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.
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.
Rethinking Budget Cutting
Views about federal spending are beginning to change. Americans no longer call for more spending on many popular programs. Still, support for cutting spending remains limited, though in a few cases it has risen noticeably. The public remains reluctant either to cut spending — or to raise taxes – to balance state budgets.
Public Uncertain About Effect of Egypt Protests on U.S.
Americans do not have a clear point of view on how the massive anti-government protests in Egypt will affect the U.S., but most give Obama good marks for his handling of the situation. Half the country has heard a lot about the events in the Middle East, while half have heard little or nothing.
Watching Obama’s State of the Union
Most Americans say they plan to watch President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night. Still, a sizable majority sees the speech to Congress as no more important than in previous years.
Economy, Jobs Top Public’s Policy Agenda
Americans overwhelmingly cite the economy and jobs as the most important issues facing the president and new Congress. On health care reform, roughly as many would like to see legislation expanded as have it repealed.
No Shift Toward Gun Control After Tucson Shootings
The public remains divided — and deeply so along party lines — on the issue of gun control and gun rights. Most Americans say tragic events like the shooting are just the isolated acts of troubled individuals, and not a reflection of broader problems in American society.
Obama Ratings Remain Rock Steady
As has been the case since last summer, the public is evenly divided over Obama’s job performance, while his personal image remains on balance positive. Opinion of the GOP congressional leadership, however, has become far more negative since the midterm elections.
Strengthen Ties with China, But Get Tough on Trade
As President Obama prepares to host Chinese President Hu Jintao next week, Americans increasingly see Asia as the region of the world that is most important to the United States. While Americans see China as a rising global power, relatively few characterize the U.S.-China relationship as adversarial; China is seen primarily as an economic threat, rather than a military one.