About half of Americans say the political parties have grown so far apart that they can’t agree on solutions
Almost half of Americans say Congress is gridlocked because of the wide partisan gap; more than a third say it’s because of a few members who won’t compromise.
Public Anger at Government Rises
Overall, 26% of Americans say they are angry at the federal government, while 51% feel frustrated. Just 17% say they are basically content with the government. Anger is most palpable among conservative Republicans.
The last government shutdown and now: a different environment
As the government faces its first shutdown since 1995-1996, the standoff between the Obama administration and Republicans over the federal budget is occurring in a different public opinion environment than when President Bill Clinton faced off with the GOP-controlled House.
Lessons from the last government shutdown
The 1995-1996 government shutdowns didn’t help the GOP’s image, but the party had lost support among the public well before they happened.
Blame for Both Sides as Possible Government Shutdown Approaches
If the federal government shuts down over a budget disagreement, about as many Americans would blame the Republicans (39%) as would blame the Obama administration (36%), with 17% volunteering that both would be equally to blame.
Republicans Sour on Ben Bernanke
As Ben Bernanke prepares to step down as chairman of the Federal Reserve in January, the public views him somewhat more favorably (38%) than unfavorably (31%), with 32% unable to offer a rating.
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.
Few See Adequate Limits on NSA Program
Most Americans say the government collects what is actually being said in phone calls and emails – and not just ‘metadata.’ Nevertheless, 50% approve of the surveillance program, while 44% disapprove.
Supreme Court’s Favorability Edges Below 50%
The Supreme Court’s favorability rating has edged below 50% for the first time in nearly three decades of Pew Research Center polling. Currently, 48% have a favorable opinion of the court while 38% have an unfavorable opinion.