Public Knowledge: Senate Legislative Process a Mystery to Many
In the latest Pew Research News IQ Quiz, Americans answered on average fewer than six out of 12 questions correctly. The public struggled with most of the political questions, and despite expressing strong interest in the health care debate, few know how many votes it takes to break a filibuster or how many GOP votes the bill got in the Senate.
It’s All About Jobs, Except When It’s Not
A look at the connection between the rise and fall of joblessness and the political fortunes of past presidents in the modern era is instructive although the lessons to be drawn are far from crystal clear. Thus far, only Ronald Reagan’s ratings in his first term have borne as close a connection as have Obama’s to changes in the unemployment rate.
Most View Census Positively, But Some Have Doubts
Most Americans think the census is very important and say they will definitely participate, but there are partisan as well as racial and ethnic differences in opinions about the values of the census and in personal willingness to participate.
Obama Image Unscathed By Terrorism Controversy
The government’s ratings for reducing the threat of terrorism have slipped, and Americans are increasingly more concerned with safety than civil liberties. Domestically, few see an upside to health care reform, and the national mood remains grim. Yet President Obama’s political standing is little affected, and his personal image remains positive.
Salazar v. Buono: Can Government Give One Religion’s Symbol Prominence in a Public Park?
The Supreme Court will soon take up a case with the potential to determine the fate of a cross on display in the Mojave National Preserve, as well as similar religious displays across the country. The court’s decision might also determine who may bring Establishment Clause lawsuits in federal court in the future.
Congressional Favorability Falls to 24-Year Low; Dems Lose Midterm Advantage
Americans’ opinion of Congress is at a 24-year low, and as a result the party in power has lost its electoral edge. Voters split between the Democrats and GOP in a 2010 matchup, but Democrats are still favored on most issues.
Public Souring on Washington
More say the president and GOP leaders are not working together, as Obama’s approval inches lower and the Democratic Party’s favorability falls sharply. Opinion about the economy remains negative with personal financial assessments becoming more bearish.
Opinion of State Governments Drops With the Economy, Budget Gaps
The falloff in favorable views has been greater in states with the largest budget gaps. Also, the new administration has shifted partisan views of the federal government dramatically.
Public Supports Targeting Al Qaeda Leaders, Wants Congress in the Loop
Americans generally support allowing the Central Intelligence Agency to assassinate al Qaeda leaders, but opinions are more mixed about whether the CIA should have such a program without first informing Congress.
The Republican Party’s Dilemma
The Sotomayor vote represents the dilemma the GOP faces coming out of its 2008 and 2006 election defeats: how to keep its base happy on the one hand and broaden its appeal to women, Latinos and young people, on the other.