Growing Gap in Favorable Views of Federal, State Governments
The gap between favorable ratings of the federal government and state and local governments is wider than ever. Just a third of Americans have a favorable opinion of the federal government, the lowest positive rating in 15 years.
More Support for Gun Rights, Gay Marriage than in 2008 or 2004
Opinions about a pair of contentious social issues, gun control and gay marriage, have changed substantially since previous presidential campaigns. On gun control, Americans have become more conservative; on gay marriage, they have become more liberal.
Most Swing Voters Favor Afghan Troop Withdrawal
Public support for maintaining U.S. forces in Afghanistan has reached a new low. And as the general election campaign begins, swing voters, by nearly two-to-one, favor removing U.S. troops from Afghanistan as soon as possible.
With Voters Focused on Economy, Obama Lead Narrows
As voters continue to focus on the economy and jobs as top issues, Barack Obama’s lead over Mitt Romney has narrowed from a 12-point advantage last month to a slim 49% to 45% advantage. Neither candidate has a clear advantage on on the economy or jobs issues, which more than eight-in-ten voters cited as “very important” to their choice.
Gay Marriage: The Electorate Changes, and Politics Follow
In the 2004 elections, analysts believed that proposed state constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage increased the turnout of socially conservative voters in as many as 11 states. But since then, many Americans have changed their minds, and a whole new generation has come of age with a different point of view on this issue.
Obama vs. Romney: Which One Can Defy Political History to Win?
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney both carry so much political baggage that one or the other will have to defy modern political history to win in November.
What the Public Knows about the Political Parties
Most Americans can correctly identify the relative positions of the Republican and Democratic parties on the major issues of the day. But a review of what Americans know about the political parties suggests that two popular recent presidents — Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton — are more recognizable icons of their political parties than any issue or ideological position.
74% of Republicans Say Romney ‘Definitely’ the Nominee
Following primary victories in Wisconsin, Maryland and the District of Columbia last Tuesday, Mitt Romney is clearly seen as the inevitable GOP nominee, and Republicans now see continued primaries as bad for the party.
Hearings Hurt Public Regard for both Health Care Law and Supreme Court
While most Americans say last week’s Supreme Court hearings on the 2010 health care law did not change their views of the law or of the Court, they did more harm than good to the image of both.
Blacks’ Views of Law Enforcement, Racial Progress and News Coverage of Race
The Trayvon Martin case has highlighted issues relating to the treatment of blacks by local police departments, the state of race relations in the U.S. and press coverage of African Americans. Pew Research Center surveys in recent years have covered the opinions of African Americans on these and other issues.