A Static America: A Contrarian View of Current U.S. Public Opinion Trends
With predictions of a wave of Republican victories come the November elections, there has been talk of a sea change in American politics. While acknowledging that changes in political and economic conditions can produce substantial shifts in the partisan makeup of governments at all levels, the author, a long time Pew Research consultant, argues that such transformations are rarely the product of major shifts in basic American values.
One Recession, Two Americas
For a narrow majority of Americans (55%), the Great Recession brought a mix of unemployment, missed mortgage or rent payments, shrinking paychecks and shattered household budgets. But for the other 45%, the recession was largely free of such difficulties.
Independents Oppose Party in Power … Again
For the third national election in a row, independent voters may be poised to vote out the party in power. Political independents now favor GOP candidates by about as large a margin as they backed Barack Obama in 2008. The “independent vote,” however, is in no way monolithic; this is not surprising given that most independents are recent refugees from the two major parties.
New developments in the online worlds of Twitter, Google, and Facebook dominated Twitter feeds last week.
How You Feel About Midterms Depends on Your Party
Republicans are more likely to say this year’s election is more important than most and that news coverage of politics makes them angry. They are also more upbeat about their preferred candidates’ chances in November than are Democrats or independents.
Brazilians Upbeat About Their Country, Despite Its Problems
At a time when global publics are mostly glum, half of Brazilians say they are satisfied with national conditions, and 62% say their economy is in good shape. Most also see their country as a rising global power.
Midterms Top News Agenda
Christine O’Donnell, the week’s leading newsmaker, fueled the biggest week yet for coverage of the midterms. The elections were the top story in all five of the media sectors studied.
Little Compromise on Compromising
The latest Congressional Connection poll finds most in the public are in no mood for political compromising. Also, Americans split evenly on which political party could best handle the economy while four-in-ten say eliminating tax cuts for the wealthy would hurt the economy.
Taxed Enough Already?
Despite all the animosity aimed at Washington, one usual political punching bag is actually not seen as villainous as it once was: taxes. More say they pay about the right amount in taxes than say they pay more than their fair share.
Religious Beliefs and Political Issues
Religious beliefs continue to be influential in shaping some Americans’ views about social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. Far fewer cite religion as a top influence on issues such as immigration, the environment and poverty.