Partisan Polarization Surges in Bush, Obama Years
Americans values and basic beliefs are more polarized along partisan lines than at any point in the past 25 years. Party has now become the single largest fissure in American society, with the values gap between Republicans and Democrats greater than gender, age, race or class divides.
The Generation Gap and the 2012 Election
In the last four national elections, generation has mattered more in American elections than it has in decades. This continues to be true as voters look ahead toward the 2012 general election. In a contest between President Obama and Mitt Romney, there is a 20-point gap in support for Obama between Millennials and the over-65 Silent generation.
Public Wants Changes in Entitlements, Not Changes in Benefits
The public sees the need for changes to improve the performance and finances of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid but does not support reductions in benefits. Republicans have divisions in their ranks on entitlement reforms.
Opposition to Ryan Medicare Plan from Older, Attentive Americans
There is broad, and strong, opposition to the proposal among older Americans and those who are paying a lot of attention to the issue.
How a Different America Responded to the Great Depression
The American public’s sour mood is in interesting contrast with many of the public’s views during the Great Depression of the 1930s, not only on economic, political and social issues, but also on the role of government in addressing them.
Religious Beliefs and Political Issues
Religious beliefs continue to be influential in shaping some Americans’ views about social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. Far fewer cite religion as a top influence on issues such as immigration, the environment and poverty.
Mixed Views of GOP Proposals on Entitlements
While a majority of Americans favors allowing changes to Social Security, there is very little support for replacing Medicare with a voucher system. Also, the public continues to see no clear leader atop the GOP.
Would Americans Welcome Medicare if it Were Being Proposed in 2009?
Much of the opposition to health care reform today is being fueled by anti-government sentiment that did not exist during the mid-1960′s.
States Push Food Stamps for the Needy
As the economy sputters, states are taking extraordinary measures to help people keep food on the table, and a federal program is their primary tool.
Govs Press For More Money on Real ID, Medicaid
Meeting in Washington, the states’ chief executives made clear their unhappiness with federal standards for driver’s licenses and costly new Medicaid rules.