PublicationsMay 14, 2008

Public Continues to Oppose Banning Handgun Sales

Summary of Findings As the Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of Washington, D.C.’s ban on handguns, a majority of Americans (59%) say they would oppose a law that banned the sale of handguns. Opposition to a prohibition of handgun sales is up slightly, from 55% a year ago shortly after the Virginia Tech shootings, but […]

PublicationsMarch 27, 2008

Obama and Wright Controversy Dominate News Cycle

Summary of Findings Barack Obama’s March 18th speech on race and politics is arguably the biggest political event of the campaign so far. Fully 85% of Americans say they heard at least a little about Obama’s speech, and most (54%) say they heard a lot about it. Not surprisingly, Barack Obama has been far and […]

PublicationsMay 23, 2007

Four-in-Ten Americans Have Close Friends or Relatives Who are Gay

In the past four decades, growing numbers of gays have come out of the closet and into the mainstream of American life. As a consequence, 4-in-10 Americans now report that some of their close friends or family members are gays or lesbians. Read full analysis at Pewresearch.org

PublicationsMay 22, 2007

Muslim Americans: Middle Class and Mostly Mainstream

Report Summary The first-ever, nationwide, random sample survey of Muslim Americans finds them to be largely assimilated, happy with their lives, and moderate with respect to many of the issues that have divided Muslims and Westerners around the world. The Pew Research Center conducted more than 55,000 interviews to obtain a national sample of 1,050 […]

PublicationsApril 23, 2007

Little Boost for Gun Control or Agreement on Causes

Summary of Findings Last week’s shootings at Virginia Tech have had little immediate impact on public opinion about gun control. Six-in-ten Americans say it is more important to control gun ownership, while 32% say it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns. Opinion has changed little since 2004, when 58% […]

PublicationsApril 4, 2007

The NRA’s Image Improves as Support for Gun Control Slips

Each year since its occurrence in 1999, the April 20 anniversary of the Columbine High School tragedy renews debate about the desirability of stricter controls on firearms. Recent surveys, however, find Americans less disposed to gun control than they were in the years surrounding the shootings. Read full analysis at Pewresearch.org

PublicationsJanuary 9, 2007

A Portrait of “Generation Next”

Summary of Findings This is part of a Pew Research Center series of reports exploring the behaviors, values and opinions of the teens and twenty-somethings that make up the Millennial Generation. A new generation has come of age, shaped by an unprecedented revolution in technology and dramatic events both at home and abroad. They are […]

PublicationsAugust 3, 2006

Pragmatic Americans Liberal and Conservative on Social Issues

Summary of Findings Americans cannot be easily characterized as conservative or liberal on today’s most pressing social questions. The public’s point of view varies from issue to issue. They are conservative in opposing gay marriage and gay adoption, liberal in favoring embryonic stem cell research and a little of both on abortion. Along with favoring […]

PublicationsMarch 22, 2006

Less Opposition to Gay Marriage, Adoption and Military Service

Summary of Findings Public acceptance of homosexuality has increased in a number of ways in recent years, though it remains a deeply divisive issue. Half of Americans (51%) continue to oppose legalizing gay marriage, but this number has declined significantly from 63% in February 2004, when opposition spiked following the Massachusetts Supreme Court decision and […]

PublicationsDecember 15, 2005

Wal-Mart a Good Place to Shop But Some Critics Too

Summary of Findings As shoppers flock to the stores for holiday gifts, some express mixed feelings about the nation’s largest retailer. Nearly every American lives near enough a Wal-Mart to shop there, and 84% say they have done so in the past year. Praise for the retailer’s low prices, wide selection and convenience flow freely, […]

PublicationsNovember 2, 2005

Public Opinion Supports Alito on Spousal Notification Even as It Favors Roe v. Wade

Of all the opinions that Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr. has handed down during 15 years on the federal bench, the one drawing the most attention since his nomination to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court is his support in a 1991 case for a provision in a Pennsylvania law that required women, with few […]

PublicationsOctober 3, 2005

Abortion, the Court and the Public

The confirmation hearings for Harriet Miers to become a justice of the Supreme Court will once again highlight a complex web of issues related to abortion, on which she may become the swing vote. While activists on both sides describe abortion as an issue on which there is no middle ground, decades of polling have […]

PublicationsAugust 3, 2005

Abortion and Rights of Terror Suspects Top Court Issues

Summary of Findings Abortion has dominated the early skirmishing over President Bush’s nomination of John Roberts to the Supreme Court. But the public takes a more expansive view of the court’s agenda. Indeed, about as many Americans rate the rights of detained terrorist suspects as a very important issue for the Supreme Court as say […]

PublicationsJuly 1, 2005

Abortion Wild Card In Battle Over O’Connor’s Successor

Justice Sandra Day O’Connor’s decision to step down from the Supreme Court sets up a possible next chapter in the nation’s culture wars. If the debate over O’Connor’s replacement turns into a referendum on Roe vs. Wade, the landmark 1973 decision establishing a woman’s right to abortion, the argument is likely to galvanize a significant […]

PublicationsMay 23, 2005

More See Benefits of Stem Cell Research

Coming on the heels of last week’s announcement that South Korean scientists had cloned a human embryo, the U.S. House is nearing a vote on expanding federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. President Bush has threatened to veto the legislation if it passes. Surveys last year by the Pew Research Center for the People […]

PublicationsJuly 13, 2004

Reading the Polls on Gay Marriage and the Constitution

Pew Research Center Pollwatch

PublicationsMay 13, 2004

Global Gender Gaps

By Nicole Speulda and Mary McIntosh

PublicationsApril 23, 2004

Abortion a More Powerful Issue for Women

Public divisions over access to abortion are long-standing, and have changed only slightly over the past two decades. Currently, 58% say they oppose making it more difficult for a woman to get an abortion, while 36% are in favor of further restrictions. This is virtually unchanged from polling conducted in the early 1990s. In 1987, […]

PublicationsFebruary 27, 2004

Gay Marriage a Voting Issue, But Mostly for Opponents

Summary of Findings Gay marriage has surpassed other major social issues like abortion and gun control in its influence on voters. Four-in-ten voters say they would not vote for a candidate who disagrees with them on gay marriage, even if they agree with the candidate on most other issues. By comparison, 34% say they would […]

PublicationsFebruary 24, 2004

A Global Generation Gap

Adapting to a New World