Jocelyn Kiley is associate director of research at Pew Research Center, where she primarily works on U.S. public opinion about politics. She is involved in all stages of the research process at the Center, and is a principal investigator on the Center’s work on political polarization in the American public, as well as its regular election polling. Prior to joining Pew Research Center in 2008, Kiley worked in research and evaluation for several media and governmental organizations. She has a master’s degree in political science from the University of California, Berkeley. Her graduate work primarily concerned issues of racial and ethnic political identity in the U.S., as well as the role of the media in shaping public opinion. She received her bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology from Harvard University. Kiley discusses the Center’s findings with the news media and regularly presents to outside audiences and at the American Association for Public Opinion Research’s annual conference.
The economy is clearly the top issue for voters; fully 79% say it will be very important to their voting decisions – the highest share among 18 issues included on the survey. The public continues to take a dim view of current economic conditions. Just 17% of U.S. adults say the economy is in excellent or good shape, little changed from the 13% who said this in July.
Americans’ ratings of the Supreme Court are now as negative as – and more politically polarized than – at any point in more than three decades of polling. And nearly two-thirds of Democrats (64%) now say the Supreme Court has too much power, almost three times the share who said this in August 2020 (23%).
While the economy remains the dominant issue in this fall’s midterm elections, the issue of abortion has increased markedly in importance. More voters continue to view their midterm vote as an expression of opposition to Joe Biden than support for him. But across both parties, more voters now say Biden is not much of a factor in their vote.
Increasingly, Republicans and Democrats view not just the opposing party but also the people in that party in a negative light. Growing shares in each party now describe those in the other party as more closed-minded, dishonest, immoral and unintelligent than other Americans. Nearly half of younger adults say they "wish there were more parties to choose from."
Pew Research Center’s political typology provides a roadmap to today’s fractured political landscape. It organizes the public into nine distinct groups, based on an analysis of their attitudes and values. Even in a polarized era, the 2021 survey reveals deep divisions in both partisan coalitions.
About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts.