U.S. Politics May. 6, 2011

Why Are Gas Prices Rising?

As gas prices soar, many Americans pin the blame on greed or a push for higher profits among oil companies, speculators and oil-producing nations.

U.S. Politics May. 4, 2011

Beyond Red vs. Blue: The Political Typology

Political attitudes have become more doctrinaire at both ends of the ideological spectrum. Yet at the same time, the growing center of the political spectrum is increasingly diverse. As an in-depth guide to the political landscape, the 2011 Political Typology sorts Americans into cohesive groups based on their values, political beliefs and party affiliation.

U.S. Politics May. 3, 2011

Public “Relieved” By bin Laden’s Death, Obama’s Job Approval Rises

Relief and pride are the prevailing emotional responses to Sunday’s dramatic events. Obama’s approval rating has jumped, and he gets far more credit from the public than does George W. Bush for bin Laden’s killing. Still, the military and CIA receive most of the credit.

U.S. Politics May. 3, 2011

More Optimism about Afghanistan, But No Boost in Support for Troop Presence

The killing of Osama bin Laden has bolstered confidence that the government can prevent a possible terrorist attack, and that the U.S. will achieve its goals in Afghanistan. But an overnight Pew Research/Washington Post poll finds the public remains divided about keeping U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

U.S. Politics Apr. 27, 2011

Deficit: More Concern, Less Optimism

The public increasingly views the federal budget deficit as a major problem the country must address now, but is becoming less optimistic progress will be made on the issue.

U.S. Politics Apr. 11, 2011

Budget Negotiations in a Word

The public has an overwhelmingly negative reaction to the budget negotiations that narrowly avoided a government shutdown. A weekend survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Washington Post finds that “ridiculous” is the word used most frequently to describe the budget negotiations.

U.S. Politics Apr. 8, 2011

Civil War at 150: Still Relevant, Still Divisive

A century and a half after the firing on Fort Sumter, most Americans say the war between the North and South is still relevant to American politics and public life today. In a nation that has long endured deep racial divisions, the history of that era continues to elicit strong reactions. Nearly half of the public (46%) says it is inappropriate for today’s public officials to praise the leaders of the Confederate states during the war; 36% say such statements are appropriate.

U.S. Politics Apr. 7, 2011

Obama Ratings Slip Amid Economic Anxieties

About as many now approve (47%) as disapprove (45%) of the way Obama is handling his job with the president getting especially negative ratings on his handling of the budget deficit and the overall economy. The GOP has an advantage on the budget, while Democrats are favored on traits such as concern for average people, willingness to work with the opposition, and ethics. The parties run about even on jobs and health care.

U.S. Politics Apr. 5, 2011

Fewer See Clear Goal in Libya; Opposition to Arming Rebels

While half say the U.S. made the right decision in conducting airstrikes in Libya, fewer see a clear goal than did so last week. Americans believe preventing terrorism and keeping oil prices low should be important goals of the U.S. in the Middle East, but there is less consensus on encouraging democracy and protecting Israel.

U.S. Politics Apr. 4, 2011

Most Want Budget Compromise but Split on Who’s to Blame for a Shutdown

With a deadline approaching for a possible shutdown of the federal government, the public remains divided over whether congressional Republicans or the Obama administration would be more to blame if a shutdown occurs.