Oct. 21, 2014

Ebola Worries Rise, But Most Are ‘Fairly’ Confident in Government, Hospitals to Deal With Disease

Survey Report Public concern about the spread of the Ebola virus in the U.S. has increased since early October. Currently, 41% are worried that they themselves or someone in their family will be exposed to the virus, including 17% who say they are very worried. In a survey two weeks ago, 32% worried about exposure […]

Oct. 18, 2013

Trust in Government Nears Record Low, But Most Federal Agencies Are Viewed Favorably

Survey Report Public trust in the government, already quite low, has edged even lower in a survey conducted just before the Oct. 16 agreement to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling. Just 19% say that they trust the government in Washington to do what is right just about always or most of […]

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Oct. 18, 2013

Public Trust in Government: 1958-2013

Public trust in the government, already quite low, has edged even lower in a survey conducted just before the Oct. 16 agreement to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling. Explore public attitudes towards the federal government over time and compare the data with other key national indicators, such as consumer sentiment, the […]

Sep. 30, 2013

Anger at Government Most Pronounced among Conservative Republicans

Survey Report With a possible government shutdown just hours away, public anger at the federal government is as high as at any point since the Pew Research Center began asking the question in 1997. Anger is most palpable among conservative Republicans – 41% say they are angry at the federal government, the highest among any […]

Sep. 23, 2013

Blame for Both Sides as Possible Government Shutdown Approaches

If the federal government shuts down because Republicans and the Obama administration fail to agree on a budget, there will be plenty of blame to go around. About as many say they would blame the Republicans (39%) for such a standoff as say they would blame Obama (36%), with 17% volunteering that both would […]

May. 20, 2013

Partisan Interest, Reactions to IRS and AP Controversies

So far, public interest in a trio of controversies connected to the Obama administration has been limited. Roughly a quarter (26%) of Americans say they are very closely following reports that the IRS targeted conservative groups. About the same number (25%) are tracking the Benghazi investigation very closely, and even fewer (16%) are very […]

Apr. 15, 2013

State Governments Viewed Favorably as Federal Rating Hits New Low

Even as public views of the federal government in Washington have fallen to another new low, the public continues to see their state and local governments in a favorable light. Overall, 63% say they have a favorable opinion of their local government, virtually unchanged over recent years. And 57% express a favorable view of […]

Jan. 31, 2013

Majority Says the Federal Government Threatens Their Personal Rights

As Barack Obama begins his second term in office, trust in the federal government remains mired near a historic low, while frustration with government remains high. And for the first time, a majority of the public says that the federal government threatens their personal rights and freedoms. The latest national survey by the Pew […]

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 […]

Oct. 10, 2012

Public Less Negative About Economic News

Americans are hearing less negative news about the nation’s economy than they were just a month ago, and perceptions of news about other economic sectors – notably, the job situation – have improved as well. Most Americans continue to hear a mix of good and bad news about the economy (62%), but the share […]

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. […]

Apr. 26, 2012

Growing Gap in Favorable Views of Federal, State Governments

Just a third of Americans have a favorable opinion of the federal government, the lowest positive rating in 15 years. Yet opinions about state and local governments remain favorable, on balance. As a result, the gap between favorable ratings of the federal government and state and local governments is wider than ever. Ten years […]

Dec. 20, 2011

In 2007, Mood Just Beginning to Sour, Democrats Better Regarded

Four years ago, as voters were about to cast the first ballots in the 2008 election, the public’s mood was not very good, but still a lot better than it is today. In late 2007, the economic recession was gaining strength and the public’s view of the economy had grown more negative. Only about a […]

Sep. 22, 2011

Press Widely Criticized, But Trusted More than Other Information Sources

Negative opinions about the performance of news organizations now equal or surpass all-time highs on nine of 12 core measures the Pew Research Center has been tracking since 1985. However, these bleak findings are put into some perspective by the fact that news organizations are more trusted sources of information than are many other […]

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 […]

Aug. 9, 2011

Views of Tea Party Supporters in Congress Grow More Negative

More Americans now think that members of Congress who support the Tea Party are having a negative effect than said that in January, at the start of the new Congress. Currently, 29% judge the impact of Tea Party supporters as mostly negative compared with 22% who see their impact as mostly positive. At the beginning […]

Jul. 18, 2011

Obama Draws More Confidence than Boehner, McConnell or Cantor on Debt Ceiling

The public expresses far more confidence in President Obama than it does in congressional leaders of both parties when it comes to the debate over the debt ceiling. Nonetheless, only about half of Americans (48%) have even a fair amount of confidence in Obama to do the right thing when it comes to dealing with […]

Mar. 3, 2011

Fewer Are Angry at Government, But Discontent Remains High

The public remains deeply frustrated with the federal government, but fewer Americans say they are angry at government than did so last fall. Overall, the percentage saying they are angry with the federal government has fallen from 23% last September to 14% today, with much of the decline coming among Republicans and Tea Party […]

Feb. 15, 2011

Public Remains Divided Over the Patriot Act

Public views of the Patriot Act, whose renewal is being debated by Congress, have changed little since the Bush administration. Currently, 42% say the Patriot Act is a necessary tool that helps the government find terrorists, while somewhat fewer (34%) say the Patriot Act goes too far and poses a threat to civil liberties. […]

Jul. 1, 2010

Proud Patriots — and Harsh Critics of Government