Though by no means a perfect instrument, polls make it possible for more opinions, held by a broader and more representative range of citizens, to be known to the government and thus, potentially, heeded.
Campaign Seen As Increasingly Negative
The campaign received more media coverage than the financial crisis for the first time in a month, but nearly two-thirds of Americans (63%) list either economic conditions or the stock market drop as the single news story they followed more closely than any other last week.
Public Worried But Not Panicked About Economy
Americans are concerned about the nation’s economic problems and they register the lowest level of national satisfaction ever measured in a Pew survey. But there is little indication that the nation’s financial crisis has triggered public panic or despair.
Who Knows News? What You Read or View Matters, but Not Your Politics
Where you turn for news may say a lot about how much you actually know. So who scores higher on a political knowledge quiz? Hardball or Hannity & Colmes? Newspapers or network news? Stewart or Colbert?
Beat the Press: Many Say Press has Been Too Tough on Sarah Palin
While strong majorities feel the press has been fair to John McCain, Barack Obama and Joe Biden, as many people say the press has been too tough on the governor of Alaska (38%) as say it has been fair (38%). Republicans overwhelmingly believe the press has been too hard on Palin (63%).
Economic Bailout: Public Remains Closely Divided Overall, but Partisan Support Shifts
The relative stability in the overall numbers obscures considerable movement in public opinion about the package recently passed by Congress.
Post-Debate: Palin Still Seen as Unqualified, a Bump for Biden
Impressions of Sarah Palin have changed little since her debate with Joe Biden according to a special re-interview of voters this weekend, but opinions of Joe Biden rose substantially.
A Word about Debate Impressions
View “word clouds” of voters’ impressions of the performances of John McCain and Barack Obama in their first presidential debate based on one-word descriptions from a recent Pew survey.
Obama Boosts Leadership Image and Gains Significant Lead Over McCain
The Illinois senator, helped by the debate, has been able to erase concerns about his ability to lead, to widen his advantage on economic issues and to move to a significant lead in swing states. There has been a broad-based decline in the number of voters who view Palin as qualified to become president.
Interest in Economic News Surges
Attention to news about the economy skyrocketed last week, with 70% of Americans following developments very closely, up from 56% the previous week. Interest in the campaign also saw a new high for the cycle, and more Americans (64%) say they are very likely to watch the VP debate than said so about last week’s presidential debate (58%).