Continuing Divide in Views of Islam and Violence
The public remains divided over whether Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence among its believers. Political and ideological divisions are wide, though. Most conservatives and Tea Party supporters link Islam with violence.
Most Favor Government Role in Reducing Childhood Obesity
While a 57%-majority says the government should play a significant role in reducing obesity among children, few rate it a policy priority and there is strong opposition from conservatives and Tea Party supporters.
Shifting Political Winds
Americans’ are less discontent with the federal government but no more ready for political compromise. Views of Congress remain heavily negative, while Obama’s ratings stay positive. On social issues, the public is, for the first time, evenly split on gay marriage, while support for legal abortion, legalized marijuana — but not gun control — have all risen.
How the Public Perceives Community Information Systems
Studies in three cities show that if people believe their local government shares information well, they also feel good about their town and its civic institutions. Those who are avid information consumers from news media and online sources are more likely to be involved and feel they have impact.
Wisconsin Unions Favored Over Walker in Showdown
By a 42%-31% margin, the public sides with public employee unions in their dispute with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. At the federal level, President Obama and GOP leaders would share blame for a government shutdown.
Peer-to-Peer Health Care
About one-in-five internet users have gone online to find others who have health concerns similar to theirs. Those with chronic conditions are even more likely to reach out to peers for health information. Still, most turn to health professionals when in need of medical information.
Public Favors Tougher Border Controls and Path to Citizenship
Americans see no contradiction in supporting both stepped-up border security and a way for people already in the U.S. illegally to gain citizenship. Most oppose plans to change the Constitution to bar the children of illegal immigrants from becoming citizens. The public, however, also supports Arizona’s controversial immigration law.
Labor Unions: Good for Workers, Not for U.S. Competitiveness
Favorability ratings for labor unions remain at nearly their lowest level in a quarter century with virtually no differences in opinions about private and public sector unions. Yet the public now expresses similar opinions about business corporations whose rating is also near a historic low.
The Public Renders a Split Verdict On Changes in Family Structure
The American public is sharply divided in its judgments about the sweeping changes in the structure of the nation’s families that have unfolded over the past half century. About a third generally accepts the changes, a third is tolerant but skeptical and a third considers them bad for society.
Public Remains Divided Over the Patriot Act
Views of the Patriot Act have changed little since the Bush administration, with slightly more Americans currently saying it is a necessary security tool rather than a threat to civil liberties. Democrats are now somewhat more supportive of the law.