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.
Support for Free Trade Recovers Despite Recession
Despite the economic recession, support for free trade agreements is up by nine percentage points — from 35% to 44% — putting positive opinions of trade back in line with long-term trends. People in low-income families and Democrats are much more supportive of trade now than they were a year ago.
Obama at 100 Days: Strong Job Approval, Even Higher Personal Ratings
As he approaches the 100-day mark of his presidency, Barack Obama’s job approval ratings are higher than those of his most recent predecessors. However, the 44th president is even more distinguished by his strong personal popularity.
Views About Torture Remain Evenly Split
Amid intense debate over the use of torture against suspected terrorists, public opinion about this issue remains about equally divided overall, although Republicans are far more likely than Democrats to say it is at least sometimes justified.
Americans Favor Carbon Cap, Gays in the Military and Renewing U.S.-Cuba Ties
New polling finds public favors setting limits on carbon emissions, allowing gays to serve openly in the military and re-establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba.
Obama’s Approval Rating Slips Amid Division Over Economic Proposals
Most people think the new president is doing as much as he can to fix the economy, but the public expresses mixed views of his many major proposals to fix the economy. The public overwhelmingly supports Obama’s plan to remove most combat troops from Iraq by the end of August but a much narrower majority supports his planned troop buildup in Afghanistan.
Obama Faces Familiar Divisions Over Anti-Terror Policies
Obama receives positive ratings for his handling of terrorism but the public remains deeply divided over how best to defend the nation against the threat.
Ideological Gaps Over Israel on Both Sides of Atlantic
The American public has long expressed strong support for Israel. In contrast, polls in Western Europe have frequently found more support for the Palestinians. But while they generally take different sides in the conflict, political ideology matters in both America and Europe.
Strong Confidence in Obama — Country Seen as Less Politically Divided
Public confidence in Barack Obama to deal with the nation’s most pressing problems is high and many Americans not only see the president-elect as a problem-solver, but as a “uniter” as well.
Modest Backing for Israel in Gaza Crisis; No Desire for Greater U.S. Role
Americans have a mixed view of the war in Gaza, and see it in much the same way as they viewed Israel’s conflict with Hezbollah in 2006. As in the past, Americans express strong support for Israel, but there is limited approval of the current military action. However, Hamas is largely seen as primarily responsible for the outbreak of violence.