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.
On Obama’s Desk: Economy, Jobs Trump All Other Policy Priorities
While it is not unusual for Americans to prioritize domestic over foreign policy, a new survey finds strengthening the economy and improving the job situation are higher priorities today than they have been at any point over the past decade, and the recent upward trend has been steep.
Hispanics and the New Administration: Immigration Slips as a Priority
Latinos, who heavily supported Obama in the November election, rate such issues as the economy, health care and education as the more important issues facing the country. Hispanics were more likely to be first time voters than the general public.
Doubts Grow About McCain’s Judgment, Age and Campaign
Obama is inspiring more confidence on several key issues, including Iraq and terrorism, than he did before the debates, and his margin over McCain as the candidate best able to improve economic conditions has grown.
The Religious Vote: Much like 2004, but Economic Concerns Now Top Social Issues
A national survey finds remarkable stability in the candidate preferences of major religious groups compared with the last presidential campaign. But issue priorities among all religious groups have changed with possible implications in November.
Will the Culture War Matter on Election Day?
Leading experts discuss the history of cultural divisions in American politics and what role, if any, they will play in the outcome of the November election.
Support for Global Engagement Declines
The public’s top long-term foreign policy goals are decidedly America-centric. Defending the country against terrorism, protecting U.S. jobs, and weaning the country from imported energy all draw extensive bipartisan support.