Rethinking Budget Cutting
Views about federal spending are beginning to change. Americans no longer call for more spending on many popular programs. Still, support for cutting spending remains limited, though in a few cases it has risen noticeably. The public remains reluctant either to cut spending — or to raise taxes – to balance state budgets.
Public Now More Focused on Egypt, but Coverage Far Surpasses Interest
The public’s interest in news about the massive anti-government protests in Egypt surged last week, but did not keep pace with the growth in media coverage. About as many Americans (26%) say the story they followed most closely was the powerful winter storm system that hit the Midwest and the Northeast, a story that accounted for just 8% of news coverage.
Public Uncertain About Effect of Egypt Protests on U.S.
Americans do not have a clear point of view on how the massive anti-government protests in Egypt will affect the U.S., but most give Obama good marks for his handling of the situation. Half the country has heard a lot about the events in the Middle East, while half have heard little or nothing.
Historically, Public Has Given Low Priority to Promoting Democracy Overseas
Americans like the idea of their government promoting democracy in other nations. But democracy promotion has historically lagged far behind other objectives among the public’s long-term foreign policy goals.
Limited Public Interest in Egyptian Protests
The extraordinary anti-government protests in Egypt have drawn much more attention from the news media than from the American public. But interest is in line with other overseas protests in recent years.
Despite Media Coverage, Few Interested in Hu’s Visit
With continued interest in the tragic events in Tucson, the public made little time for other well-covered news stories. There was minimal interest in Chinese President Hu Jintao much debated visit, and half heard nothing about the celebrated bipartisan seating arrangements at the State of the Union.
Watching Obama’s State of the Union
Most Americans say they plan to watch President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night. Still, a sizable majority sees the speech to Congress as no more important than in previous years.
Economy, Jobs Top Public’s Policy Agenda
Americans overwhelmingly cite the economy and jobs as the most important issues facing the president and new Congress. On health care reform, roughly as many would like to see legislation expanded as have it repealed.
No Shift Toward Gun Control After Tucson Shootings
The public remains divided — and deeply so along party lines — on the issue of gun control and gun rights. Most Americans say tragic events like the shooting are just the isolated acts of troubled individuals, and not a reflection of broader problems in American society.
Bipartisan Praise for Obama Memorial Speech
Among those who heard at least a little about President Obama’s speech at a memorial service at the University of Arizona, 69% said the address was either excellent or good. By contrast, the response to Sarah Palin’s comments about the shootings proved more mixed.