Dec. 23, 2003

Iraq News Draws Most Public Attention in 2003

2003 Year End News Interest Index

Dec. 18, 2003

After Hussein’s Capture…

Summary of Findings The public holds more positive opinions of President Bush and the decision to go to war in Iraq in response to the capture of Saddam Hussein. Bush has made significant gains with the public, and more importantly with voters. In historical terms, the president’s job approval gain (from 50% in November to […]

Nov. 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 […]

Oct. 21, 2003

President’s Criticism of Media Resonates, But Iraq Unease Grows

Summary of Findings Many Americans agree with President Bush that news reports from Iraq are making the situation there seem worse than it really is, but that has not stemmed rising public uneasiness over the U.S. military presence in Iraq. By contrast, the trend in economic attitudes presents a much less mixed ­ and much […]

Sep. 23, 2003

Give UN Control in Order to Get More Foreign Troops

Introduction Concerned by the rising costs and growing casualties of the U.S. military operation in Iraq, Americans are looking to the United Nations to assume a greater role in the country, even if that means ceding some authority over military decisions to the world body. Just over half (51%) believe that the United States should […]

Aug. 7, 2003

Bush Approval Slips – Fix Economy, Say Voters

Introduction and Summary As President Bush shows increasing political vulnerability, the Democratic presidential field is beginning to come into focus. Bush’s overall approval rating has declined to pre-Iraq war levels and his lead in a match-up with a hypothetical Democrat has narrowed to five points (43%-38%). Nearly six-in-ten Americans (57%) now say the economy – […]

Jul. 8, 2003

Americans More Critical of Bush’s Efforts at Home, More Anxious Over Situation in Iraq

Summary of Findings As presidential campaign activities start to pick up steam, President Bush is facing increasing public criticism of his efforts to deal with domestic issues and greater wariness of the military situation in Iraq. At the same time, his potential Democratic rivals show little early appeal and the Democratic party has lost significant […]

Jun. 3, 2003

Views of a Changing World 2003

Introduction and Summary The speed of the war in Iraq and the prevailing belief that the Iraqi people are better off as a result have modestly improved the image of America. But in most countries, opinions of the U.S. are markedly lower than they were a year ago. The war has widened the rift between […]

Apr. 30, 2003

To the Victor Go the Polls

Remember the “smoking gun” that Americans demanded before they lent their support to a possible war with Iraq? The smoking gun ­ proof of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction ­ is not nearly as important now that the war is over. A recent Gallup poll found that 58% of Americans believe the war can be […]

Apr. 18, 2003

Modest Bush Approval Rating Boost at War’s End

Summary of Findings President Bush’s overall job approval rating has risen only slightly in recent days, even as increasing numbers believe that the war in Iraq has been won. The president’s current rating is 72%, statistically unchanged from 74% immediately after the fall of Baghdad, but notably higher than his prewar approval rating of 55%. […]

Apr. 10, 2003

60% War’s Going Very Well – 69% We Haven’t Won Yet

Summary of Findings Pictures of cheering Baghdad crowds greeting U.S. forces notwithstanding, Americans are not popping champagne bottles quite yet. A Pew Research Center tracking survey over the past two nights finds a modest increase in the percentage believing that the military effort is going very well, compared to earlier this week. And most Americans […]

Apr. 9, 2003

War Coverage Praised, But Public Hungry for Other News

Summary of Findings The public is paying close attention to the war and continues to give news organizations high marks for their coverage. But a sizable minority of Americans (39%) feel the news media is focusing too heavily on the war, and significant numbers believe the media is undercovering other major stories like the tax […]

Apr. 3, 2003

War Concerns Grow, But Support Remains Steadfast

Summary of Findings Public support for the war in Iraq remains steadfast in the face of increasing worries about the current military situation and America’s role in rebuilding Iraq after the war. A growing number of Americans are expressing concern that U.S. forces might suffer major casualties or face attack with Iraqi chemical or biological […]

Apr. 2, 2003

Polls in Close Agreement on Public Views of War

Public attitudes toward the war in Iraq have been remarkably consistent through the first two weeks of the conflict. There is broad support for the war, and Americans are upbeat – though not overwhelmingly so – about progress to date. Most expect it will take months, not weeks, to defeat the Iraqi military. What is […]

Mar. 28, 2003

TV Combat Fatigue on the Rise

Summary of Findings Wall-to-wall media reports on the war in Iraq have not resulted in significant improvement in the public’s view of the media’s coverage of this war compared with the first Persian Gulf conflict. However, there are signs that 24-7 televised images of war are taking an increasing psychological toll. In recent days, more […]

Mar. 25, 2003

Public Confidence In War Effort Falters

Introduction and Summary Over the past two days the American public has become much less confident that the war in Iraq is going well, but large majorities continue to support President Bush and the decision to go to war. Polling on March 23-24 finds significantly fewer Americans thinking the war is going very well compared […]

Mar. 19, 2003

Different Faiths, Different Messages

Introduction and Summary Americans Hearing about Iraq from the Pulpit, but Religious Faith Not Defining Opinions Most American churchgoers are hearing about the issue of war with Iraq at their places of worship. But most say their ministers are not taking a position for or against the war, and relatively few people say their own […]

Feb. 25, 2003

Tax Plan Fails to Connect, Bush’s Economic Ratings Sag

Introduction and Summary President Bush’s tax-cut plan is getting a tepid reception from the public and has failed to stem a steady erosion of his ratings on the economy. Barely four-in-ten Americans (43%) approve of his handling of the economy, while 48% disapprove. This marks the first time in Bush’s presidency a Pew survey has […]

Feb. 20, 2003

U.S. Needs More International Backing

Introduction and Summary A solid 66% majority of Americans favor the use of military force against Iraq, as long as the U.S. has sufficient backing for military action from major allies. But there is a growing belief that the U.S. does not yet have enough international support to conduct the war following the Feb. 14 […]

Feb. 14, 2003

Powell Reversed the Trend but not the Tenor of Public Opinion

The American public reacted very favorably to Secretary of State Colin Powell’s presentation to the U.N. Security Council. The flurry of polling conducted over the past week indicates that he made convincing points to the American public about the dangers posed by Saddam’s Hussein’s regime. Powell and President Bush, in his State of the Union […]