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.
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.
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.
Americans strongly favor increased funding for research on wind, solar and hydrogen technology and more spending on mass transit, but majorities also support offshore drilling and nuclear power. Half have heard nothing at all about "cap and trade."