For Voters, It’s Still the Economy
As Barack Obama and Mitt Romney prepare for their first debate on Oct. 3, the issues at the top of the voters’ agenda have changed little since 2008. Fully 87% of registered voters say that the economy will be very important to their vote, while 83% say jobs will be very important to their vote.
Where the Public Stands on Government Assistance, Taxes and the Presidential Candidates
When the national conversation focuses on class, the social safety net and the distribution of wealth as it has in the past week, the public sees clear differences between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, and Obama has an overall advantage.
Medicare Voucher Plan Remains Unpopular
A proposal to shift Medicare to a voucher system, part of a Paul Ryan plan approved by the House last year, remains unpopular. Both Ryan and Democrat Joe Biden get negative marks as vice presidential candidates.
Obama Holds Lead; Romney Trails on Most Issues
Despite the stagnant economy and broad dissatisfaction with national conditions, Barack Obama holds a significant lead over Mitt Romney. Obama is favored by a 50% to 43% margin among registered voters. Romney loses ground on issue of which candidate can best improve the economy.
Partisan Polarization Surges in Bush, Obama Years
Americans values and basic beliefs are more polarized along partisan lines than at any point in the past 25 years. Party has now become the single largest fissure in American society, with the values gap between Republicans and Democrats greater than gender, age, race or class divides.
Most Swing Voters Favor Afghan Troop Withdrawal
Public support for maintaining U.S. forces in Afghanistan has reached a new low. And as the general election campaign begins, swing voters, by nearly two-to-one, favor removing U.S. troops from Afghanistan as soon as possible.
With Voters Focused on Economy, Obama Lead Narrows
As voters continue to focus on the economy and jobs as top issues, Barack Obama’s lead over Mitt Romney has narrowed from a 12-point advantage last month to a slim 49% to 45% advantage. Neither candidate has a clear advantage on on the economy or jobs issues, which more than eight-in-ten voters cited as “very important” to their choice.
The Gender Gap: Three Decades Old, as Wide as Ever
Barack Obama’s advantages among women voters over his GOP rivals are striking, with women favoring Obama over Mitt Romney by 20 points and over Rick Santorum by 26 points. When it comes to the political parties, 51% of women identify with the Democrats compared to 42% of men.
Frustration with Congress Could Hurt Republican Incumbents
Public discontent with Congress has reached record levels, and the implications for incumbents in next year’s elections could be stark. The Republican Party is taking more of the blame than the Democrats for a do-nothing Congress.
Obama Leadership Image Takes a Hit, GOP Ratings Decline
For the first time in his presidency, significantly more Americans disapprove than approve of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president and and the margin of strong disapproval over strong approval has widened. But the public is also profoundly discontented with the political leadership of both parties, angry at the federal government and dissatisfied with the way things are going in the country.