PublicationsApril 4, 2013

Majority Now Supports Legalizing Marijuana

Report For the first time in more than four decades of polling on the issue, a majority of Americans favor legalizing the use of marijuana. A national survey finds that 52% say that the use of marijuana should be made legal while 45% say it should not. Support for legalizing marijuana has risen 11 points […]

PublicationsMarch 21, 2013

Changing Minds: Behind the Rise in Support for Gay Marriage

Explore responses from the 14% of all Americans who say they have changed their minds on the issue in favor of gay marriage.

PublicationsMarch 20, 2013

Growing Support for Gay Marriage: Changed Minds and Changing Demographics

The rise in support for same-sex marriage over the past decade is among the largest changes in opinion on any policy issue over this time period. A new national survey finds that much of the shift is attributable to the arrival of a large cohort of young adults – the Millennial generation – who […]

PublicationsMarch 12, 2013

Why Own a Gun? Protection Is Now Top Reason

The vast majority of gun owners say that having a gun makes them feel safer. And far more today than in 1999 cite protection – rather than hunting or other activities – as the maireason they own guns. A national survey finds that nearly half of gun owners (48%) volunteer that the main reason […]

PublicationsFebruary 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 […]

PublicationsJanuary 22, 2013

Mixed Reactions to Obama’s Gun Proposals

With the public paying close attention to the national debate over gun control, Barack Obama’s gun proposals receive a mixed rating from the public. A 39% plurality say Obama’s proposals are about right while another 13% say they do not go far enough. About three-in-ten (31%) say the president’s proposals go too far; 17% […]

PublicationsJanuary 16, 2013

Roe v. Wade at 40: Most Oppose Overturning Abortion Decision

PublicationsJanuary 14, 2013

In Gun Control Debate, Several Options Draw Majority Support

While the issue of gun control remains divisive, there are clear areas of agreement when it comes to a number of gun policy proposals. Fully 85% of Americans favor making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks, with comparable support from Republicans, Democrats and independents. Similarly, 80% support laws […]

PublicationsDecember 20, 2012

After Newtown, Modest Change in Opinion about Gun Control

The public’s attitudes toward gun control have shown only modest change in the wake of last week’s deadly shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Currently, 49% say it is more important to control gun ownership, while 42% say it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns. This […]

PublicationsDecember 17, 2012

Public Divided over What Newtown Signifies

The shootings at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn. on Friday have drawn widespread public interest. A weekend survey finds that 57% of Americans say they followed news about the tragedy there very closely. That is higher than interest in the shootings at an Aurora, Colo. movie theater in July (49% very closely), though […]

PublicationsDecember 17, 2012

Pew Research Year in Review

Take a look at Pew Research Center’s top findings of the year that told us a bigger story about the trends shaping our world.

PublicationsDecember 14, 2012

Public Attitudes Toward Gun Control

The Pew Research Center has been tracking attitudes about gun control for nearly 20 years. Our question asks whether it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns, or to control gun ownership. Our most recent survey on the issue, conducted July 26-29, 2012, shortly after a gunman killed 12 people […]

PublicationsNovember 9, 2012

Behind Gay Marriage Momentum, Regional Gaps Persist

Supporters of same-sex marriage won key victories in several states Tuesday, including the first instances in which laws allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally were approved by voters. This comes at a time when support for same-sex marriage has been on the rise. Across four Pew Research Center surveys this year, 48% of Americans […]

PublicationsAugust 22, 2012

The Complicated Politics of Abortion

Abortion has emerged as an issue in the 2012 presidential race, following Missouri GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin’s controversial comments about abortion and “legitimate rape.” In recent years, narrow majorities of the public have consistently said that abortion should be legal in all or most cases. The Democratic Party is widely favored over the GOP […]

PublicationsJuly 31, 2012

Two-Thirds of Democrats Now Support Gay Marriage

PublicationsJuly 30, 2012

Views on Gun Laws Unchanged After Aurora Shooting

There has been no significant change in public views on the issue of gun control and gun rights following the July 20th shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Currently, 47% say it is more important to control gun ownership, while 46% say it is more important to protect the rights of Americans […]

PublicationsMay 23, 2012

Changing Views of Gay Marriage: A Deeper Analysis

President Obama’s recent expression of support for same-sex marriage has highlighted long-term changes in opinion on the issue. In interviews with more than 5,000 adults conducted in 2011-2012, prior to Obama’s announcement, 46% favored gay marriage while 44% were opposed. (See detailed tables for a breakdown among subgroups by year). Four years ago, a majority […]

PublicationsMay 15, 2012

Obama Support for Gay Marriage Public’s Top Story

President Obama’s expression of support for same-sex marriage proved to be the public’s top news story last week. About a quarter of Americans (26%) say they followed news about Obama’s statements on the divisive topic more closely than any other news, according to the latest weekly News Interest Index survey, conducted May 10-13 among […]

PublicationsMay 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 […]

PublicationsApril 25, 2012

More Support for Gun Rights, Gay Marriage than in 2008 or 2004

Opinions about a pair of contentious social issues, gun control and gay marriage, have changed substantially since previous presidential campaigns. On gun control, Americans have become more conservative; on gay marriage, they have become more liberal. Currently, 49% of Americans say it is more important to protect the rights of Americans to own guns, […]