Oct. 31, 2005

The Black and White of Public Opinion

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, public opinion surveys as well as media reporting portrayed an America deeply divided along racial lines. In an early September Pew survey, for example, two-thirds of African Americans, but fewer than one-in-five whites, said that the government response would have been faster had most victims been white. This raises […]

Nov. 5, 2003

The 2004 Political Landscape

Over the past four years, the American electorate has been dealt a series of body blows, each capable of altering the political landscape. The voting system broke down in a presidential election. A booming economy faltered, punctuated by revelations of one of the worst business scandals in U.S. history. And the country endured a […]

May. 14, 2003

Conflicted Views of Affirmative Action

Summary of Findings As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares for what could be a landmark ruling on the issue of racial preferences in college admissions, a new Pew Research Center nationwide survey finds a growing majority of the public supporting the general idea of affirmative action. But the poll results also reflect the public’s complicated […]

May. 13, 2001

No Consensus on the Census

Introduction and Summary Dramatic increases in both the size and ethnic diversity of America’s population, reflected in the 2000 census, are drawing a mixed reaction from the public. Consistent with a long-term rise in favorable attitudes toward immigrants, more people say today’s immigrants are better able to adapt to American life than did so four […]

May. 16, 1998

Possible Consequences of Non-Response for Pre-Election Surveys

Survey Findings Pre-election polling is tricky work. A number of unknown factors can stand in the way of accurate predictions — problems with identifying registered and likely voters, uncertainties about voter turnout, and last-minute shifts in candidate preference. But estimating voter preferences in biracial elections has been especially difficult. Pre-election surveys, even those taken just […]

Mar. 27, 1998

Conservative Opinions Not Underestimated, But Racial Hostility Missed

Introduction and Summary A unique survey research experiment finds that public opinion polls, as they are typically conducted, do not understate conservative opinions or support for the Republican Party. Conservative critics of the polls have charged that these surveys are politically biased. A methodological study by the Pew Research Center finds little evidence of this, […]

Jul. 8, 1992

Campaign ’92: Survey VIII

Report Summary On the eve of the national political conventions the American electorate is composed of three generations that are likely to play vastly different roles in the coming election. Americans over 50 may be the first generation of older people in modern history to spearhead a political revolution, and middle-aged people, clustered in the […]