Pew Research Center survey reports, demographic studies and data-driven analysis
Public Supports Military Action Against Iran to Prevent Nuclear Weapons
About six-in-ten Americans feel it is more important to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons with military force than to avoid conflict. However, most also approve of direct negotiations and tougher economic sanctions. The efficacy of diplomacy is questioned, though.
Strong Support For Watchdog Role, Despite Public Criticism Of News Media
The percentage of Americans saying that press criticism of political leaders keeps them honest is nearly as high now as it was in the 1980s, when views of the media were far less negative than they are today.
Media Have Less Influence on Views about Health Care, Economy
News outlets play much less of a role in shaping views of health reform and the economy — where personal experiences are an important factor — than they do on environmental issues and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Little Evidence of Obama Overexposure
The number of Americans hearing “too much” about the president has not increased during his push for health care.
Public Support for Afghanistan War Wanes
While an overwhelming number of Americans say the Taliban regaining control of Afghanistan would represent a major threat to the U.S., just half support keeping troops in that country. Pluralities of Democrats, women and those with a high school education or less favor bringing troops home as soon as possible.
Obama’s Image: Less Glittering But Still Positive
While ratings of Obama’s personal traits have fallen since post-inauguration highs, impressions of the president remain overwhelmingly positive. Post speech, the public is narrowly split over health care proposals.
Health Care Debate Seen as “Rude and Disrespectful”
Health care reform has been the dominant news story since late July, but it now has a 29-point advantage over the second most closely followed story. But most Americans say the tone of the debate has been negative.
Press Accuracy Rating Hits Two-Decade Low
Just 29% of Americans now say that news organizations generally get the facts straight, while 63% say that news stories are often inaccurate.
Muslims Widely Seen As Facing Discrimination
Nearly six-in-ten say Muslims are subject to a lot of discrimination, far more than say the same about Jews, evangelical Christians, atheists or Mormons. A new survey also finds the public is more likely to see differences rather than similarities between their own religion and every other religion tested, with the sole exception of Protestantism.
Most Plan to Watch Obama Speech
Interest in health care reform remains extremely high, but two-thirds continue to say the issue is hard to understand.