GOP Candidates Hardly Household Names
Smaller percentages of Americans can name, without being prompted, the leading candidates in this year’s Republican presidential race than in previous GOP races. At this stage of the campaign in the 1996, 2000 and 2008 campaigns, significantly more Americans could name Bob Dole, George W. Bush, and Rudolph Giuliani than they could for Mitt Romney or Rick Perry.
Debt Stalemate Top Story, But No Surge in Public Interest
The debt limit was the top story last week for both the public and the news media, although public interest in the federal budget deficit and national debt is not much higher than it was the previous week despite the approaching Aug. 2 deadline for raising the ceiling.
Debt Limit Fight Tops News Interest, Coverage
An overwhelming majority of Americans agree that the debate over the nation’s debt limit is important to people like themselves (90%), while nearly seven-in-ten (68%) say it is interesting.
Casey Anthony Verdict Top Story for Public and Social Networkers
Americans followed news about the verdict in the Casey Anthony murder trial more closely than other top stories, but they also kept a watch on news about the struggling economy and talks in Washington over raising the federal debt limit.
Interest in Campaign News On Par With 2007
While the focus this year has been on the GOP’s race, Democrats express about as much interest in 2012 candidates as do Republicans.
Economy, Afghanistan Top News Interest, Coverage
Americans focused most closely last week on news about the nation’s struggling economy and President Obama’s plans to draw down U.S. troops in Afghanistan, two stories that also topped news coverage last week.
Economy, Weiner Top Public’s News Interests
Mitt Romney is clearly the candidate the public says they are hearing the most news about, while mentions of Sarah Palin have plummeted over the past two weeks.
Public Focused on Economy, Media on Weiner Scandal
Solid majorities say news organizations have given too much coverage to the Weiner photo scandal (63%) and to Sarah Palin’s bus tour of historic sites (58%).
Number Hearing “Mostly Bad” Economic News Highest Since March 2009
Not since March 2009 have so many Americans been hearing mostly bad news about the nation’s economy. Romney and Palin have become the most visible GOP presidential candidates.
Public Closely Follows Midwest Storms
The devastating tornadoes that struck Missouri last week dominated the public’s news interest. Also, three-quarters say they heard at least a little about the end of Oprah’s talk show.