Public’s Priorities for Congress: Jobs and Energy Top Immigration
Congress’s ratings are abysmal; Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan draws mixed ratings but half have no opinion.
Deficit Concerns Rise, But Solutions Are Elusive
While an increasing number of Americans cite addressing the government’s red ink as a priority, there is not much support for spending cuts, regardless of party.
The Public’s Political Agenda
Strengthening the nation’s economy and improving the job situation continue to top nation’s priority list. However, shifts have occurred on the priority give to two issues: energy (down) and the budget deficit (up). Extremely large partisan gaps exist on the importance of health care and global warming.
At Year’s End, Nation Remains Divided
As has been the case since October, roughly half the country approves of President Obama’s job. The nation is also divided on Afghanistan and health care. One rare point of agreement, though, is that the economy remains poor.
Where the Public Stands on Immigration Reform
Polling has found significant support for both tougher enforcement and the so-called “path to citizenship,” but several factors suggest that a new push for reform could be a difficult one.
Battle of the Budget Bulge
Americans are famous both for being weight conscious, and at the same time unable to come to terms successfully with their bloated waistlines. The same paradox has applied to how the public looks at budget deficits for a very long time.
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.
Partisan Bickering Is Back, Says Public
Obama continues to inspire confidence on economic matters, as majorities believe his policies will both improve economic conditions (66%) and reduce the budget deficit over time (54%). There has been no improvement in the GOP’s image.
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.