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.
Court of Public Opinion Sides with Women on Empathy
Obama says empathy is one of the qualities he’ll be looking for in a new Supreme Court justice. Meantime, his White House has floated a list of possible nominees that’s stacked heavily with women. Coincidence?
From BarackObama.com to Change.gov
A new survey finds that voters expect that the level of public engagement they experienced with Obama during the campaign, much of it occurring online, will continue into the early period of his new administration.
The Religious Makeup of Congress
Although a majority of the members of the new, 111th Congress are Protestants, Congress — like the nation as a whole — is much more religiously diverse than it was 50 years ago.
Obama’s Online Opportunities
For a host of reasons, the new administration needs to develop a national broadband strategy but research suggests that users must be central actors in its design.
In Brief: Pleasant Grove City v. Summum
May a locality that allows one religious group to erect a monument in a city park deny that privilege to another religious sect? On Nov. 12, the Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case of Pleasant Grove City v. Summum.
The Free Exercise Clause and the Legislative and Executive Branches
Courts have long grappled with questions of religious freedom, but other government bodies also help ensure protection of this cherished liberty.
Most Approve of Wall Street Bailout and See Obama as Better Able to Address Crisis
With public interest in the economy at a 20-year high, by a margin of almost two-to-one Americans think the government is doing the right thing in investing billions of dollars to try to keep financial institutions and markets secure.
Democratic Party’s Favorables Rise, Congress Still Unpopular
While opinion of the Republican Party (39% favorable) remains at a historic low, favorable views of the Democratic Party have risen to 57%. Attitudes toward the Democratic-led Congress, however, remain very negative.
The Federal Government’s Favorables Fall Even Farther
Americans continue to hold their local and state governments in fairly high esteem, but positive views of the federal government are at their lowest point in at least a decade.