A majority of Americans say the earth is warming, but far fewer than said so in 2006. The decline has come mostly from Republicans, and very few Tea Party supporters say there is solid evidence of global warming. Also, the public is divided on the question of whether scientists themselves agree that the earth is warming.
Senior research staff answer questions from readers relating to all the areas covered by our seven projects, ranging from polling techniques and findings, to media, technology, religious, demographic and global attitudes trends.
At a time when global publics are mostly glum, half of Brazilians say they are satisfied with national conditions, and 62% say their economy is in good shape. Most also see their country as a rising global power.
Religious beliefs continue to be influential in shaping some Americans' views about social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. Far fewer cite religion as a top influence on issues such as immigration, the environment and poverty.
While facing a controversial health care bill, a high jobless rate and the largest environmental disaster in the nation's history, the president's approval rating (48%) hasn't moved this year. A majority now opposes increased offshore drilling, but a large partisan split remains. Americans back Arizona's tough immigration law, but also support a "path to citizenship."
Most Americans envision a future where cancer is cured and space travel is for everyone. But they also see a world beset by war, energy shortages and a terrorist attack with nuclear weapons. Still, most see a better future for themselves and the nation over the next four decades.
The president gets an enthusiastic thumbs up from the world (with the notable exception of the U.S.) for the way he has handled the world economic crisis. Obama's personal popularity remains high, as do favorable views of the U.S. In a striking difference from the Bush years, while many around the world disagree with Obama's foreign policies, the U.S. image has not been significantly dented as a result. Muslim countries, however, continue to hold a negative view of America and most also give Obama unfavorable ratings.
Americans want expanded exploration and development of coal, oil and gas in the U.S. but also want limits on carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions. Michele Obama's favorability stays strong but the president's and Sarah Palin's popularity slip.
Congress's ratings are abysmal; Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan draws mixed ratings but half have no opinion.
Americans are critical of the government's response to the environmental disaster in the Gulf, but even more so of BP. Support for offshore oil drilling is down, though Republican opinion is unchanged.