Jul. 16, 2014

Surge of Central American Children Roils U.S. Immigration Debate

Survey Report As the president and Congress struggle over how to deal with the influx of thousands of unaccompanied minors from Central America across the U.S.-Mexican border, a new survey finds that the public favors a shift in U.S. policy to expedite the legal processing of the children. President Obama gets very low ratings for […]

May. 5, 2014

Midterm Election Indicators Daunting for Democrats

With the midterm elections six months away, Democrats are burdened by an uneven economic recovery and a stubbornly unpopular health care law. Perhaps equally important, Barack Obama’s political standing is in some respects weaker than it was at a comparable point in the 2010 campaign, which ended with the Republicans gaining a majority in the […]

Jan. 27, 2014

Deficit Reduction Declines as Policy Priority

Survey Report For the first time since Barack Obama took office in 2009, deficit reduction has slipped as a policy priority among the public. Overall, 63% say reducing the budget deficit should be a top priority for Congress and the president this year, down from 72% a year ago. Most of the decline has come […]

Jan. 20, 2014

Obama’s NSA Speech Has Little Impact on Skeptical Public

Survey Report President Obama’s speech on Friday outlining changes to the National Security Agency’s collection of telephone and internet data did not register widely with the public. Half say they have heard nothing at all about his  proposed changes to the NSA, and another 41% say they heard only a little bit. Even among those […]

Dec. 10, 2013

Obama Job Rating Regains Some Ground, But 2013 Has Taken a Toll

Survey Report For the first time since last spring, Barack Obama’s steadily declining job rating has shown a modest improvement. And while his signature legislative accomplishment – the 2010 health care law – remains unpopular, Obama engenders much more public confidence on health care policy than do Republican leaders in Congress. The flawed rollout of […]

Nov. 8, 2013

Obama’s Second-Term Slide Continues

Survey Report Barack Obama has had a difficult year since his reelection victory. His overall job rating stands at 41%, down 14 points since last December. A majority (53%) now disapproves of the way he is handling his job as president. The latest national poll by the Pew Research Center, conducted Oct. 30-Nov. 6 among […]

Sep. 9, 2013

Opposition to Syrian Airstrikes Surges

Over just the past week, the share of Americans who oppose U.S. airstrikes in Syria has surged 15 points, from 48% to 63%, as many who were undecided about the issue have turned against military action. By contrast, the share of Americans who support airstrikes remains virtually unchanged: Just 28% favor U.S. military airstrikes […]

Jul. 23, 2013

Many Say Economic Recovery Is Still a Long Way Off

Four years after the recession officially ended, the economic recovery remains a long way off in the view of many Americans. A new survey by the Pew Research Center,  conducted July 17-21 among 1,480 adults, finds that 44% say it will be a long time before the nation’s economy recovers. Smaller percentages say either […]

Jun. 19, 2013

Obama Job Approval Holds Steady, Economic Views Improve

In a second term marked by a series of controversies and little legislative success, President Obama’s job approval rating has nonetheless remained fairly steady. Currently, 49% approve of the way Obama is handling his job as president while 43% disapprove. That is little changed from a month ago, before the NSA surveillance controversy and […]

May. 8, 2013

Obama Maintains Approval Advantage, but GOP Runs Even on Key Issues

President Obama continues to hold a substantial advantage over congressional Republicans in public regard. Obama’s job approval is back in positive territory at 51%, after slipping to 47% in March. By comparison, just 22% approve of the job Republican leaders in Congress are doing, among the lowest approval rating for congressional leaders from either […]

Mar. 21, 2013

Obama Job Approval Slips as Economic Pessimism Rises

Barack Obama’s job approval rating has tumbled since shortly after his re-election, as the public’s economic expectations for the coming year have soured. Despite substantial public awareness of recent gains in the stock market and rebounding real-estate values, the percentage saying economic conditions will get worse over the next year has risen to its […]

Feb. 21, 2013

If No Deal is Struck, Four-in-Ten Say Let the Sequester Happen

After a series of fiscal crises over the past few years, the public is not expressing a particular sense of urgency over the pending March 1 sequester deadline. With little more than a week to go, barely a quarter have heard a lot about the scheduled cuts, while about as many have heard nothing […]

Jan. 17, 2013

Obama’s Approval Ratings Over his First Term

President Obama is in a strong position at the start of his second term. At 52%, his job approval rating is among the highest since the earliest months of his presidency. But it has certainly had its ups and downs. Our chart below displays Obama’s job approval ratings from Pew Research Center polls combined with […]

Jan. 17, 2013

Obama in Strong Position at Start of Second Term

As he prepares for his second inauguration, Barack Obama is in a stronger position with the public than he was over much of his first term. At 52%, his job approval rating is among the highest since the early months of his presidency. His personal favorability, currently 59%, has rebounded from a low of […]

Jun. 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. […]

May. 14, 2012

Half Say View of Obama Not Affected by Gay Marriage Decision

Roughly half of Americans (52%) say Barack Obama’s expression of support for gay marriage did not affect their opinion of the president. A quarter (25%) say they feel less favorably toward Obama because of this while 19% feel more favorably. There are wide partisan and age differences in reactions to Obama’s expression of support […]

Jan. 19, 2012

Obama: Weak Job Ratings, But Positive Personal Image

Barack Obama begins his fourth year in office facing a struggling economy, an unhappy public, and a lower job approval rating than most of his recent predecessors at a comparable point in their presidencies. In fact, Obama’s job rating today is a bit more negative than it was in December: 48% disapprove of his […]

Nov. 3, 2011

The Generation Gap and the 2012 Election

In the last four national elections, generational differences have mattered more than they have in decades. According to the exit polls, younger people have voted substantially more Democratic than other age groups in each election since 2004, while older voters have cast more ballots for Republican candidates in each election since 2006. The latest […]

Sep. 26, 2011

Obama Draws More Confidence than GOP Leaders on Deficit

As the nation prepares for another round of deficit reduction debates, the public’s confidence in congressional leaders, particularly Republican leaders in Congress, has plummeted. Just 35% say they have a great deal or fair amount of confidence in Republican leaders in Congress to do the right thing when it comes to dealing with the […]

Aug. 25, 2011

Obama Leadership Image Takes a Hit, GOP Ratings Decline

The public is profoundly discontented with conditions in the country, its government, political leadership and several of its major institutions. Fully 79% are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country. Even more (86%) say they are frustrated or angry with the federal government. Favorable ratings for both political parties are in […]