What Does the Public Know?
There is a lot to keep up with in the news right now. Many Americans know key facts about health care and the economy, but questions about Afghanistan and environmental legislation in Congress stump the public.
Most Still Oppose Gay Marriage, but Support for Civil Unions Continues to Rise
A 57% majority of Americans support civil unions, continuing a long-term trend of increasing support, but a majority still opposes same-sex marriage. The issue continues to sharply divide religious and political groups.
Mixed Views of Economic Policies and Health Care Reform Persist
Most Americans remain optimistic that Barack Obama’s policies will help the economy, but see no clear signs of recovery yet; many key provisions of health care reform remain popular but support for the overall package has slipped.
Latinos and Education: Explaining the Attainment Gap
Almost all Latino young adults say a college education is important, but only half say they themselves plan to get a degree. The reason for the disparity: Immigrants, who feel financial pressures to support a family, are half as likely as native-born Latinos to plan on graduating.
The Changing Pathways of Hispanic Youths into Adulthood
Even as their share of the young adult population has risen dramatically, young Latino adults in the United States have become more likely to be in school or the work force now than their counterparts were in previous generations.
Public Supports Military Action Against Iran to Prevent Nuclear Weapons
About six-in-ten Americans feel it is more important to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons with military force than to avoid conflict. However, most also approve of direct negotiations and tougher economic sanctions. The efficacy of diplomacy is questioned, though.
Support for Abortion Slips
The election of President Obama may have moved the needle on abortion opinion. Opposition to abortion is up among Republicans, while opinion has changed little among the president’s strongest backers. As the importance of abortion as an issue has declined among liberals, opposition from conservatives has become more firm.
Most Mexicans See Better Life in U.S.
A survey of Mexico finds most dissatisfied with the direction of their country. Overwhelming numbers describe the economy, crime, drugs and corruption as very big problems. Many believe there is a better life in the U.S., would migrate if they had the chance, and would do so without authorization.
Public Support for Afghanistan War Wanes
While an overwhelming number of Americans say the Taliban regaining control of Afghanistan would represent a major threat to the U.S., just half support keeping troops in that country. Pluralities of Democrats, women and those with a high school education or less favor bringing troops home as soon as possible.
Obama’s Image: Less Glittering But Still Positive
While ratings of Obama’s personal traits have fallen since post-inauguration highs, impressions of the president remain overwhelmingly positive. Post speech, the public is narrowly split over health care proposals.