Pew Research Center survey reports, demographic studies and data-driven analysis
No Late Surge in Campaign Interest
The public’s interest in election news did not increase in the final days of the campaign, despite heavy news coverage. While most heard at least a little about the California proposition to legalize marijuana, a majority heard nothing about the Stewart-Colbert rally.
GOP Likely to Capture Control of House
Republicans continue to hold a solid lead in preferences for Tuesday’s midterm elections among likely voters — enough so as to suggest they will win control of the House. The GOP owes its lead to strong backing from independents and record-levels of engagement among its partisans.
The Party of Nonvoters
There will almost certainly be far more nonvoters than voters this year. Nonvoters are younger, less educated and more financially stressed than likely voters. They are also significantly less Republican and more likely to approve of Obama’s job performance.
Wide Partisan Divide Over Global Warming
A majority of Americans say the earth is warming, but far fewer than said so in 2006. The decline has come mostly from Republicans, and very few Tea Party supporters say there is solid evidence of global warming. Also, the public is divided on the question of whether scientists themselves agree that the earth is warming.
Public Still More Interested in Economy than Elections
The public gives mixed ratings to the media for the job they have done covering the midterms. Also, nearly half say the GOP will gain control of the House.
Midterm Snapshot: Enthusiasm For Obama Reelection Bid Greater Than For Reagan In 1982
Two years ahead of the next presidential election, the public is divided (47% yes, 42% no ) over whether Barack Obama should run for a second term. However, this is better than the outlook for Ronald Reagan in August 1982
Independent Voters vs. Unions
Union members are one voting bloc that continues to strongly back their party’s candidates — the downside of that support is that labor unions have fallen out of favor with the broader public, including independents who will cast the decisive votes in this year’s elections.
Continued Positive Marks for Government Anti-Terror Efforts
The federal government continues to get positive marks for efforts to reduce the threat of
terrorism although the partisan gap has reversed since the Bush years. But many Americans say luck is a big reason why the U.S. has not suffered a major attack at home since 2001.
Democrats Stirring but Fail to Match GOP Support, Engagement
As the 2010 midterm elections near, Republican engagement and enthusiasm continue at record levels, outpacing even improved Democratic showings on these indicators. The growing popularity of early voting — about a quarter of voters nationally say they plan to vote before Election Day — gives Democrats less time to make up ground and there is no indication that their voter mobilization efforts are outmatching Republican efforts.
Chilean Miners Captivate Public News Interest
While the public appears increasingly attentive to election news, far more followed news about the dramatic rescue in Chile.