report | Apr 2, 2009

Little Sign of Obama Fatigue

Summary of Findings No one has gotten more media coverage and attention in recent months than Barack Obama, but only about a third of Americans (34%) say they are hearing too much about the nation’s new president. More than half (54%) say they are hearing the right amount about Obama as he works to put […]

report | Mar 25, 2009

Strong Interest in AIG, Positive Views of Congress’ Response

Summary of Findings The controversy over the millions of dollars in bonuses paid to AIG employees attracted considerable public interest last week. In fact, about as many people tracked that story very closely (50%) as followed news about the overall economy very closely (52%). The AIG controversy was the most closely followed story of the […]

report | Mar 18, 2009

Public Sees More of a Mix of Good and Bad Economic News

Summary of Findings After months of bleak economic news, an increasing proportion of Americans now say they are hearing a mix of good and bad economic news, while fewer say they are hearing mostly bad news. As has been the case for the last few months, very few say they are hearing mostly good news […]

report | Mar 12, 2009

Many Would Shrug if Their Local Newspaper Closed

Summary of Findings As many newspapers struggle to stay economically viable, fewer than half of Americans (43%) say that losing their local newspaper would hurt civic life in their community “a lot.” Even fewer (33%) say they would personally miss reading the local newspaper a lot if it were no longer available. Not unexpectedly, those […]

report | Mar 5, 2009

States’ Budget Woes Register With Public

Summary of Findings With Americans closely tracking news about the struggling economy, most are aware of the impact the recession is having on state and local budgets and the burgeoning federal deficit. A majority (57%) says they have heard “a lot” about worsening state and local budget problems as governments at all levels struggle to […]

report | Feb 26, 2009

Many Say Government on Right Track on Economy

Summary of Findings One month into President Obama’s administration, Americans on balance say the government is on the right track in the way it is handling the nation’s difficult economic problems. Nearly half (47%) says the government is on the right track in the way it is handling economic problems, while about a third (34%) […]

report | Feb 19, 2009

Most Feel a Personal Stake in Tracking Economic News

Summary of Findings Americans continue to follow news about the economic crisis closely because they feel it is directly relevant to their lives. More than eight-in-ten (85%) say even when the economic news is bad they feel better knowing what’s going on, while 77% say they need to stay on top of economic news because […]

report | Feb 11, 2009

Stimulus News Seen As More Negative Than Positive

Summary of Findings As the contentious debate over President Obama’s $800 billion economic stimulus plan played out in Congress over the past week, more Americans were hearing bad things than good things about the legislation. Close to half (48%) of the public says that what they were reading and hearing about the plan in the […]

report | Feb 4, 2009

Policy Issues Overshadow Personal Stories in Obama’s First Weeks

Summary of Findings The public focused much more on President Obama’s major policy proposals and decisions than on lighter, more personal stories about the new president and his family in the early days of his administration. Nearly seven-in-ten Americans (69%) say they heard a lot about Obama’s push for quick action on his economic stimulus […]

report | Jan 28, 2009

Inauguration Outdraws Interest in Economy

Summary of Findings The public paid very close attention to the inauguration of Barack Obama as president last week, while keeping a close eye on the nation’s troubled economy. More than four-in-ten (42%) Americans say the inauguration of the nation’s first black president was the news story they followed most closely. By comparison, 25% say […]

report | Jan 23, 2009

Plane Crash Draws As Much Interest As Economy

Summary of Findings Americans last week followed the dramatic emergency landing of US Airways flight 1549 in New York’s Hudson River as closely as they followed news about the nation’s number one problem: the troubled economy. One-in-four say the crash – which resulted in no fatalities and turned pilot Chesley Sullenberger into a national hero […]

report | Jan 15, 2009

Obama Cabinet Appointees Highly Visible

Summary of Findings Public awareness of Barack Obama’s choices for cabinet and other high level posts is substantially higher than awareness of the top picks by George W. Bush and Bill Clinton just before they were first inaugurated. About two-thirds of Americans (65%) can name at least one person that Obama has chosen for a […]

report | Jan 8, 2009

Mideast Competes with Economy and Obama For Public Interest

Summary of Findings News reports last week about the escalating conflict between Israel and Hamas competed for public attention with stories about the U.S. financial crisis and the Obama presidential transition. Roughly three-in-ten (28%) paid very close attention to news about renewed fighting in the Gaza Strip, while 18% say this was the single news […]

report | Dec 23, 2008

Internet Overtakes Newspapers As News Outlet

Summary of Findings The internet, which emerged this year as a leading source for campaign news, has now surpassed all other media except television as an outlet for national and international news. Currently, 40% say they get most of their news about national and international issues from the internet, up from just 24% in September […]

report | Dec 18, 2008

Blagojevich Arrest Grabs Public Attention

Summary of Findings The arrest of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich last week on corruption charges drew public interest at levels rivaling or topping most national political scandals of the past few years. The charges include allegations that Blagojevich sought personal financial gain from his choice to fill President-elect Barack Obama’s senate seat. About three-in-ten (29%) […]

report | Dec 11, 2008

Public Hearing Positive News About Obama Transition

Summary of Findings As President-elect Barack Obama prepares to take office and announces choices for key cabinet posts, a majority of Americans (56%) says news stories about the incoming administration are mostly positive. Very few (3%) say what they are hearing or reading about the new Obama administration is mostly negative, while four-in-ten (38%) say […]

report | Nov 25, 2008

Public Closely Tracking Obama Transition

Summary of Findings In addition to following the major economic headlines last week, the public tuned into news about the Obama transition. Fully 49% followed news about plans for the new Obama administration very closely and one-in-four said this was the single news story they followed more closely than any other, making it the second […]

report | Nov 20, 2008

Economic Problems, Especially in Detroit, Absorb Public’s Attention

Summary of Findings With the presidential election behind them, Americans have turned their attention back to the nation’s economy. The economy was by far the public’s top news story last week. Fully 56% of the public followed news about the economy very closely last week, and as many as 43% listed this as the single […]

report | Nov 12, 2008

Few Will Miss Following Campaign News

Summary of Findings By all accounts, the public liked Campaign 2008 and followed election news avidly. But enough is enough. Fully 82% say they will not miss following election news, while only 17% say they will miss it. Even among Democrats, only a quarter say they will miss the campaign. Many Americans (23%) say they […]

report | Nov 6, 2008

Election Weekend News Interest Hits 20-Year High

Summary of Findings As the long presidential campaign wound down last week, the public remained highly engaged. Fully 60% of registered voters said they were following campaign news very closely, while 28% said they were following fairly closely. That is the highest level of voter interest just before a presidential election since the Pew Research […]

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