Multi-section ReportsOctober 10, 2000

Presidential Debate Clouds Voters’ Choice

Introduction and Summary Al Gore’s personality may be costing him votes. Although a plurality of voters believe he won the first presidential debate, he has lost his small September lead over George W. Bush. As the race has narrowed, an increasing number of voters who oppose the vice president say they dislike his personality. On […]

Multi-section ReportsJuly 27, 2000

Voters Unmoved By Media Characterizations of Bush and Gore

Introduction and Summary American voters, who continue to divide their support equally between Al Gore and George W. Bush, have not been strongly influenced by the way the American news media have covered the personal character of the presidential candidates. As the conventions approach there is ample opportunity for the campaigns to make powerful appeals […]

CommentaryJuly 14, 2000

Another Bush Lead Vanishes?

Poll-watchers hoping to learn now how the presidential election will turn out this fall are going to be disappointed. While Texas Gov. George W. Bush has often held the lead over Vice President Al Gore since the end of primary season, Bush’s advantage has been fleeting. More often than not, it is here one day […]

Multi-section ReportsJuly 13, 2000

Voter Turnout May Slip Again

Introduction and Summary Americans are more satisfied with their choice of presidential candidates this year than in 1996 and 1992, and they are, if anything, less critical of the way the campaigns are being conducted and covered by the news media than they were at comparable points in those elections. Yet voters are more disengaged […]

CommentaryJune 16, 2000

Is Gore Like Bush…or is Bush Like Kennedy?

Political analysts looking for historical parallels can’t decide whether the 2000 presidential race looks more like a rerun of 1988 or 1960. Will Vice President Al Gore take a page from Vice President George Bush’s play book, when he overcame a big deficit in the early polls and soundly defeated Michael Dukakis? At a comparable […]

Multi-section ReportsMay 11, 2000

Voter Preferences Vacillate

Introduction and Summary George W. Bush has repaired some of the damage he endured during the Republican primaries, and is now running dead-even with Al Gore. Since mid-March, Bush has regained substantial support among men and recovered modestly among independents. More voters now than six weeks ago support the Texas governor because of his stand […]

CommentaryApril 14, 2000

So Who’s Ahead?

Voters are having a hard time making up their minds about the presidential candidates and it is showing up in the divergent results of the horse race polls. Unlike four years ago, at this point in the campaign the national polls provide little insight as to who will win the White House in November. The […]

Multi-section ReportsMarch 23, 2000

Bush Pays Price for Primary Victory

Introduction and Summary The presidential primary season may prove to be a decisive factor in Campaign 2000, not only for who won, but for the way the winners emerged from the process in the eyes of the voters. Al Gore was clearly helped, and George W. Bush was just as clearly hurt. The vice president […]

CommentaryMarch 1, 2000

The Religious Landscape in Upcoming GOP Primary States

The religious profile of Republicans and independents who lean to the Republican Party suggests that Senator John McCain’s attack on certain Christian Right leaders may cloud his chances to succeed in Southern states, as well as certain Midwestern and Western states where white evangelicals(1) make up the largest religious bloc of voters. This group comprises […]

Multi-section ReportsFebruary 17, 2000

McCain Appeals To Pivotal Older Voters and Independents

Introduction and Summary The outcome of the New Hampshire primary has changed candidate support patterns that last year seemed all but cast in stone. Al Gore has drawn into a statistical dead-heat with George W. Bush in a general-election ballot test, largely because core Democrats are rallying behind the vice president. At the same time, […]

Multi-section ReportsFebruary 5, 2000

The Tough Job of Communicating with Voters

Introduction and Summary American voters are hard to reach and hard to move. They rely on a kaleidoscope of media outlets, old and new, to follow news about the presidential campaign — virtually all of which are given a mixed review for political objectivity. And most voters say that political endorsements by celebrities, local newspapers, […]

CommentaryJanuary 28, 2000

Bradley Deficit Daunting; Bush Closer

The New Hampshire Polls

Multi-section ReportsJanuary 19, 2000

Gore Gains, Bradley Looks More Liberal

Introduction and Summary With the start of the new year, the presidential campaign has begun in earnest for many Americans. More people are paying attention now than in the fall, and the back and forth between candidates has started to change voter perceptions. In particular, Al Gore has begun to redefine himself and challenger Bill […]

Multi-section ReportsDecember 16, 1999

Campaign Incidents Have Little Punch

Introduction and Summary The rhetoric and events of the presidential campaign so far are having little impact on the attitudes of voters nationwide. Voter preferences are being shaped more by general impressions of the candidates than by what they are saying or by what is happening to them along the campaign trail. While many Americans […]

CommentaryDecember 10, 1999

Independents Drive New Hampshire Poll Shifts

Also: The Civilian-Military Gap Flap

Multi-section ReportsNovember 11, 1999


Foreword and Overview Foreword In 1987, we embarked on an ambitious project to better understand the nature of American politics. We identified a broad range of beliefs and values that underlie common political labels and that ultimately drive political action. A voter typology emerged from this effort which classifies the electorate into distinct groupings, defined […]

PublicationsOctober 18, 1999

Candidate Qualities May Trump Issues in 2000

Introduction and Summary Even though Americans say that issues matter most, candidates’ personal qualities may be decisive in a campaign without dominant issues. Voters make fine distinctions, however, about what they want to know about candidates personally. Americans strongly reject press inquiry into most avenues of candidates’ private lives, yet at the same time place […]

CommentaryMarch 4, 1999

Does an early lead in the polls usually hold up?

A stream of candidate announcements and polls showing Texas Governor George W. Bush leading Vice President Al Gore have spurred interest in the 2000 presidential contest. But with the nominating conventions still more than 16 months away, what do these early polls mean for would-be nominees? A look back at nearly 40 years of early […]

Multi-section ReportsOctober 21, 1998

GOP Congressional Lead Not Undercut by Backlash

Introduction and Summary The House of Representatives’ decision to hold impeachment hearings has not significantly eroded support for Republicans. Despite a public backlash against proceeding with the inquiry, Republican congressional candidates continue to hold a small lead over Democrats among likely voters nationwide. Further, the Pew Research Center’s latest survey includes an oversample of voters […]

Multi-section ReportsApril 3, 1998

Democratic Congressional Chances Helped by Clinton Ratings

Introduction and Summary President Clinton’s lofty performance ratings are benefiting the Democratic Party, which is now in a stronger position with American voters than it has been for some time. In contrast, continuing negative perceptions of Republican congressional leaders are hamstringing the image of their party. By the biggest margin of the decade, the public […]