U.S. Politics Dec. 16, 2009

At Year’s End, Nation Remains Divided

As has been the case since October, roughly half the country approves of President Obama’s job. The nation is also divided on Afghanistan and health care. One rare point of agreement, though, is that the economy remains poor.

Religion Nov. 16, 2009

Faith-Based Programs Still Popular

Faith-based initiatives remain popular eight years after President Bush unveiled his plan, but church-state concerns remain and not all religions garner high support for receiving funds. Also, 9% of Americans say they recently have turned to religious groups to help make ends meet.

Pew Research Center Nov. 12, 2009

Battle of the Budget Bulge

Americans are famous both for being weight conscious, and at the same time unable to come to terms successfully with their bloated waistlines. The same paradox has applied to how the public looks at budget deficits for a very long time.

U.S. Politics Oct. 8, 2009

Mixed Views of Economic Policies and Health Care Reform Persist

Most Americans remain optimistic that Barack Obama’s policies will help the economy, but see no clear signs of recovery yet; many key provisions of health care reform remain popular but support for the overall package has slipped.

U.S. Politics Jul. 30, 2009

Obama’s Ratings Slide Across the Board

Support for Obama’s job performance — as well as his handling of health care, the economy and deficit–has fallen, but most remain confident his policies will be positive in the long term. The public supports many of his health care goals but opposes many proposals being debated in Congress.

U.S. Politics Jul. 9, 2009

Public Praises Science; Scientists Fault Public, Media

A new survey of scientists and the public finds large majorities holding positive views of science. But scientists are concerned about Americans’ ignorance of scientific findings and large differences exist between the two groups’ views on evolution and global warming. Still, overwhelming percentages in both groups think that government investments in science and technology pay off in the long run.

U.S. Politics Jun. 24, 2009

Pollwatch: Comparing the Polls on Spending and the Deficit

How the question is phrased has a clear impact on whether the public rates deficit reduction or stimulus spending more important.

U.S. Politics Jun. 18, 2009

Obama’s High Ratings Hold Despite Some Policy Concerns

A solid majority of Americans continue to approve of Barack Obama’s job performance, although they express mixed views of several of his policies. Only about one-in-five Americans (21%) say the U.S. is less safe from terrorism under the Obama administration than under the Bush administration

Pew Research Center Jun. 15, 2009

Recession Pounds States’ Budgets

Stateline.org’s legislative review finds state budgets in such dire straits that they are closing prisons in Colorado and Kansas, raising taxes on the rich in New York and even taxing bourbon in Kentucky — and the worst is yet to come.

U.S. Politics May. 21, 2009

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.