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.
Who are they? How are they different from –and similar to — their parents? How is their moment in history shaping them? And how might they, in turn, reshape America in the decades ahead?
Most Still Oppose Gay Marriage, but Support for Civil Unions Continues to Rise
A 57% majority of Americans support civil unions, continuing a long-term trend of increasing support, but a majority still opposes same-sex marriage. The issue continues to sharply divide religious and political groups.
Support for Abortion Slips
The election of President Obama may have moved the needle on abortion opinion. Opposition to abortion is up among Republicans, while opinion has changed little among the president’s strongest backers. As the importance of abortion as an issue has declined among liberals, opposition from conservatives has become more firm.
Forty Years After Woodstock, A Gentler Generation Gap
They have different values, beliefs and lifestyles, but young and old today are disagreeing without being disagreeable, a new Pew Research survey finds. They also share a fondness for Woodstock-era rock and roll.
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.
“One Small Step” No Longer Seen as Such a Giant Leap for America
Four decades after the first American astronauts walked on the moon, that historic accomplishment has lost some prominence in the eyes of the public. Gen Y is especially spaced out.
Public Praises Science; Scientists Fault Public, Media
A new survey of scientists and the public finds large majorities holding positive views of science. But scientists are concerned about Americans’ ignorance of scientific findings and large differences exist between the two groups’ views on evolution and global warming. Still, overwhelming percentages in both groups think that government investments in science and technology pay off in the long run.
Public Backs Affirmative Action, But Not Minority Preferences
The public has generally been supportive of affirmative action programs, but is decidedly opposed to the idea of providing preferential treatment to minorities.
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.