Internet Overtakes Newspapers as News Outlet
The internet, which emerged this year as a leading source for campaign news, has now surpassed all other media except television as a main source for national and international news. While the 2008 presidential campaign attracted high levels of public attention, the economy was the top story of the year in terms of news interest, according to Pew’s Weekly News Interest Index. In late September, as the nation’s financial crisis deepened, 70% said they were following news about the economy very closely. That ranks among the highest levels of news interest for any story in the past two decades.
Bush and Public Opinion
Just 11% say Bush will be remembered as an outstanding or above average president — by far the lowest positive end-of-term rating for any of the past four presidents. Yet Bush’s impact on public opinion over the past eight years is seen in ways that go well beyond his personal unpopularity.
Blagojevich Arrest Grabs Public Attention
Only the congressional check bouncing scandal of 1992 — in which members of Congress were investigated for overdrawing their office checking accounts — and the initial Clinton-Lewinsky allegations in 1998 rated higher in terms of public interest than the Blagojevich bribery charges.
Calling Cell Phones In ’08 Pre-Election Polls
The latest study of Pew Research Center election surveys analyzes the effects of conducting both landline and cell phone interviews. While the addition of cell phones had at most a modest effect on estimates of candidate support in individual surveys, when looked at in the aggregate clear patterns emerge.
What a Year! People-Press Poll Reports in 2008
Findings from Pew Research Center polls over the year told the story of the longest — and one of the most exciting — presidential elections in U.S. history as well as recording the public’s reactions to other major events ranging from the pope’s visit, to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, to the onset of a mega-economic downturn.
Hillary’s New Job Better Known than Dow Jones Average
While just about everyone knows Obama’s new secretary of state, fewer than half were generally aware of where the Dow is trading these days. A new Pew News IQ survey provides an updated look at the public’s knowledge of political and world affairs. Test your own knowledge of current affairs against that of the broader public before you read the report.
Good News for the Administration
A majority of Americans says news stories about the incoming administration are mostly positive. Republicans are hearing more mixed reports.
Bearish Outlook Fuels Consumer Cutbacks
Nearly six-in-ten who say they are cutting back or delaying purchases report they are doing so because they worry things might get worse. Fewer than one in four say they are cutting back because their own financial situation has worsened. Lower fuel and food costs do not appear to have had a positive impact on the public so far.
Some Final Thoughts on Campaign ’08
A wrap-up of possibly overlooked polling trends and end-of-campaign happenings.
Winds of Political Change Haven’t Shifted Public’s Ideology Balance
Still, ideological labels don’t always predict policy opinions; e.g.,about half of self-described conservatives say that all or some of the Bush tax cuts should be repealed while many liberals support off-shore drilling.