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.
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.
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.
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.
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.