PublicationsApril 20, 2006

Public Disillusionment with Congress at Record Levels

Summary of Findings The American public is angry with Congress, and this is bad news for the Republican Party. The belief that this Congress has accomplished less than its predecessors is markedly higher than at any point in the past nine years, and by a wide margin Republican leaders are blamed for this. Many more […]

CommentaryApril 11, 2006

In Search of Ideologues in America

Many Americans do not fit well within into either the conservative or liberal camps. Instead they find a home in one of two other U.S. political traditions, libertarian and populist, or defy attempts to pigeon-hole them. Read full article at

CommentaryMarch 7, 2006

Independents Sour on Incumbents

CommentaryFebruary 13, 2006

Midterm Match-Up: Partisan Tide vs. Safe Seats

At the start of this midterm election year, two heavyweight political trends are poised for a head-on collision. One is fueled by the low standing in the polls that the president and his party currently register, a position that invariably spells trouble for the “in party” in congressional elections. The other is driven by the […]

PublicationsFebruary 9, 2006

Bush a Drag on Republican Midterm Prospects

Summary of Findings Nine months before the midterm elections, the Democrats hold a sizable lead in the congressional horse race and an advantage on most major issues. Democrats lead by 50%-41% among registered voters in the test ballot, which is little changed from last September (52%-40%). While retaining a huge advantage on traditional party strengths […]

PublicationsJanuary 11, 2006

Americans Taking Abramoff, Alito and Domestic Spying in Stride

Summary of Findings The public has been hardly stirred by the flurry of major Washington news in the early days of 2006. Jack Abramoff’s admission that he bribed members of Congress has sparked little interest, with just 18% paying very close attention to news reports on the disgraced Washington lobbyist. An overwhelming majority of Americans […]

PublicationsOctober 25, 2005

Public Sours on Government and Business

Summary of Findings Americans express increasingly negative views of a wide range major institutions, reflecting strong discontent with national conditions. Over the past year, ratings have tumbled for the federal government and Congress. And it is not just Washington institutions that are being viewed less positively. Favorable opinions of business corporations are at their lowest […]

PublicationsOctober 13, 2005

Plurality Now Sees Bush Presidency as Unsuccessful

Summary of Findings President George W. Bush’s poll numbers are going from bad to worse. His job approval rating has fallen to another new low, as has public satisfaction with national conditions, which now stands at just 29%. And for the first time since taking office in 2001, a plurality of Americans believe that George […]

PublicationsAugust 30, 2005

Religion A Strength And Weakness For Both Parties

Summary of Findings Both major political parties have a problem with their approach toward religion, in the eyes of many Americans. More than four-in-ten say that liberals who are not religious have too much control over the Democratic Party, while an almost identical percentage says that religious conservatives have too much influence over the Republican […]

CommentaryAugust 2, 2005

GOP Makes Gains Among The Working Class, While Democrats Hold On To The Union Vote

Last week’s historic split in the House of Labor was driven, at least in part, by disagreements over whether the AFL-CIO should be focusing more on union organizing drives or electoral politics. Much is at stake, not just for the union movement but also for the political parties. Working class voters are a key swing […]

PublicationsJune 15, 2005

Supreme Court’s Image Declines as Nomination Battle Looms

Summary of Findings With an aging Supreme Court possibly facing major changes, the court’s public image has eroded significantly. Currently, 57% of Americans have a favorable opinion of the Supreme Court, with 30% expressing an unfavorable view. In the past, favorable views of the court typically surpassed 70%; even in January 2001, shortly after the […]

Multi-section ReportsApril 6, 2005

The Dean Activists: Their Profile and Prospects

Introduction Although former Vermont governor Howard Dean failed to win the Democratic presidential nomination, his campaign left a strong imprint on the political world. It assembled a network of over a half-million active supporters and contributors, raised over $20 million in mostly small donations online, and demonstrated the power of the internet as a networking […]

PublicationsMarch 24, 2005

Disapproval of GOP Congressional Leaders, But Democrats Fare No Better

Summary of Findings The American public is not happy with the nation’s political leadership. President Bush’s approval rating remains below 50%, and just 39% approve of the job performance of Republican congressional leaders. Despite the paltry ratings for GOP leaders, however, Democrats have failed to benefit. The public has about the same low regard for […]

PublicationsJanuary 24, 2005

Politics and Values in a 51%-48% Nation

Summary of Findings This report is an excerpt from chapter one of the book Trends 2005, produced by the Pew Research Center. Public attitudes on national security are now much more strongly associated with partisan affiliation than they were in the late 1990s. A comprehensive study of long-term public values finds that beliefs about national […]

CommentarySeptember 23, 2004

Party Affiliation: What it is and What it Isn’t

During every presidential election, questions arise over the results of political polls and how those surveys are conducted. This year’s hot topic is the partisan composition of the leading national polls. Politicians and pundits alike now scrutinize a survey sample’s partisan split as closely as the horse-race results. Surveys that are deemed to have “too […]

PublicationsAugust 24, 2004

GOP the Religion-Friendly Party

Summary of Findings As the Republicans gather in New York to nominate George W. Bush for a second term, more Americans see the Republican Party than the Democratic Party as friendly toward religion. And most express comfort with President Bush’s reliance on his religious beliefs in making policy decisions. On the issue of gay marriage, […]

CommentaryJuly 26, 2004

Democrats Gain Edge in Party Identification

The Democratic Party has achieved a small gain in party affiliation and holds a 33%-29% edge over the GOP in Pew surveys conducted in 2004. This represents a modest shift from the two year period following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, when the Republican Party had drawn virtually even with the Democrats. The current […]

PublicationsJuly 21, 2004

Democratic Party Image Improvement

Summary of Findings Sen. John Kerry enters the Democratic convention next week bolstered by a number of favorable trends in public opinion, although he remains locked in a statistical tie for voter support with President George W. Bush. His party is dominant on key domestic issues and at least competitive with the Republicans on every […]

CommentaryJanuary 30, 2004

Democratic Candidates Face Southern Voters

Southern Democrats More Culturally Conservative, Not So Different Otherwise

Multi-section ReportsNovember 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 […]