Palin

Summary of Findings The American public paid a lot of attention to the presidential campaign last week as the Republican Party took center stage. More than half watched at least some television coverage of the Republican convention in St. Paul, and the speech by GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin stands out as the highlight […]

Sep. 3, 2008

After Busy Week, Views of Both Candidates Improve

Summary of Findings Interest in the presidential election surged last week, with the public following campaign news more closely than at any point since the Super Tuesday primaries in February. As attention to the campaign has increased, the images of both Barack Obama and John McCain have improved in recent days. In a survey conducted […]

Aug. 27, 2008

Obama’s Background Better Known Than His Issue Positions

Summary of Findings As Barack Obama prepares to accept the Democratic Party’s nomination for president and frame his campaign message for the fall, many Americans still do not have a clear understanding of where he stands on the issues. Public awareness of Obama’s policy positions has increased modestly over the past month. Still, fewer than […]

Aug. 21, 2008

Strong Advance Interest in Democratic Convention

Summary of Findings The upcoming Democratic National Convention is generating much more public interest than did the party’s convention four years ago. Fully 59% of Americans say they are interested in following what happens at the Democratic convention, up from 36% in 2004. Nearly a third (31%) say they are very interested, while 28% say […]