Distrust, Discontent, Anger and Partisan Rancor
By almost every conceivable measure Americans are less positive and more critical of government these days.
Data: Public Trust in Government: 1958-2010
Data from Pew Research Center, National Election Studies, Gallup, ABC/Washington Post, CBS/New York Times, and CNN Polls.
Congress in a Wordle
Dysfunctional. Corrupt. Selfish. It’s not hard to guess what these words are describing. Examine a word cloud to see what the public thinks of Congress.
Public’s Economic Woes Persist
Americans don’t favor the current health care reform legislation, but most opponents prefer a new bill to no bill and more see their health care costs rising without reform than with it. Nearly everyone gives the national economy a negative rating; 70% of Americans say they have faced one or more job or financial-related problems in the past year
Census: Growing Awareness, Most Ready For Forms
Those with lower levels of income and education remain significantly less likely than others to say they will take part in the census. All partisans want to participate, but Democrats are more likely than independents or Republicans to say the census will benefit their community.
Midterm Election Challenges for Both Parties
Opinions of the Republican Party have improved significantly but still far more people blame the GOP for the poor economy than blame the Democrats. Anti-incumbent sentiment runs high: three-in-ten don’t want to see their current representative reelected. Financial institutions remain a major target of public anger.
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.