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.
Growing shares of Americans view both gun violence and violent crime as very big national problems. 49% of U.S. adults say gun ownership increases safety by allowing law-abiding citizens to protect themselves; an identical share says it reduces safety by giving too many people access to firearms and increasing misuse.
Democrats hold the edge on many issues, but more Americans agree with Republicans on the economy, crime and immigration. Inflation remains the top concern for Republicans and Republican-leaning independents, with 77% saying it is a very big problem. For Democrats and Democratic leaners, gun violence is the top concern, with about 81% saying it is a very big problem.
Half of U.S. adults say they disapprove of selective colleges and universities taking prospective students’ racial and ethnic backgrounds into account when making admissions decisions. 33% approve of colleges considering race and ethnicity to increase diversity at the schools, while 16% are not sure.
In states where abortion is prohibited, the share of people who say access to abortion should be easier has increased since August 2019. A majority of residents in those states say it would be difficult to get an abortion in the area where they live today, up 21 points from four years ago.
Americans express highly negative views of President Joe Biden, congressional leadership in both parties and Congress more broadly. Views of the economy remain overwhelmingly negative, and there has been a sharp rise in the share who say the country cannot solve many of its important problems.
Twenty years ago this month, the U.S. launched a major invasion of Iraq. President George W. Bush and his administration at first drew broad public support for the use of military force. Yet the campaign soon left Americans deeply divided, and by 2019, 62% said the Iraq War was not worth fighting.
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.
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.