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.
GOP Seen as Friendlier to Religion than Democrats
The Democrats’ image with respect to religion fell sharply among groups inclined to dislike their party’s politics. Obama, though, is seen as friendlier to religion than is his party. Both fare better than do Hollywood, the media and scientists.
A Year Out, Widespread Anti-Incumbent Sentiment
The mood of America is glum. Most are dissatisfied with the state of the nation, economic conditions, personal finances and an increasing number say the war in Afghanistan is not going well. Still, a majority continues to approve of Obama’s job as president.
Partisanship and Cable News Audiences
In recent years, Republican viewers have migrated increasingly to Fox News but Democrats comprise a larger share of the Fox News audience than Republicans do of CNN’s audience.
The Republican Party’s Dilemma
The Sotomayor vote represents the dilemma the GOP faces coming out of its 2008 and 2006 election defeats: how to keep its base happy on the one hand and broaden its appeal to women, Latinos and young people, on the other.
Who’s Your Favorite Republican?
While Sarah Palin is a GOP favorite, it is Mitt Romney who now enjoys a positive balance of opinion among the general public. Newt Gingrich remains a divisive figure and Michale Steele is still mostly unknown.
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.
GOP Party Identification Slips Nationwide and in Pennsylvania
The Republican Party has continued to lose adherents in 2009. In combined surveys since the start of the year, fewer than a quarter (23%) of Americans identify as Republicans. In total, the GOP has lost roughly a quarter of its base over the past five years. But these losses have not translated into substantial Democratic gains.
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.
Dems’ Favorability Advantage Widens
The current Democratic favorability advantage is the largest measured in nearly two decades. Even among white evangelical Protestants, loyal supporters of the Republican Party, opinions about the two parties are about even.