Fact Tank Jun. 13, 2014

Why we didn’t include the y-axis on our polarization chart

In a histogram, it’s the area under the curve that matters, not the height of any specific point. The total area under the curve is equal to 100% of respondents, but we are most interested in where respondents fall along the horizontal axis.

U.S. Politics Jun. 12, 2014

Political Polarization in the American Public

Republicans and Democrats are more divided along ideological lines – and partisan acrimony is deeper and more extensive – than at any point in recent history. And these trends manifest themselves in myriad ways, both in politics and in everyday life.

Fact Tank Jun. 12, 2014

How Pew Research conducted the polarization survey and launched a new research panel

Throughout its history, the Pew Research Center has periodically conducted major surveys that take an in-depth look at important trends in American political attitudes and behavior. Today we released one such survey on political polarization, which is arguably the defining feature of early 21st century American politics. This is reflected not only in the public’s […]

Fact Tank May. 8, 2014

Q/A: How Pew Research tracks public opinion in countries stricken by violence and unrest

Fact Tank sat down with James Bell, Pew Research’s director of international survey research, to discuss how the center designs and implements its surveys in places of conflict like Ukraine.

Fact Tank Jan. 15, 2014

Pew Research increases share of interviews conducted by cellphone

In the coming months, 60% of interviews in our national polls will be conducted via cellphones and 40% on landline phones.

Fact Tank Jan. 3, 2014

Republicans’ views on evolution

Significantly fewer Republicans believe in evolution than did so four years ago, setting them apart from Democrats and independents. But behind this finding is a puzzle: If the views of the overall public have remained steady, and there has been little change among people of other political affiliations, how do you account for the Republican numbers? An explainer.

Fact Tank Dec. 20, 2013

Polling on the deficit: Why question order matters

Polling organizations devote a great deal of attention to the wording of survey questions, but they need to be just as concerned about how questions are ordered. The context in which a specific question is asked, particularly what directly precedes a question in a telephone interview, often has an impact on the way people respond.

Oct. 9, 2013

Study: Polls may underestimate anti-gay sentiment and size of gay, lesbian population

A study using a novel research method raises questions.

Sep. 30, 2013

Study: Opposition to same-sex marriage may be understated in public opinion polls

Blame “social desirability” bias.

Fact Tank Sep. 10, 2013

Can presidential speeches change minds? The evidence suggest not

The presidency may well be a “bully pulpit,” in Theodore Roosevelt’s original sense, a position that commands attention. But as President Barack Obama prepares to address the nation Tuesday in support of taking military action against Syria, there’s little evidence (at least in recent times) that presidential speeches are very effective at moving the needle […]