McCain’s Image Falls as Economic Worries Rise; Public Awaits Debate
Independents’ views of McCain have become significantly less favorable in the last few days, but they still expect him to win the coming foreign policy debate.
Support for Global Engagement Declines
The public’s top long-term foreign policy goals are decidedly America-centric. Defending the country against terrorism, protecting U.S. jobs, and weaning the country from imported energy all draw extensive bipartisan support.
Most Approve of Wall Street Bailout and See Obama as Better Able to Address Crisis
With public interest in the economy at a 20-year high, by a margin of almost two-to-one Americans think the government is doing the right thing in investing billions of dollars to try to keep financial institutions and markets secure.
McCain Gains on Issues, But Stalls as Candidate of Change
The race remains close as enthusiasm for McCain increases among GOP base. Somewhat more swing voters (46%) say their greater concern is that McCain will govern too much like President Bush, rather than that Obama lacks experience (37%).
Views of Palin Fluid as Spotlight Remains on GOP Ticket
Sarah Palin continued to be a dominant factor in presidential campaign coverage last week, but her impact on the race remains unclear and her public image is very much in flux.
McCain’s Image Improves – With Big Assist From Palin
While the GOP ticket leader’s speech received only modest reviews, his running mate’s address was viewed as the highlight of the Republican convention and helped boost McCain’s public image overall. However, many in the public still question Palin’s qualifications.
After Busy Week, Views of Both Candidates Improve
As attention to the campaign increased substantially last week, the images of both Barack Obama and John McCain improved. Reviews of Obama’s acceptance speech were overwhelmingly positive. Among those who could rate it, nearly half (48%) rated the speech excellent and another 36% rated it good.
Obama’s Background Better Known Than His Issue Positions
As Obama accepts the Democratic Party’s nomination for president in Denver, more than six-in-ten Americans say they know a lot or a fair amount about his background, but only about half are familiar with his policies.
Public Support Falls for Religion’s Role in Politics
A new Pew Research survey finds a decline in the share of Americans who want churches and other houses of worship to be involved in political matters. Most of the drop in the past four years has come among political conservatives.
China Olympics Earn American Attention, Approval
Most say they are watching at least some of the Olympic coverage and the share saying it was a good decision to hold the games in China has risen 11 points to a 52% majority. Americans also remain optimistic that by the end of the games, the U.S. will have won more gold medals than any other country.