2010 Poll Findings that Will Matter in 2011
On issues ranging from the rising power of China to the desirability of bipartisan cooperation and the outlook for the nation’s future, Americans expressed views over the course of the past year that are likely to have consequences for the future course of U.S. policy and governance.
In the depths of the 1981-1982 recession, Americans were far more displeased with their president and his policies than were their predecessors during the Great Depression, more so even than in today’s high-unemployment economy.
How a Different America Responded to the Great Depression
The American public’s sour mood is in interesting contrast with many of the public’s views during the Great Depression of the 1930s, not only on economic, political and social issues, but also on the role of government in addressing them.
Voting in Foreign-Policy Oblivion
While it is not unusual for foreign policy to take a back seat during difficult economic times, the absence of concern at a time when American troops are fighting a war in Afghanistan, and the threat of terrorism remains high is remarkable.
The Growing Gap between Landline and Dual Frame Election Polls
A new analysis of Pew Research Center pre-election surveys conducted this year finds that support for Republican candidates was significantly higher in samples based only on landlines than in dual frame samples that combined landline and cell phone interviews. The difference in the margin among likely voters this year is about twice as large as in 2008.
A Clear Rejection of the Status Quo, No Consensus about Future Policies
An older and much more conservative electorate than in 2006 and 2008 propelled the Republican Party to a broad victory in the 2010 midterm elections. But the vote was more repudiation than endorsement. Views of the Republican Party are no more positive than those of the Democratic Party.
The Latino Vote in the 2010 Elections
For the first time ever, three Latino candidates — all of them Republicans — won top statewide offices. Despite these GOP wins, Latino voters supported Democrats by nearly a two-to-one margin.
The Party of Nonvoters
There will almost certainly be far more nonvoters than voters this year. Nonvoters are younger, less educated and more financially stressed than likely voters. They are also significantly less Republican and more likely to approve of Obama’s job performance.
Independent Voters vs. Unions
Union members are one voting bloc that continues to strongly back their party’s candidates — the downside of that support is that labor unions have fallen out of favor with the broader public, including independents who will cast the decisive votes in this year’s elections.
Cell Phones and Election Polls: An Update
Data from Pew Research Center polling this year suggest that the landline-only bias is as large, and potentially even larger, than it was in 2008.