U.S. Politics Mar. 21, 2011

Opposition to Nuclear Power Rises amid Japanese Crisis

Support for the increased use of nuclear power has declined amid the ongoing nuclear emergency in Japan. But with the surge in gas prices, support for increased offshore oil and gas drilling is growing.

U.S. Politics Mar. 16, 2011

Republicans Are Losing Ground on the Deficit, But Obama’s Not Gaining

Far fewer Americans now say that Republicans in Congress have the better approach to the budget deficit than did so in November with the GOP losing ground among political independents as well as key elements of the its base, including Tea Party supporters. But the public is no more supportive of Barack Obama’s approach to the budget deficit than it was in November.

U.S. Politics Mar. 15, 2011

Strong Public Interest in Japan Disaster

The devastating earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan late last week dominated the public’s news interest in the days following the March 11 disaster, pushing aside earlier interest in the fighting in Libya and confrontation over public employee bargaining rights in Wisconsin.

U.S. Politics Mar. 14, 2011

Public Wary of Military Intervention in Libya

By a wide margin, Americans say the United States does not have a responsibility to do something about the fighting between government forces and anti-government groups in Libya. Divided support for a no-fly zone is undercut by overwhelming opposition to bombing Libyan military air defenses.

U.S. Politics Mar. 11, 2011

The Elusive 90% Solution

This week, fully 90% of the public said that they were hearing mostly bad news about gas prices. Reaching the 90% threshold is a rare occurrence in polls, in part, because surveys focus on current issues with considerable disagreement. So what do 90% of Americans agree on?

U.S. Politics Mar. 9, 2011

Continuing Divide in Views of Islam and Violence

The public remains divided over whether Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence among its believers. Political and ideological divisions are wide, though. Most conservatives and Tea Party supporters link Islam with violence.

U.S. Politics Mar. 8, 2011

Most Favor Government Role in Reducing Childhood Obesity

While a 57%-majority says the government should play a significant role in reducing obesity among children, few rate it a policy priority and there is strong opposition from conservatives and Tea Party supporters.

U.S. Politics Mar. 8, 2011

Uptick in Gas Prices Turns Views of Economic News Negative

A growing awareness of bad news about gas prices has, at least for now, reversed Americans’ more positive perceptions of economic news in recent months.

U.S. Politics Mar. 7, 2011

Who’s Winning the Fight Over Public-Employee Unions?

In its Topic A feature, the Washington Post asked several experts — among them the Pew Research Center’s Director of Survey Research Scott Keeter — who’s winning and who’s losing in the fight over public-employee unions.

U.S. Politics Mar. 3, 2011

Shifting Political Winds

Americans’ are less discontent with the federal government but no more ready for political compromise. Views of Congress remain heavily negative, while Obama’s ratings stay positive. On social issues, the public is, for the first time, evenly split on gay marriage, while support for legal abortion, legalized marijuana — but not gun control — have all risen.