Public Looks Back at Worst Decade in 50 Years
As the current decade draws to a close, relatively few Americans have positive things to say about it. But major technological and communications advances are viewed in an overwhelmingly positive light.
Obama’s 2010 Challenge: Wake Up Liberals, Calm Down Independents
His approval has slipped, but is not much different from where Reagan stood at this point in his term. But the public’s conservative shift could be trouble for the president.
Abortion Plays Small Role in Health Reform Opposition
While most Americans oppose government funding of abortion, concern about abortion funding plays only a small role in driving opposition to the health care reform legislation. If anything, opposition to reform has declined, with currently 42% in favor and 39% opposed to the health care proposals in Congress.
But What Do the Polls Show?
Perhaps the best way to think about public opinion and its relationship to politics and policymaking is that the American public is typically short on facts, but often long on judgment.
Health Care: Politics in the Pews
Many religious organizations have taken on the look of political campaigns, as advocates for and against health care reform preach their politics.
A Portrait of Mormons in the U.S.
Founded in 1830, Mormonism is now practiced by 1.7% of U.S. adults, comparable to the American Jewish population. Followers are concentrated in the West, and stand out for having exceptionally high levels of religious commitment and for very conservative political views.
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.
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.
Limbaugh Holds onto his Niche — Conservative Men
While Rush’s syndicated radio show does not have the reach of other conservative favorites like Bill O’Reilly’s television program, his audience is by far the most conservative of any program or network tested by a Pew Research survey. It was also the most male.
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.