Strong Public Interest in Haiti Aftermath
Controversial topics at home — Toyota’s recall, gays in the military, the Tea Party convention — could not compete with devastation abroad for the public’s attention.
Haiti Remains Public’s Main Concern
While the media focus shifted to Obama and his speech before Congress, public attention remained on Haiti.
Health Care Reform Now Seen on Life Support
The public’s take on the chances that health care legislation will be enacted this year shifted dramatically after Scott Brown’s Jan. 19 victory in Massachusetts. About two-thirds (67%) now say they do not think a health care reform bill will be passed into law this year.
Haiti Dominates Public’s Consciousness
Not only is the public closely tracking news from Haiti, 18% report they or someone in their household made a donation to those affected by the earthquake — many using the internet or other technology — while another 30% say they plan to donate. The Obama administration gets high marks for its response to the disaster.
Despite Media Attention, Terrorism Does Not Top the Public’s News Agenda
Health care, winter weather and the economy were all just as big a story to Americans as the much-hyped terrorist attempt.
Stories of 2009: Public vs. Press
The media’s top stories generally reflected the public’s top interests, but the press gave more coverage to politics (Kennedy’s death, Palin’s book, Specter’s switch) than the public was willing to follow.
More Now Think Health Care Reform Will Pass
Americans continued to follow the health care debate more closely than any other news story last week, and the public gave the odds of a reform bill ultimately being passed the most positive assessment in two months of tracking.
Health Reform Still Hard to Understand
Despite being the public’s top story, most Americans are still confused by the health care debate.
Public Follows War, Talks Tiger
While far fewer say they followed news about the golfer than about the troop decision, as many people say they talked with friends about Tiger Woods’ troubles as about Afghanistan.
Few in Public Follow Palin Closely
Most Americans (52%) say they have been hearing too much about Palin, far more than said so after her resignation in July (38%).