PublicationsOctober 15, 2013

As Debt Limit Deadline Nears, Concern Ticks Up But Skepticism Persists

Survey Report With just two days to go before an Oct. 17 deadline to raise the nation’s debt limit, 51% of the public views a rise in the nation’s debt limit as “absolutely essential” in order to avoid an economic crisis, while 36% think the country can go past the deadline without major problems. Public […]

PublicationsSeptember 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 […]

PublicationsSeptember 11, 2013

Tea Party Increasingly Unhappy with GOP Leadership

As lawmakers return for what promises to be a busy fall session, GOP congressional leaders face mounting disapproval among Tea Party Republicans. Just 27% of Republicans and GOP leaners who agree with the Tea Party approve of the job Republican leaders in Congress are doing, compared with 71% who disapprove. The job rating of […]

PublicationsJuly 31, 2013

Whither the GOP? Republicans Want Change, But Split over Party’s Direction

Coming off of two consecutive presidential election defeats, most Republican voters believe that their party must address major problems to be more competitive in the future. And roughly six-in-ten say improved messaging alone will not be enough – the GOP also needs to reconsider some of its positions. Yet while Republicans may agree on […]

Featured ReportMay 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 […]

Featured ReportApril 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 […]

PublicationsFebruary 26, 2013

GOP Seen as Principled, But Out of Touch and Too Extreme

At a time when the Republican Party’s image is at a historic low, 62% of the public says the GOP is out of touch with the American people, 56% think it is not open to change and 52% say the party is too extreme. Opinions about the Democratic Party are mixed, but the party […]

Featured ReportJanuary 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 […]

Featured ReportDecember 13, 2012

As Fiscal Cliff Nears, Democrats Have Public Opinion on Their Side

The Democrats are in a strong position with the public as they engage in negotiations to find a solution to the fiscal cliff crisis. Barack Obama’s first post-reelection job approval rating has risen to 55%, up five points since July and 11 points since the start of the year. Obama’s job rating is markedly […]

InteractivesOctober 24, 2012

Examining the Last Four Years

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Featured ReportSeptember 12, 2012

Democrats Now More Positive on Campaign 2012

In the wake of the party conventions, Democrats express increasingly positive views of the presidential campaign. And today, substantially more Democrats than Republicans view the campaign as interesting and informative. The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Sept. 7-9 among 1,012 adults, finds that 66% […]

Featured ReportSeptember 10, 2012

Democratic Convention Highlights: Clinton Outshines Obama

Like Mitt Romney, Barack Obama was not the highlight of his party’s convention. Among those who watched at least a little coverage of the Democratic convention, 29% say the highlight was Bill Clinton’s speech, while 16% name Obama’s speech as the highlight. About as many (15%) say that first lady Michelle Obama’s speech was […]

PublicationsAugust 27, 2012

More Interest in GOP Platform than Romney’s Speech

As the Republican convention gets underway, more Americans express interest in learning about what’s in the GOP platform than in the speeches by either Mitt Romney or his running mate. About half of the public (52%) is interested in learning about the Republican Party’s platform, while 44% are interested in Romney’s acceptance speech and […]

CommentaryAugust 23, 2012

A Closer Look at the Parties in 2012

As the 2012 party conventions approach, the Democratic Party continues to maintain an advantage in party identification among voters, but its lead is much smaller than it was in 2008. In more than 13,000 interviews conducted so far in 2012, 35% of registered voters identify with the Democratic Party, 28% with the Republican Party and […]

CommentaryAugust 3, 2012

Party Affiliation and Election Polls

In every campaign cycle, pollwatchers pay close attention to the details of every election survey. And well they should. But focusing on the partisan balance of surveys is, in almost every circumstance, the wrong place to look. The latest Pew Research Center survey conducted July 16-26 among 1,956 registered voters nationwide found 51% supporting Barack […]

Featured ReportJuly 12, 2012

Obama Holds Lead; Romney Trails on Most Issues

Despite the stagnant economy and broad dissatisfaction with national conditions, Barack Obama holds a significant lead over Mitt Romney. Currently, Obama is favored by a 50% to 43% margin among registered voters nationwide. Obama has led by at least a slim margin in every poll this year, and there is no clear trend in […]

Multi-section ReportsJune 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. […]

InteractivesJune 1, 2012

Trend in Party Identification

Report: Trends in Party Affiliation

PublicationsApril 11, 2012

What the Public Knows about the Political Parties

Most Americans can correctly identify the relative positions of the Republican and Democratic parties on the major issues of the day. But a review of what Americans know about the political parties shows that the public is better informed about the partisan affiliations of two popular recent presidents – Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton […]

Featured ReportApril 9, 2012

74% of Republicans Say Romney ’Definitely’ the Nominee

Following primary victories in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia last Tuesday, Mitt Romney is clearly seen as the inevitable GOP nominee, and Republicans now see continued primaries as bad for the party. In the latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, conducted April 5-8, 2012, […]