A new survey finds that voters expect that the level of public engagement they experienced with Obama during the campaign, much of it occurring online, will continue into the early period of his new administration.
As 2008 draws to a close, last week’s media’s attention was divided more than at any point this year. The economy and Barack Obama’s transition were still among the top stories. But scandals involving the Illinois Governor and a world-famous financial figure, along with the continuing struggles of the U.S. auto industry, also competed for coverage.
The internet, which emerged this year as a leading source for campaign news, has now surpassed all other media except television as a main source for national and international news. While the 2008 presidential campaign attracted high levels of public attention, the economy was the top story of the year in terms of news interest, according to Pew’s Weekly News Interest Index. In late September, as the nation’s financial crisis deepened, 70% said they were following news about the economy very closely. That ranks among the highest levels of news interest for any story in the past two decades.
Although a majority of the members of the new, 111th Congress are Protestants, Congress -- like the nation as a whole -- is much more religiously diverse than it was 50 years ago.
President-elect Obama has indicated that he will focus on international cooperation in addressing global problems, but he will have to navigate a world that has grown highly critical of the United States.
Only the congressional check bouncing scandal of 1992 -- in which members of Congress were investigated for overdrawing their office checking accounts -- and the initial Clinton-Lewinsky allegations in 1998 rated higher in terms of public interest than the Blagojevich bribery charges.
The latest study of Pew Research Center election surveys analyzes the effects of conducting both landline and cell phone interviews. While the addition of cell phones had at most a modest effect on estimates of candidate support in individual surveys, when looked at in the aggregate clear patterns emerge.
Most American Christians, including evangelicals, have more than just other Christian denominations in mind when they say there are many paths to salvation. Also, roughly one-third of Americans believe that whether one achieves eternal life is determined by what a person believes, with nearly as many saying eternal life depends on one's actions.
Just 11% say Bush will be remembered as an outstanding or above average president -- by far the lowest positive end-of-term rating for any of the past four presidents. Yet Bush's impact on public opinion over the past eight years is seen in ways that go well beyond his personal unpopularity.
Americans are settling down: Only 13% of the U.S. population changed residences between 2006 and 2007, the lowest share since the 1940s. A new Pew Research Center survey looks at the reasons people move and stay put, and explains why 23% of adults aren't living in the place they consider home. Also, an interactive set of maps with detailed regional and state data shows that Texas is the nation's "stickiest" state and Nevada is the most "magnetic." Visit the maps to find stats on all 50 states.