What Was — and Wasn’t on the Public’s Mind
Once again, public opinion played a major role in the most important news stories of the year. Some of the strongest 2006 trends in public opinion carried over from previous years — notably growing concern about the Iraq war and mounting dissatisfaction with the performance of the Republican-controlled Congress.
Free Trade Agreements Get a Mixed Review
The American public continues to have a mixed opinion about free trade agreements such as NAFTA and the WTO. On balance they are seen as a good thing for the country, but Americans are divided over the impact of free trade agreements on their own personal financial situations.
Public to ’08 Contenders – It’s Too Early
Politicians and political reporters are scrambling to book flights for New Hampshire and other presidential primary states, but the public is far from engaged in the jockeying for 2008.
Baker-Hamilton Report Evokes Modest Public Interest
The public has grown more negative about the situation in Iraq and President Bush’s handling of the war. Half of Americans now believe the war in Iraq will turn out to be another Vietnam, while just a third think that the U.S. will accomplish its goals there.
Civil War: What’s in a Name?
A 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 reached that conclusion.
Election ’06: Big Changes in Some Key Groups
In the aftermath of the 2006 election, the shifting allegiance of some important voter groups has gotten relatively little attention. One of the biggest stories is about young people. Another is what really happened to “The God Gap.” And a third is about the one-fifth of voters who aren’t white.
Public Cheers Democratic Victory
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.
The Real Message of the Midterms
A sweeping election tends to invite sweeping conclusions — and the Democrats’ takeover of both houses of Congress this November provides a tempting array of opportunities for exaggeration or misinterpretation. With that in mind, let’s look at the major lessons to be gleaned from the exit polls and opinion polls about how America voted this November.
Centrists Deliver for Democrats
The key to the strong Democratic showing yesterday was the support their candidates drew from moderate and independent voters, an analysis of the exit polls shows. With more than nine-in-ten Republicans and Democrats casting ballots for representatives of their parties, just as they did two years ago, the Democrats’ 57%-39% advantage among independents proved crucial.
Public Concern About the Vote Count and Uncertainty About Electronic Voting Machines
Public doubts about the accuracy of the vote count may have some significant consequences on election day. The problem is much on the minds of some political operatives who worry that it may discourage voting among some constituencies.