With the public giving subpar approval ratings to President Obama and continuing to express negative views of Congress and the political parties, it goes its own way on many of the remaining issues before the lame-duck Congress.
Two years ahead of the next presidential election, the public is divided (47% yes, 42% no ) over whether Barack Obama should run for a second term. However, this is better than the outlook for Ronald Reagan in August 1982
As the 2010 midterm elections near, Republican engagement and enthusiasm continue at record levels, outpacing even improved Democratic showings on these indicators. The growing popularity of early voting -- about a quarter of voters nationally say they plan to vote before Election Day -- gives Democrats less time to make up ground and there is no indication that their voter mobilization efforts are outmatching Republican efforts.
In a year when support for Democratic candidates has eroded, the party's standing among Latinos appears as strong as ever. However, Hispanic voters appear to be less motivated than others to go to the polls.
With just over a month to go before the midterm elections, the latest Congressional Connection poll finds that the public by a wide margin says Barack Obama has done a better job than Republican congressional leaders in explaining his plans and vision for the country.
While global publics largely take a positive view of the president's leadership and foreign policy, he receives his lowest marks on dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- and his ratings on this issue are especially negative in the Arab nations of the Middle East.
A substantial and growing number of Americans say that Barack Obama is a Muslim, while the proportion saying he is a Christian has declined.
More than a year into his presidency, 18% of Americans say that Barack Obama is a Muslim. A plurality say they do not know what religion he follows. The view that president is a Muslim is highest among his political opponents. Yet the public also generally says Obama handles his religious beliefs appropriately.
Pakistanis have grown markedly less concerned about extremist groups, and are far more worried about the external threat from India. America's image remains negative and support for U.S. involvement in the fight against extremists has waned. Many Pakistanis endorse extreme views about law, religion and society.
As Congress gears up for debate over the tax cuts passed when Bush was president, the public is divided, with roughly equal numbers in favor of keeping all of Bush's tax cuts, repealing only those for wealthy Americans, or scrapping them entirely.