Carroll Doherty is director of political research at Pew Research Center. He plays a leading role in developing the Center’s research agenda and overseeing editorial content about long-term trends in political values, U.S. views on policy issues and priorities, and political knowledge and news interest. Doherty regularly provides analysis of public opinion and politics for domestic and international news outlets, including NPR, CNBC and the BBC. He also speaks to government, academic and business groups on these topics. Before joining Pew Research Center in 2000, he was a journalist for many years, covering congressional leadership, politics and foreign affairs as a senior writer for Congressional Quarterly and serving as an off-air investigative reporter for CBS News on foreign affairs. Doherty holds a master’s degree from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Loyola University Maryland.
Americans now see reducing the budget deficit as a higher priority for the president and Congress to address than in recent years. But strengthening the economy continues to be the public’s top policy priority.
While 64% of Republicans say GOP congressional leaders should “stand up” to Biden on matters important to their party’s voters, Democrats are more likely to say they would support efforts by leaders to find common ground.
Most U.S. adults say President Joe Biden (65%) and Republican leaders in Congress (61%) will be unsuccessful getting their agendas enacted in the next two years; only about a third say the president and GOP leaders will be successful. Republicans are less confident than Democrats in midterm vote counts – but more confident than they were after the 2020 election.
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."
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.