With a deadline approaching for a possible shutdown of the federal government, the public remains divided over whether congressional Republicans or the Obama administration would be more to blame if a shutdown occurs.
While the media pivoted to Libya, the public did not follow, keeping their focus on the crisis in Japan. Americans give the press high marks for their coverage of the Japan disaster and Libya conflict, but have little praise for media coverage of economics and politics.
March 25, 2011 marks the 100-year anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, a disaster widely credited with strengthening the still nascent labor union movement in the United States. Public approval of unions, which peaked in during the Depression era when many worker protections were put into law, has had its ups and downs but has hit new lows in recent years.
Support for the increased use of nuclear power has declined amid the ongoing nuclear emergency in Japan. But with the surge in gas prices, support for increased offshore oil and gas drilling is growing.
In testimony before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement, the Pew Hispanic Center's Rakesh Kochhar explains why for the first time since the official end of the Great Recession in June 2009, native-born workers in the second half of 2010 joined foreign-born workers in experiencing the beginnings of a recovery in employment.
While the parallels between former Soviet bloc countries and Middle Eastern nations should not be overdrawn, the experience of Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Soviet empire is a useful reminder that public enthusiasm for democracy is not guaranteed as political change extends over years and decades.
In its Topic A feature, the Washington Post asked several experts -- among them the Pew Research Center's Director of Survey Research Scott Keeter -- who's winning and who's losing in the fight over public-employee unions.
The bitter fight over union rights in Wisconsin calls to mind a labor battle that helped define the first year of Ronald Reagan's presidency.
Views of the Patriot Act have changed little since the Bush administration, with slightly more Americans currently saying it is a necessary security tool rather than a threat to civil liberties. Democrats are now somewhat more supportive of the law.
Across a wide range of issues -- including entitlements, education, agriculture and energy -- Tea Party Republicans take a much harder line on cutting federal spending than do non-Tea Party Republicans, who are far more in sync with Democrats.