Partisan Polarization Surges in Bush, Obama Years
Americans values and basic beliefs are more polarized along partisan lines than at any point in the past 25 years. Party has now become the single largest fissure in American society, with the values gap between Republicans and Democrats greater than gender, age, race or class divides.
Most Swing Voters Favor Afghan Troop Withdrawal
Public support for maintaining U.S. forces in Afghanistan has reached a new low. And as the general election campaign begins, swing voters, by nearly two-to-one, favor removing U.S. troops from Afghanistan as soon as possible.
Little Support for U.S. Intervention in Syrian Conflict
Most Americans say the U.S. does not have a responsibility to intervene in the conflict in Syria and oppose using military options to protect anti-government forces. However, a majority are concerned about the possibility of Iran developing nuclear weapons and worry that the U.S. will wait too long to act.
Does Humanitarian Aid Improve America’s Image?
Humanitarian aid to countries struck by major natural disasters — such as the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan nearly a year ago — has produced more favorable opinions of the U.S. among the populations of those countries. But the long term impact of such aid on public opinion has proved to have its limits.
Public Takes Tough Line on Iran’s Nuclear Program
Nearly six-in-ten Americans say it is important to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, even if it means taking military action. Just 30% say it is more important to avoid a military conflict with Iran.
Public Priorities: Deficit Rising, Terrorism Slipping
As the State of the Union approaches, the economy continues to be the public’s top priority. Fully 86% say that strengthening the economy should be a top priority for the president and Congress this year, and 82% rate improving the job situation as a top priority.
The American-Western European Values Gap
Americans’ values differ significantly from those of their Western Europeans counterparts. Although this gap is long-standing, current polling shows Americans coming closer to Europeans in not seeing their culture as superior to others.
Obama Job Approval Edges Up, GOP Contest Remains Fluid
President Barack Obama’s job rating has improved modestly over the past month, although few Americans approve of the way he is handling the economy. In addition, a majority of Americans continue to hold a favorable personal opinion of Obama. This is not the case for his main GOP rivals, whom he mostly bests in test election measures.
The Generation Gap and the 2012 Election
In the last four national elections, generation has mattered more in American elections than it has in decades. This continues to be true as voters look ahead toward the 2012 general election. In a contest between President Obama and Mitt Romney, there is a 20-point gap in support for Obama between Millennials and the over-65 Silent generation.
Tea Party on Foreign Policy: Strong on Defense and Israel, Tough on China
The Tea Party has emerged as a political force on domestic issues, but Republican supporters of the movement have a distinct approach to national security and the U.S. role in the world. Tea Party Republicans favor an assertive foreign policy, are strong supporters of Israel and take a hard line against illegal immigration.