Mar. 8, 2007

Foreign Policy: The Public Sends a Muddled Message

Both the White House and Congress face difficult decisions with respect to foreign policy in the final two years of Bush’s term. Yet, the polls suggest that policymakers can expect little in the way of clear guidance from the public. Opinion surveys find much in the way of public frustration, but little in the way […]

Feb. 15, 2007

War Support Slips, Fewer Expect a Successful Outcome

Summary of Findings Public support for the war in Iraq continues to decline, as a growing number of political independents are turning against the war. Overall, a 53% majority of Americans believe the U.S. should bring its troops home as soon as possible – up five points in the past month and the highest percentage […]

Jan. 16, 2007

Broad Opposition to Bush’s Iraq Plan

Summary of Findings President Bush’s plan to send roughly 21,000 additional troops to Iraq has drawn broad opposition from the American public. If anything, the plan has triggered increased partisan polarization on the debate over what to do in Iraq. While most Republicans support Bush’s initiative, Democrats overwhelmingly oppose it, and a solid majority of […]

Dec. 12, 2006

Baker-Hamilton Report Evokes Modest Public Interest

Summary of Findings Despite deep public dissatisfaction with the Iraq war, the highly anticipated report by a bipartisan panel proposing new policy options for Iraq did not register strongly with most Americans. Only about half say they heard even a little about the report released last week by the Iraq Study Group led by James […]

Dec. 6, 2006

Civil War: What’s in a Name?

IrA mostly insiders-only debate about whether Iraq is in a state of civil war broke out into the open last week when two major news organizations announced that they would henceforth refer to the conflict as a civil war. According to polling in September by the Pew Research Center, much of the public had already […]

Nov. 16, 2006

Public Cheers Democratic Victory

Summary of Findings The Democrats’ big win on Nov. 7 has gotten a highly favorable response from the public. In fact, initial reactions to the Democratic victory are as positive as they were to the GOP’s electoral sweep of Congress a dozen years ago. Six-in-ten Americans say they are happy that the Democratic Party won […]

Oct. 5, 2006

Iraq Looms Large in Nationalized Election

Summary of Findings Iraq has become the central issue of the midterm elections. There is more dismay about how the U.S. military effort in Iraq is going than at any point since the war began more than three years ago. And the war is the dominant concern among the majority of voters who say they […]

Sep. 14, 2006

Democrats Hold Solid Lead; Strong Anti-Incumbent, Anti-Bush Mood

Summary of Findings As the congressional midterm campaign begins in earnest, the mood of the electorate is sharply drawn. Voters are disappointed with Congress and disapproving of President Bush. Anti-incumbent sentiment, while a bit lower than a few months ago, is far more extensive than in the previous two midterms and remains close to 1994 […]

Aug. 17, 2006

American Attitudes Hold Steady in Face of Foreign Crises

Summary of Findings The public is paying a great deal of attention to major overseas events – the reported terrorist plot against U.S. trans-Atlantic jet liners, the war in Lebanon, as well as the ongoing violence in Iraq. However, there is little indication that these dramatic stories have materially changed public attitudes. Worries about another […]

Jul. 26, 2006

Americans’ Support for Israel Unchanged by Recent Hostilities

Summary of Findings Israel’s offensive into Lebanon has not resulted in a public opinion backlash in the U.S. so far. A new Pew poll conducted July 6-19 finds little change in public sympathy for Israel in its dispute with the Palestinians. A 44%-plurality of U.S. adults say they sympathize more with Israel, while 9% sympathize […]

Jun. 20, 2006

Iraq Views Improve, Small Bounce for Bush

Summary of Findings Americans are now more positive about the way things are going in Iraq than in the past few months, following the killing of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and President Bush’s brief visit to the country. Optimism about the U.S. achieving its goals in Iraq, which sagged in the spring, has rebounded. But this […]

May. 16, 2006

The Iraq-Vietnam Difference

Public opinion toward the U.S. war in Iraq bears striking parallels – and clear contrasts – with the war in Vietnam more than three decades ago. In both cases, presidents tied their political fortunes to the war. And in both cases, they paid a heavy political price when the public grew disillusioned with the conflict. […]

Mar. 16, 2006

Pessimism Grows As Iraq War Enters Fourth Year

Summary of Findings As the third anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq approaches, public support for keeping U.S. troops in Iraq has reached its lowest point and assessments of progress there have turned significantly more negative than they were just a few months ago. Optimism about the potential for establishing democracy in […]

Feb. 21, 2006

Youth and War

Jan. 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 […]

Dec. 14, 2005

Public Unmoved by Washington’s Rhetoric on Iraq

Summary of Findings The political debate over the Iraq war has grown more pointed in recent weeks, as President Bush has embarked upon a series of high-profile speeches defending the war and Democratic Rep. John Murtha has made headlines with his calls for a withdrawal of U.S. forces. But fundamental public attitudes toward the war […]

Nov. 17, 2005

Opinion Leaders Turn Cautious, Public Looks Homeward

Introduction and Summary Preoccupied with war abroad and growing problems at home, U.S. opinion leaders and the general public are taking a decidedly cautious view of America’s place in the world. Over the past four years, opinion leaders have become less supportive of the United States playing a “first among equals” role among the world’s […]

Nov. 8, 2005

Alito Viewed Positively, But Libby Takes a Toll

Summary of Findings President George W. Bush’s approval ratings have fallen to another new low, amid a growing focus on alleged ethical lapses in his administration. Just 36% now believe that Bush has lived up to his campaign pledge to restore integrity to the White House. In contrast, fully 79% of Americans say the recent […]

Sep. 15, 2005

Economic Pessimism Grows, Gas Prices Pinch

Summary of Findings A summer’s worth of bad news, culminating with Hurricane Katrina, has taken a toll on the public’s mood, particularly when it comes to views of the economy and energy costs. The public’s economic expectations, while hardly robust in the spring, have grown much more negative. Nearly four-in-ten (37%) think economic conditions will […]

Jul. 21, 2005

More Say Iraq War Hurts Fight Against Terrorism

Summary of Findings A growing number of Americans believe that the war in Iraq has undermined the U.S. struggle against terrorism. Nearly half (47%) say the war in Iraq has hurt the war on terrorism, the highest percentage expressing that view since the war began in March 2003. Nonetheless, public support for an immediate withdrawal […]