Multi-section ReportsOctober 31, 2007

A Year Ahead, Republicans Face Tough Political Terrain

Introduction and Summary A year before the 2008 presidential election, most major national opinion trends decidedly favor the Democrats. Discontent with the state of the nation is markedly greater than it was four years ago. President Bush’s approval rating has fallen from 50% to 30% over this period. And the Democrats’ advantage over the Republicans […]

PublicationsApril 26, 2007

Both Sides Reject Compromise in Iraq Funding Fight

Summary of Findings With battle lines drawn over legislation funding the Iraq war, the public is showing little appetite for compromise. Overall, a solid majority of Americans (59%) continue to say they want their representative to support a bill calling for a U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq by August 2008, while just a third want […]

CommentaryApril 12, 2007

Money Walks

The Republican Party has traditionally garnered it strongest backing from wealthier voters. But the recent overall decline in Republican party affiliation nationwide has even taken a toll on GOP support among affluent voters. The latest Pew surveys find partisan parity among registered voters with annual family incomes in excess of roughly $135,000 per annum. Read […]

PublicationsMarch 22, 2007

Trends in Political Values and Core Attitudes: 1987-2007

Summary of Findings Increased public support for the social safety net, signs of growing public concern about income inequality, and a diminished appetite for assertive national security policies have improved the political landscape for the Democrats as the 2008 presidential campaign gets underway. At the same time, many of the key trends that nurtured the […]

CommentaryNovember 14, 2006

The Real Message of the Midterms

A sweeping election tends to invite sweeping conclusions — and the Democrats’ takeover of both houses of Congress this November provides a tempting array of opportunities for exaggeration or misinterpretation. With that in mind, let’s look at the major lessons to be gleaned from the exit polls and opinion polls about how America voted this […]

CommentaryNovember 6, 2006

Democrats and Republicans See Different Realities

PublicationsNovember 5, 2006

Republicans Cut Democratic Lead in Campaign’s Final Days

Summary of Findings A nationwide Pew Research Center survey finds voting intentions shifting in the direction of Republican congressional candidates in the final days of the 2006 midterm campaign. The new survey finds a growing percentage of likely voters saying they will vote for GOP candidates. However, the Democrats still hold a 48% to 40% […]

CommentaryOctober 18, 2006

Evangelicals and the GOP: An Update

White evangelical Protestants have become one of the most important parts of the Republican Party’s electoral base, making up over one-third of those who identify with the GOP and vote for its candidates. The party’s political fortunes depend, in large part, on retaining the solid support of the evangelical community. But evangelicals, like other voters, […]

PublicationsOctober 11, 2006

November Turnout May Be High

Summary of Findings Turnout in the 2006 midterm election may well be higher than normal, given the level of interest expressed by voters. Today, 51% of voters say they have given a lot of thought to this November’s election, up from 45% at this point in 2002 and 42% in early October of 1998. Even […]

CommentaryOctober 11, 2006

Growing Number of Liberal Democrats

The percent of Democratic voters who think of themselves as “liberals” has been slowly rising in recent years, while the number of conservative Democrats has declined. In polling conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press from January to September of 2006, 32% of Democrats describe themselves as ideologically liberal, while […]

CommentarySeptember 27, 2006

Blue States Get Even More Democratic

Following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, the Republican Party made sharp gains in party affiliation nationally, nearly wiping out the Democrats’ long-standing advantage. However, the Republican increases have faded and the Democratic Party now holds a slim edge in overall partisanship among registered voters. The modest Democratic recovery has been mostly concentrated in the blue […]

CommentaryMay 30, 2006

Politics and the “DotNet” Generation

What’s the new generation coming to? Are today’s young people apathetic and politically inert, as the stereotypes suggest? Are they more reluctant to get involved in politics and public life than generations past? What will American politics be like when they are eventually in charge? The answers are not what you might think. Not only […]

CommentaryApril 11, 2006

In Search of Ideologues in America

Many Americans do not fit well within into either the conservative or liberal camps. Instead they find a home in one of two other U.S. political traditions, libertarian and populist, or defy attempts to pigeon-hole them. Read full article at

CommentaryAugust 2, 2005

GOP Makes Gains Among The Working Class, While Democrats Hold On To The Union Vote

Last week’s historic split in the House of Labor was driven, at least in part, by disagreements over whether the AFL-CIO should be focusing more on union organizing drives or electoral politics. Much is at stake, not just for the union movement but also for the political parties. Working class voters are a key swing […]

Multi-section ReportsApril 6, 2005

The Dean Activists: Their Profile and Prospects

Introduction Although former Vermont governor Howard Dean failed to win the Democratic presidential nomination, his campaign left a strong imprint on the political world. It assembled a network of over a half-million active supporters and contributors, raised over $20 million in mostly small donations online, and demonstrated the power of the internet as a networking […]

PublicationsJanuary 24, 2005

Politics and Values in a 51%-48% Nation

Summary of Findings This report is an excerpt from chapter one of the book Trends 2005, produced by the Pew Research Center. Public attitudes on national security are now much more strongly associated with partisan affiliation than they were in the late 1990s. A comprehensive study of long-term public values finds that beliefs about national […]

CommentarySeptember 23, 2004

Party Affiliation: What it is and What it Isn’t

During every presidential election, questions arise over the results of political polls and how those surveys are conducted. This year’s hot topic is the partisan composition of the leading national polls. Politicians and pundits alike now scrutinize a survey sample’s partisan split as closely as the horse-race results. Surveys that are deemed to have “too […]

PublicationsAugust 24, 2004

GOP the Religion-Friendly Party

Summary of Findings As the Republicans gather in New York to nominate George W. Bush for a second term, more Americans see the Republican Party than the Democratic Party as friendly toward religion. And most express comfort with President Bush’s reliance on his religious beliefs in making policy decisions. On the issue of gay marriage, […]

CommentaryJuly 26, 2004

Democrats Gain Edge in Party Identification

The Democratic Party has achieved a small gain in party affiliation and holds a 33%-29% edge over the GOP in Pew surveys conducted in 2004. This represents a modest shift from the two year period following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, when the Republican Party had drawn virtually even with the Democrats. The current […]

CommentaryJanuary 30, 2004

Democratic Candidates Face Southern Voters

Southern Democrats More Culturally Conservative, Not So Different Otherwise