Pew Research Center survey reports, demographic studies and data-driven analysis
Likely Rise In Voter Turnout Bodes Well For Democrats
Even with a partisan enthusiasm gap, voter interest is already as high as in November of recent elections, two trends that may significantly alter the composition of the eventual electorate in the Democrats’ favor. The proportion of swing voters is also up compared with four years ago. Nearly half of independents (47%) are undecided or may change their minds, up from 28% in June 2004.
McCain’s Interest Gap
While Obama and McCain received similar levels of media coverage, Obama remained by far the most visible candidate. Only 11% of Americans cited McCain as the candidate they had heard the most about, while more than seven-in-ten (71%) named Obama.
For Public, Oil Prices and Economic News Overshadow Campaign
Last week marked the largest partisan gap in campaign interest since the start of the presidential race in early 2007. Democrats were almost twice as likely as Republicans to say they followed the campaign very closely (52% vs. 28%).
Gas Prices Pump Up Support for Drilling
Americans are giving higher priority to more energy exploration, rather than more conservation; concern about the environment fades as support for ANWR drilling rises.
Interest in Floods Increases, Still Lower than for ’93 Deluge
The public is largely satisfied with the amount of media coverage the Midwest floods have received, but there is much less satisfaction with the federal government’s response to the disaster.
Gas Prices Dominate the Public’s Economic News Agenda
As economic news continues to register at an almost record level with the public, no other issue gets close to the level of attention accorded the price of oil and gas. Fully 72% of Americans say it is the economic or fiscal problem they’ve heard the most about.
More Hear Negative News About Michelle Obama Than Cindy McCain
While opinions about both potential First Ladies are mostly positive, Mrs. Obama has emerged as a more high profile and controversial spouse than Mrs. McCain.
More See America’s Loss Of Global Respect As Major Problem
Seven-in-ten Americans — now including a majority of Republicans — see the loss of international respect for the nation as a major problem.
Gay Marriage Is Back On The Radar For Republicans, Evangelicals
Overall opposition to same-sex marriages has declined somewhat but the issue has regained importance among some conservative groups.
Most Americans See a Black Nominee as Important for Country
A solid majority say the nomination of an African American for president is important to the country, but racial and partisan divisions exist on the significance of Obama’s historical achievement.