Gas Prices Dominate the Public’s Economic News Agenda
As economic news continues to register at an almost record level with the public, no other issue gets close to the level of attention accorded the price of oil and gas. Fully 72% of Americans say it is the economic or fiscal problem they’ve heard the most about.
Coverage Turns To Issues
In a relatively light week of campaign coverage, attention focused on policy differences. Still, a fair amount of attention was also paid to some controversies and gaffes.
More Hear Negative News About Michelle Obama Than Cindy McCain
While opinions about both potential First Ladies are mostly positive, Mrs. Obama has emerged as a more high profile and controversial spouse than Mrs. McCain.
More See America’s Loss Of Global Respect As Major Problem
Seven-in-ten Americans — now including a majority of Republicans — see the loss of international respect for the nation as a major problem.
Politics Goes Viral Online
Already in this campaign season, more Americans — 46% — have gone online to get political news and campaign information than in all of 2004.
Global Economic Gloom — China and India Notable Exceptions
Although views of the U.S. remain negative, and many now worry about the US economy’s impact on their nations, the U.S.’s favorable ratings have increased modestly since 2007 in 10 of 21 countries with comparative data. People around the world are following the U.S. election closely – and in most places surveyed, express greater confidence in Obama than in McCain.
Most Americans See a Black Nominee as Important for Country
A solid majority say the nomination of an African American for president is important to the country, but racial and partisan divisions exist on the significance of Obama’s historical achievement.
Many Say Coverage is Biased in Favor of Obama
More of the public heard about controversies related to Obama than other campaign events. Even so, far more Americans believe press coverage has favored him than think it has favored Clinton.
Democratic Party’s Favorables Rise, Congress Still Unpopular
While opinion of the Republican Party (39% favorable) remains at a historic low, favorable views of the Democratic Party have risen to 57%. Attitudes toward the Democratic-led Congress, however, remain very negative.
In Tight General Election, McCain’s Negatives Mostly Political, Obama’s More Personal
While Obama has opened up a wide lead in the Democratic primary, he now runs about even against McCain. The tightening general election shows some sullying of Obama’s personal image over the past three months, which is in some measure a negative reaction from frustrated Clinton supporters. McCain’s image has also become more negative since February, however, unlike Obama, those who disapprove cite his political beliefs.