Fact Tank Jul. 3, 2013

Polling’s mixed message for 2014, 2016

At midyear, the national opinion polls provide little indication of which way the political wind is blowing looking ahead to 2014, and 2016. Most of the key public opinion measures are mixed, or uncertain.

Fact Tank Jul. 1, 2013

Describing Obama, Bush in a word

Public views of Barack Obama today are very different from those of George W. Bush at about this point in his second term. Obama’s job rating is in positive territory, while Bush’s tilted negative. But a look at the one-word descriptions of the two men finds some common ground. Most notably, the word incompetent appears high on the one-word list for each.

Fact Tank Jun. 28, 2013

For African Americans, discrimination is not dead

America’s struggles with race and racism are never completely out of the news. But it is hard to remember when a series of stories have given this issue such resonance, whether in the rulings of the Supreme Court on affirmative action and voting rights, a tense trial in a Florida courtroom and even the racially insensitive comments of a celebrity chef.

Fact Tank Jun. 17, 2013

What’s news in 2013, so far

From leaks of NSA surveillance programs to the IRS and Benghazi controversies, Washington has been rife with revelations and high-profile investigations this year. But the public paid more attention to the debate over gun policy than any of those stories. In late January, 43% said they followed President Obama’s gun proposals very closely and 39% […]

Fact Tank May. 24, 2013

Obama and drone strikes: Support but questions at home, opposition abroad

In his address Thursday on U.S. counterterrorism policy, President Obama defended the use of drones, which has the support of the U.S. public but is strongly opposed abroad.

Fact Tank May. 22, 2013

Polling when public attention is limited: Different questions, different results

Different outcomes in different polls about the subpoenas served on the Associated Press in a Justice Department leak investigation were a case study in the challenges pollsters face in a breaking news environment when public attention and information is relatively limited.

Fact Tank May. 22, 2013

Public wants tax reform. But what kind of reform?

While Americans increasingly see the tax system in need of repair, there is no consensus about its biggest shortcomings.

Fact Tank May. 10, 2013

Politics and race: looking ahead to 2060

The report on the racial and ethnic breakdown of voters in 2012 released Wednesday by the Census Bureau attracted lots of well-deserved attention. But for readers of political tea-leaves, a report the bureau issued last December tells an even more compelling story. That report projected the racial and ethnic makeup of the U.S. population through […]