U.S. Politics Dec. 20, 2006

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.

U.S. Politics Dec. 20, 2006

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.

U.S. Politics Dec. 14, 2006

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.

U.S. Politics Dec. 12, 2006

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.

U.S. Politics Dec. 6, 2006

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.

U.S. Politics Nov. 16, 2006

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.

U.S. Politics Nov. 16, 2006

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.

U.S. Politics Nov. 14, 2006

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.

U.S. Politics Nov. 8, 2006

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.

U.S. Politics Nov. 6, 2006

Democrats and Republicans See Different Realities

The vast divide between voters who intend to vote Democratic and Republican on November 7 extends well beyond matters of opinion. These voters also see the world quite differently.