The Invisible Court
While legal scholars analyze Kagan’s possible impact on the “Roberts court,” most Americans have no idea who “Roberts” is. And as experts debate if the court has become more conservative, the public sees the court moving in the opposite direction.
Earmarks Could Help Candidates in Midterms; Palin and Tea Party Connections Could Hurt
Across party lines, the public sees earmarking by their congressional candidates as more of an asset than a liability. Americans are divided on the value of Obama in November, while both Palin’s support and Tea Party affiliation are seen by more as negative than positive. On energy, public backs a wide range of goals and policies.
Sherrod Story: Heavy Coverage, Modest Interest
Despite heavy coverage of the Shirley Sherrod affair, the oil leak in the Gulf was by far the public’s most closely followed news story.
Obama’s Policies Seen as Better than Bush’s for Improving the Economy
As Congress gears up for debate over the tax cuts passed when Bush was president, the public is divided, with roughly equal numbers in favor of keeping all of Bush’s tax cuts, repealing only those for wealthy Americans, or scrapping them entirely.
Public Hears Better News from the Gulf
Most Americans are hearing some good news from the Gulf. On balance, more see Republicans gaining a majority in House after the fall elections.
Government Economic Policies Seen as Boon for Banks and Big Business, Not Middle Class or Poor
Partisan groups disagree sharply about many aspects of the government’s anti-recession policies — with two notable exceptions: Large majorities of independents, Republicans and Democrats all say large banks and financial institutions got the most help while few in each group say the policies have done much for the poor.
Voters Rate Political Parties’ Ideologies
In broad terms, voters view the Democratic Party’s ideology as the opposite of the Republican Party’s: 58% say the Democratic Party is either very liberal or liberal while 56% say the GOP is either very conservative or conservative.
Political Knowledge Update
Pew’s latest news knowledge poll finds that an overwhelming proportion of Americans can correctly identify Twitter, but relatively few know which president launched the government’s bailout of banks and financial institutions.
Interest in Oil Leak Dips Along with Coverage
Large majorities say news organizations gave too much coverage last week to Lindsay Lohan’s legal woes and LeBron James’ announcement.
Public’s Wish List for Congress — Jobs and Deficit Reduction
Fully 80% say it is very important for Congress to pass legislation to address the job situation; nearly half of public disapproves of challenge to Arizona’s immigration law and health care legislation.