Although still a relatively young technology, social networking is already a global phenomenon. A 22-nation survey finds that in regions around the world, people who use the internet are using it for social networking. Cell phone ownership and computer usage are also increasingly popular across the globe.
The American public's sour mood is in interesting contrast with many of the public's views during the Great Depression of the 1930s, not only on economic, political and social issues, but also on the role of government in addressing them.
The public views the tax agreement between Obama and congressional Republicans as beneficial to both the economy and their personal finances. There are virtually no partisan differences in opinions about the agreement.
While it is not unusual for foreign policy to take a back seat during difficult economic times, the absence of concern at a time when American troops are fighting a war in Afghanistan, and the threat of terrorism remains high is remarkable.
A new analysis of Pew Research Center pre-election surveys conducted this year finds that support for Republican candidates was significantly higher in samples based only on landlines than in dual frame samples that combined landline and cell phone interviews. The difference in the margin among likely voters this year is about twice as large as in 2008.
Americans see the big picture when it comes to the changing balance of power in Washington, but is not sure which party controls which house of Congress or who the next speaker will be. Many have a good idea about the growth of the federal deficit, but the public struggles with questions about specifics of the budget, TARP and inflation.
The public wants increased trade with Canada, Japan and several other countries (China and South Korea being notable exceptions), but support for free trade agreements is at a 13-year low, and more say trade agreements have negative rather than positive impact on jobs, wages and economic growth.
Indonesia, where President Barack Obama will visit this month and where he spent part of his childhood, is among those countries of the globe where such restrictions and hostilities are highest.
Following voting trends, white Protestants voted overwhelmingly Republican and religiously unaffiliated voters overwhelmingly supported Democrats. But Catholic voters swung to the GOP, and Republicans made gains in all three groups.
An older and much more conservative electorate than in 2006 and 2008 propelled the Republican Party to a broad victory in the 2010 midterm elections. But the vote was more repudiation than endorsement. Views of the Republican Party are no more positive than those of the Democratic Party.