Apr. 30, 2009

Public Takes Conservative Turn on Gun Control, Abortion

Public attitudes on a pair of contentious national issues – gun control and abortion – have moved in a more conservative direction over the past year. In both cases, the changes have been driven in part by relatively large shifts among men, while opinions among women have not changed very much. For the first […]

Mar. 25, 2009

Americans Favor Carbon Cap, Gays in the Military and Renewing U.S.-Cuba Ties

Washington’s policy agenda has been dominated by the economy and financial crisis during President Obama’s first two months in office. Yet a number of other policy proposals are currently being considered or may emerge in the future. The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted March […]

Jan. 7, 2009

Gains Seen On Minority Discrimination – But Little Else

As Barack Obama prepares to take office, majorities say the country is losing ground on any number of key issues, particularly economic ones. Nearly eight-in-ten (79%) say the country is falling further behind on the federal budget deficit, far more than said that during the mid-1990s when the deficit was a top-tier policy issue. […]

Jun. 12, 2008

Gay Marriage Is Back On The Radar For Republicans, Evangelicals

Jun. 11, 2008

Most Americans See a Black Nominee as Important for Country

Summary of Findings A solid majority of Americans say it as at least somewhat important to the country that an African American has won the presidential nomination of a major political party. But there are wide political and racial divisions over the significance of Barack Obama’s history-making achievement. Overall, 36% of the public says it […]

May. 14, 2008

Public Continues to Oppose Banning Handgun Sales

Summary of Findings As the Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of Washington, D.C.’s ban on handguns, a majority of Americans (59%) say they would oppose a law that banned the sale of handguns. Opposition to a prohibition of handgun sales is up slightly, from 55% a year ago shortly after the Virginia Tech shootings, but […]

Mar. 27, 2008

Obama and Wright Controversy Dominate News Cycle

Summary of Findings Barack Obama’s March 18th speech on race and politics is arguably the biggest political event of the campaign so far. Fully 85% of Americans say they heard at least a little about Obama’s speech, and most (54%) say they heard a lot about it. Not surprisingly, Barack Obama has been far and […]

May. 23, 2007

Four-in-Ten Americans Have Close Friends or Relatives Who are Gay

In the past four decades, growing numbers of gays have come out of the closet and into the mainstream of American life. As a consequence, 4-in-10 Americans now report that some of their close friends or family members are gays or lesbians. Read full analysis at Pewresearch.org

May. 22, 2007

Muslim Americans: Middle Class and Mostly Mainstream

Report Summary The first-ever, nationwide, random sample survey of Muslim Americans finds them to be largely assimilated, happy with their lives, and moderate with respect to many of the issues that have divided Muslims and Westerners around the world. The Pew Research Center conducted more than 55,000 interviews to obtain a national sample of 1,050 […]

Apr. 23, 2007

Little Boost for Gun Control or Agreement on Causes

Summary of Findings Last week’s shootings at Virginia Tech have had little immediate impact on public opinion about gun control. Six-in-ten Americans say it is more important to control gun ownership, while 32% say it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns. Opinion has changed little since 2004, when 58% […]

Apr. 4, 2007

The NRA’s Image Improves as Support for Gun Control Slips

Each year since its occurrence in 1999, the April 20 anniversary of the Columbine High School tragedy renews debate about the desirability of stricter controls on firearms. Recent surveys, however, find Americans less disposed to gun control than they were in the years surrounding the shootings. Read full analysis at Pewresearch.org

Jan. 9, 2007

A Portrait of “Generation Next”

Summary of Findings This is part of a Pew Research Center series of reports exploring the behaviors, values and opinions of the teens and twenty-somethings that make up the Millennial Generation. A new generation has come of age, shaped by an unprecedented revolution in technology and dramatic events both at home and abroad. They are […]

Aug. 3, 2006

Pragmatic Americans Liberal and Conservative on Social Issues

Summary of Findings Americans cannot be easily characterized as conservative or liberal on today’s most pressing social questions. The public’s point of view varies from issue to issue. They are conservative in opposing gay marriage and gay adoption, liberal in favoring embryonic stem cell research and a little of both on abortion. Along with favoring […]

Mar. 22, 2006

Less Opposition to Gay Marriage, Adoption and Military Service

Summary of Findings Public acceptance of homosexuality has increased in a number of ways in recent years, though it remains a deeply divisive issue. Half of Americans (51%) continue to oppose legalizing gay marriage, but this number has declined significantly from 63% in February 2004, when opposition spiked following the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision and […]

Dec. 15, 2005

Wal-Mart a Good Place to Shop But Some Critics Too

Summary of Findings As shoppers flock to the stores for holiday gifts, some express mixed feelings about the nation’s largest retailer. Nearly every American lives near enough a Wal-Mart to shop there, and 84% say they have done so in the past year. Praise for the retailer’s low prices, wide selection and convenience flow freely, […]

Nov. 2, 2005

Public Opinion Supports Alito on Spousal Notification Even as It Favors Roe v. Wade

Of all the opinions that Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. has handed down during 15 years on the federal bench, the one drawing the most attention since his nomination to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court is his support in a 1991 case for a provision in a Pennsylvania law that required women, with few […]

Oct. 3, 2005

Abortion, the Court and the Public

The confirmation hearings for Harriet Miers to become a justice of the Supreme Court will once again highlight a complex web of issues related to abortion, on which she may become the swing vote. While activists on both sides describe abortion as an issue on which there is no middle ground, decades of polling have […]

Aug. 3, 2005

Abortion and Rights of Terror Suspects Top Court Issues

Summary of Findings Abortion has dominated the early skirmishing over President Bush’s nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court. But the public takes a more expansive view of the court’s agenda. Indeed, about as many Americans rate the rights of detained terrorist suspects as a very important issue for the Supreme Court as say […]

Jul. 1, 2005

Abortion Wild Card In Battle Over O’Connor’s Successor

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s decision to step down from the Supreme Court sets up a possible next chapter in the nation’s culture wars. If the debate over O’Connor’s replacement turns into a referendum on Roe vs. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision establishing a woman’s right to abortion, the argument is likely to galvanize a significant […]

May. 23, 2005

More See Benefits of Stem Cell Research

Coming on the heels of last week’s announcement that South Korean scientists had cloned a human embryo, the U.S. House is nearing a vote on expanding federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. President Bush has threatened to veto the legislation if it passes. Surveys last year by the Pew Research Center for the People […]