Midterm Election Challenges for Both Parties
Opinions of the Republican Party have improved significantly but still far more people blame the GOP for the poor economy than blame the Democrats. Anti-incumbent sentiment runs high: three-in-ten don’t want to see their current representative reelected. Financial institutions remain a major target of public anger.
Inviting Centrists to the Tea Party
The Tea Party movement may well attract more supporters as it becomes better known although divisions among Republicans and independents’ wariness of political extremes may limit its growth.
Obama Image Unscathed By Terrorism Controversy
The government’s ratings for reducing the threat of terrorism have slipped, and Americans are increasingly more concerned with safety than civil liberties. Domestically, few see an upside to health care reform, and the national mood remains grim. Yet President Obama’s political standing is little affected, and his personal image remains positive.
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.