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.
Remembering Katrina: Wide racial divide over government’s response
Today is the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. Tomorrow marks another, less heralded event in the history of U.S. race relations.
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.
Many Say Economic Recovery Long Way Off
Four years after the recession officially ended, the economic recovery remains a long way off in the view of many Americans. And opinions of economic conditions have slipped back to levels from earlier this year.
The public’s predictions on immigration, gun control bills this year
There’s a pretty good chance that immigration legislation will become law this year. The prospects for enacting a gun control bill are not nearly as promising, according to the American public.
Partisan polarization, in Congress and among public, is greater than ever
While the Senate appears to have reached a deal on executive-branch appointments that heads off a showdown over filibuster rules, the fact that the confrontation went as far as it did points up the increasingly polarized state of Congress. From immigration reform to food stamps to student loans, it almost seems as if congressional Republicans and Democrats inhabit […]
High Court Strikes Down DOMA but Leaves Fate of Proposition 8 Uncertain
The U.S. Supreme Court has handed down two landmark same-sex marriage rulings, one striking down a major provision of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the other leaving uncertain the fate of California’s Proposition 8.
What Americans really want from their lawmakers
Americans often say they want their representatives in Congress to put the country’s needs over local concerns. But four novel experiments suggest that the public does just the opposite. In a new study, respondents rated a member of Congress far more favorably if the lawmaker put the interests of his or her district or state […]