2010 Poll Findings that Will Matter in 2011
On issues ranging from the rising power of China to the desirability of bipartisan cooperation and the outlook for the nation’s future, Americans expressed views over the course of the past year that are likely to have consequences for the future course of U.S. policy and governance.
Public’s Top Stories of the Decade — 9/11 and Katrina
The terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 drew more public interest than any other story in the past decade. The 2005 hurricanes in the Gulf, high gasoline prices and the collapse of the economy in 2008 also grabbed overwhelming public attention.
Top Stories of 2010: Haiti Earthquake, Gulf Oil Spill
Two major disasters captured the public’s attention more than any other major stories in 2010, but Americans also kept a consistent eye on the nation’s struggling economy.
For the Public, a Tough Year Ends on a Down Note
Consistent with the mood of the nation all year, 2010 is closing on a down note — but not as low as in December 2008. Fully 72% are dissatisfied with national conditions, 89% rate national economic conditions as only fair or poor, and majorities or pluralities think the country is losing ground on nine of 12 major issues.
Public Closely Tracks Tax Deal News
The debate over taxes and the economy grabbed the public’s attention more than most Washington policy discussions. Republicans are more likely than Democrats or independents to say they followed news closely.
Tax Deal Wins Broad Bipartisan Support
The public views the tax agreement between Obama and congressional Republicans as beneficial to both the economy and their personal finances. There are virtually no partisan differences in opinions about the agreement.
Deficit Solutions Meet With Public Skepticism
While an overwhelming number of Americans deem the deficit a major problem that must be dealt with now, few are willing to support specific proposals to address the issue. On dealing with the deficit, Obama has more credibility than Republican congressional leaders.
Public Sees WikiLeaks as Harmful
Most Americans following news about the WikiLeaks’s release of classified documents about U.S. diplomatic relations see the revelations doing more harm than good.
Mixed Views on Tax Cuts, Support for START and Allowing Gays to Serve Openly
With the public giving subpar approval ratings to President Obama and continuing to express negative views of Congress and the political parties, it goes its own way on many of the remaining issues before the lame-duck Congress.
Despite Years of Terror Scares, Public’s Concerns Remain Fairly Steady
Since 9/11, there is little evidence that close calls in the U.S. or terrorist attacks overseas have led to a fundamental change in the public’s worries about terrorism. Also, Americans are divided over whether the U.S. is winning or losing its campaign against terrorism.