Can presidential speeches change minds? The evidence suggest not
The presidency may well be a “bully pulpit,” in Theodore Roosevelt’s original sense, a position that commands attention. But as President Barack Obama prepares to address the nation Tuesday in support of taking military action against Syria, there’s little evidence (at least in recent times) that presidential speeches are very effective at moving the needle […]
Most members of Congress have little direct military experience
Veterans make up a smaller share of Congress than at any time in the past five decades.
Many Say Economic Recovery Long Way Off
Four years after the recession officially ended, the economic recovery remains a long way off in the view of many Americans. And opinions of economic conditions have slipped back to levels from earlier this year.
The public’s predictions on immigration, gun control bills this year
There’s a pretty good chance that immigration legislation will become law this year. The prospects for enacting a gun control bill are not nearly as promising, according to the American public.
Partisan polarization, in Congress and among public, is greater than ever
While the Senate appears to have reached a deal on executive-branch appointments that heads off a showdown over filibuster rules, the fact that the confrontation went as far as it did points up the increasingly polarized state of Congress. From immigration reform to food stamps to student loans, it almost seems as if congressional Republicans and Democrats inhabit […]
What Americans really want from their lawmakers
Americans often say they want their representatives in Congress to put the country’s needs over local concerns. But four novel experiments suggest that the public does just the opposite. In a new study, respondents rated a member of Congress far more favorably if the lawmaker put the interests of his or her district or state […]
Obama Has Approval Advantage, But GOP Runs Even on Issues
Despite GOP leaders’ poor job ratings, the Republican Party runs about even with the Democrats on leading issues such as the economy, immigration and gun control.
Divided Reactions to Last Week’s Senate Gun Vote
The key Senate vote that halted gun control legislation last week is drawing a mixed reaction from the American public: 47% express negative feelings about the vote while 39% have a positive reaction to the Senate’s rejection of gun control legislation that included background checks on gun purchases.
If No Deal is Struck, Four-in-Ten Say Let the Sequester Happen
After a series of fiscal crises over the past few years, the public is not expressing a particular sense of urgency over the pending March 1 sequester deadline.
Majority Views Government as Threat to Personal Rights
For the first time, a majority of the public says that the federal government threatens their personal rights and freedoms.