Voting in Foreign-Policy Oblivion
While it is not unusual for foreign policy to take a back seat during difficult economic times, the absence of concern at a time when American troops are fighting a war in Afghanistan, and the threat of terrorism remains high is remarkable.
Most Continue to Favor Gays Serving Openly in Military
Large majorities of Democrats and independents favor allowing homosexuals to serve openly in the armed forces. Republicans are divided, but among conservative Republicans, far more oppose than favor allowing gays to serve openly.
Economy, Elections and Pat Downs
While the economy and election continued to draw the most news interest, a third of the public followed the debate over airport screening procedures. Also, most have heard about the FDA’s warnings about alcoholic energy drinks.
The Growing Gap between Landline and Dual Frame Election Polls
A new analysis of Pew Research Center pre-election surveys conducted this year finds that support for Republican candidates was significantly higher in samples based only on landlines than in dual frame samples that combined landline and cell phone interviews. The difference in the margin among likely voters this year is about twice as large as in 2008.
Public Knows Basic Facts about Politics, Economics, But Struggles with Specifics
Americans see the big picture when it comes to the changing balance of power in Washington, but is not sure which party controls which house of Congress or who the next speaker will be. Many have a good idea about the growth of the federal deficit, but the public struggles with questions about specifics of the budget, TARP and inflation.
Election Fallout Tops News Interest
A stranded cruise ship vied for attention while most say they heard at least a little about the graphic warning labels for cigarette packages proposed by the FDA and a mysterious trail in the sky off the coast of Southern California.
Mixed Reactions to Republican Midterm Win, Policies
Compared with four years ago, there is less excitement and optimism about the victorious party and its plans following the GOP’s overwhelmingly successful Election Day. Also, while the public expresses more conservative views about the role of government than it did just two years ago, on major policy decisions that will arise in coming months, opinion is closely divided.
Election Results Draw Big Interest
Among those who followed election results the night of the vote, fully 91% did so on television while 28% tracked the returns on the internet.
Americans Are of Two Minds on Trade
The public wants increased trade with Canada, Japan and several other countries (China and South Korea being notable exceptions), but support for free trade agreements is at a 13-year low, and more say trade agreements have negative rather than positive impact on jobs, wages and economic growth.
A Clear Rejection of the Status Quo, No Consensus about Future Policies
An older and much more conservative electorate than in 2006 and 2008 propelled the Republican Party to a broad victory in the 2010 midterm elections. But the vote was more repudiation than endorsement. Views of the Republican Party are no more positive than those of the Democratic Party.