Russians Support Protests, Political Freedoms, and Putin, Too
A Pew Global attitudes report finds a majority of Russians support political freedoms and public protests that followed a December 2011 parliamentary vote. But a majority also hold a high opinion of Vladimir Putin.
The Gender Gap: Three Decades Old, as Wide as Ever
Barack Obama’s advantages among women voters over his GOP rivals are striking, with women favoring Obama over Mitt Romney by 20 points and over Rick Santorum by 26 points. When it comes to the political parties, 51% of women identify with the Democrats compared to 42% of men.
Confidence in Democracy and Capitalism Wanes in Former Soviet Union
Two decades after the Soviet Union’s collapse, Russians, Ukrainians, and Lithuanians are unhappy with the direction of their countries and disillusioned with the state of their politics. Enthusiasm for democracy and capitalism has waned considerably and most believe the changes that have taken place have had a negative impact on many aspects of public life.
The American-Western European Values Gap
Americans’ values differ significantly from those of their Western Europeans counterparts. Although this gap is long-standing, current polling shows Americans coming closer to Europeans in not seeing their culture as superior to others.
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.
Obama More Popular Abroad than at Home, Global Image of U.S. Continues to Benefit
The president gets an enthusiastic thumbs up from the world (with the notable exception of the U.S.) for the way he has handled the world economic crisis. Obama’s personal popularity remains high, as do favorable views of the U.S. In a striking difference from the Bush years, while many around the world disagree with Obama’s foreign policies, the U.S. image has not been significantly dented as a result. Muslim countries, however, continue to hold a negative view of America and most also give Obama unfavorable ratings.
End of Communism Cheered But Now With More Reservations
Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, publics of former Iron Curtain countries generally look back approvingly at the collapse of communism. However, enthusiasm about these changes has dimmed in most of the countries surveyed, and many say that most people were better off under communism.
Independents Take Center Stage in the Obama Era
Centrism has emerged as a dominant factor in public opinion as the Obama administration begins. Republicans and Democrats are even more divided than in the past, while the growing political middle is steadfastly mixed in its beliefs about government, the free market and other values that underlie views on contemporary issues and policies. Both political parties have lost adherents since the election and an increasing number of Americans identify as independents.