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.
Public Knows Basic Facts About Financial Crisis
High percentages of Americans know that the government assistance to banks is aimed at getting them to lend more money, not less money and that China is the foreign country holding the most U.S. government debt. Notably, more Americans know the current unemployment rate than the current level of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
The Phantom Recovery
The eight-year period from 1999 through 2007 is the longest in modern U.S. economic history in which inflation-adjusted median household income failed to surpass an earlier peak.
In Mammon We Trust? Religions Agree Economy is Issue Number One
While members of all faiths see the economy as the top priority for 2009, they are not always in agreement on what issues the government should tackle. The divide is especially large on reducing crime and moral decline in America.
Jobs Worries Climb the Economic Ladder
For the public, the continuing financial crisis has been overtaken by a jobs crisis; the proportion citing jobs or unemployment as the nation’s most important economic problem has more than quadrupled to 42% since early October and concern about job loss has climbed steeply among affluent Americans.
Immigrant Latino Unemployment Rises Sharply
Job loss data reveal a rapidly worsening situation for foreign-born Hispanics, native-born Hispanics and blacks in the labor market.
Economy Is a Tough Subject for the Nation’s Public Schools
States traditionally have been reluctant to cut school funding during hard times, but in the current severe downturn schools are not immune.
Hispanics and the Economic Downturn: Housing Woes and Remittance Cuts
Latinos, especially the foreign-born, are feeling the sting of the economic downturn and, in some respects, even more so than the general population.
Gains Seen On Minority Discrimination — But Little Else
As Obama prepares to take office, majorities say the country is losing ground on many key issues, especially economic ones.