Public Spreads Blame for Rising Gasoline Prices
While 18% say President Obama or his administration are most to blame, about as many (14%) volunteer the oil companies or domestic oil producers. Roughly one-in-ten (11%) mostly blame Iran, the upheaval in the Middle East or the threat of war in the region.
Auto Bailout Now Backed, Stimulus Divisive
Public support for government loans to major U.S. automakers are viewed more positively today than in the fall of 2009, but there has been less change in opinions about other major economic policies such as the federal loans to banks and financial institutions during the 2008 financial crisis and President Obama’s economic stimulus plan.
Public More Optimistic about Economy, But Concerns Persist
Optimism about the national economy has rebounded in the first two months of this year after sagging in 2011. The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press also finds an uptick in Barack Obama’s job rating.
Public Takes Tough Line on Iran’s Nuclear Program
Nearly six-in-ten Americans say it is important to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, even if it means taking military action. Just 30% say it is more important to avoid a military conflict with Iran.
Public Divided Over Birth Control Insurance Mandate
Americans are closely divided over whether religiously-affiliated institutions should be given an exemption if they object to a proposed federal rule requiring employers to cover birth control as part of their health care benefits.
Santorum Catches Romney in GOP Race
Rick Santorum’s has pulled into a virtual tie with Mitt Romney in the race for the Republican presidential nomination in polling conducted Feb. 8-12. Barack Obama holds sizable leads over Santorum, Romney and Newt Gingrich in general election matchups.
Cable Leads the Pack as Campaign News Source
Cable news is now the top regular source for campaign news. The long-term decline in the number of Americans getting campaign news from local and network TV news, and local newspapers, steepened this year. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are used for campaign news by a relatively limited audience.
GOP Voters Continue to Give Field Subpar Ratings
Republicans remain unimpressed with their party’s presidential field. More than half (52%) rate the candidates as only fair or poor. More voters also say Barack Obama understands the problems of average Americans than say so about Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich.
Public Priorities: Deficit Rising, Terrorism Slipping
As the State of the Union approaches, the economy continues to be the public’s top priority. Fully 86% say that strengthening the economy should be a top priority for the president and Congress this year, and 82% rate improving the job situation as a top priority.
Obama: Weak Job Ratings, But Positive Personal Image
Barack Obama begins his fourth year in office facing a struggling economy, an unhappy public, and a lower job approval rating than most of his recent predecessors at a comparable point in their presidencies. However, Obama he still possesses a positive personal image with voters.