U.S. Politics Oct. 4, 2008

A Word about Debate Impressions

View “word clouds” of voters’ impressions of the performances of John McCain and Barack Obama in their first presidential debate based on one-word descriptions from a recent Pew survey.

Religion Oct. 2, 2008

Will the Culture War Matter on Election Day?

Leading experts discuss the history of cultural divisions in American politics and what role, if any, they will play in the outcome of the November election.

U.S. Politics Oct. 1, 2008

Obama Boosts Leadership Image and Gains Significant Lead Over McCain

The Illinois senator, helped by the debate, has been able to erase concerns about his ability to lead, to widen his advantage on economic issues and to move to a significant lead in swing states. There has been a broad-based decline in the number of voters who view Palin as qualified to become president.

U.S. Politics Sep. 25, 2008

The Candidates: In a Word

View “word clouds” of voters’ impressions of the candidates based on one-word descriptions from a recent Pew survey.

U.S. Politics Sep. 18, 2008

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%).

U.S. Politics Aug. 21, 2008

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.

U.S. Politics Jul. 15, 2008

Belief that Obama is Muslim is Durable, Bipartisan – but Most Likely to Sway Democratic Votes

The New Yorker magazine’s controversial cover has renewed focus on persistent public misperceptions of Sen. Barack Obama’s faith.

U.S. Politics Jul. 10, 2008

Likely Rise In Voter Turnout Bodes Well For Democrats

Even with a partisan enthusiasm gap, voter interest is already as high as in November of recent elections, two trends that may significantly alter the composition of the eventual electorate in the Democrats’ favor. The proportion of swing voters is also up compared with four years ago. Nearly half of independents (47%) are undecided or may change their minds, up from 28% in June 2004.

U.S. Politics May. 29, 2008

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.

Media & News May. 29, 2008

Character and the Primaries of 2008

A new analysis of media coverage during the first ten weeks of the 2008 primary season finds the dominant personal narratives about Obama and Clinton were almost identical in tone, and were both twice as positive as negative. The coverage of McCain’s character was less positive than that of either Democratic candidate.