Will the Culture War Matter on Election Day?
Leading experts discuss the history of cultural divisions in American politics and what role, if any, they will play in the outcome of the November election.
The Religious Vote: Much like 2004, but Economic Concerns Now Top Social Issues
A national survey finds remarkable stability in the candidate preferences of major religious groups compared with the last presidential campaign. But issue priorities among all religious groups have changed with possible implications in November.
McCain Gains on Issues, But Stalls as Candidate of Change
The race remains close as enthusiasm for McCain increases among GOP base. Somewhat more swing voters (46%) say their greater concern is that McCain will govern too much like President Bush, rather than that Obama lacks experience (37%).
A Closer Look at the Parties in 2008
As the 2008 conventions approach, the Democratic Party’s advantage in party identification remains as large as it has been over the past two decades, and the Democratic Party’s image remains substantially more positive than the GOP’s.
Likely Rise In Voter Turnout Bodes Well For Democrats
Even with a partisan enthusiasm gap, voter interest is already as high as in November of recent elections, two trends that may significantly alter the composition of the eventual electorate in the Democrats’ favor. The proportion of swing voters is also up compared with four years ago. Nearly half of independents (47%) are undecided or may change their minds, up from 28% in June 2004.
In Tight General Election, McCain’s Negatives Mostly Political, Obama’s More Personal
While Obama has opened up a wide lead in the Democratic primary, he now runs about even against McCain. The tightening general election shows some sullying of Obama’s personal image over the past three months, which is in some measure a negative reaction from frustrated Clinton supporters. McCain’s image has also become more negative since February, however, unlike Obama, those who disapprove cite his political beliefs.
Obama Weathers the Wright Storm, Clinton Faces Credibility Problem
Obama’s personal image remains more favorable than Clinton’s – and he retains a 10-point advantage over her in the race for the nomination. But certain beliefs and attitudes among older, white, working-class Democrats are associated with his lower levels of support among this group.
Pew Forum’s John Green discusses the role that religious and unaffiliated voters played on March 4 and could play in coming Democratic primaries and whether false rumors about Obama’s faith could hurt his chances.
Obama Has the Lead, but Potential Problems Too
Obama has moved out to a broad-based advantage over Clinton in the national Democratic primary contest. Public attitudes about the war in Iraq have turned more positive, a favorable development for McCain.
GOP Debate’s Economic Focus Mirrors Country’s Growing Concern
But candidates’ perceptions on economic growth and tax cuts diverge from overall public priorities.