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.
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.
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.
Muslims Widely Seen As Facing Discrimination
Nearly six-in-ten say Muslims are subject to a lot of discrimination, far more than say the same about Jews, evangelical Christians, atheists or Mormons. A new survey also finds the public is more likely to see differences rather than similarities between their own religion and every other religion tested, with the sole exception of Protestantism.
Congressional Favorability Falls to 24-Year Low; Dems Lose Midterm Advantage
Americans’ opinion of Congress is at a 24-year low, and as a result the party in power has lost its electoral edge. Voters split between the Democrats and GOP in a 2010 matchup, but Democrats are still favored on most issues.
Public Souring on Washington
More say the president and GOP leaders are not working together, as Obama’s approval inches lower and the Democratic Party’s favorability falls sharply. Opinion about the economy remains negative with personal financial assessments becoming more bearish.
Opinion of State Governments Drops With the Economy, Budget Gaps
The falloff in favorable views has been greater in states with the largest budget gaps. Also, the new administration has shifted partisan views of the federal government dramatically.
Obama’s Ratings Slide Across the Board
Support for Obama’s job performance — as well as his handling of health care, the economy and deficit–has fallen, but most remain confident his policies will be positive in the long term. The public supports many of his health care goals but opposes many proposals being debated in Congress.
Public Praises Science; Scientists Fault Public, Media
A new survey of scientists and the public finds large majorities holding positive views of science. But scientists are concerned about Americans’ ignorance of scientific findings and large differences exist between the two groups’ views on evolution and global warming. Still, overwhelming percentages in both groups think that government investments in science and technology pay off in the long run.