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.
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.
While voter preferences for the midterm elections remain closely divided, Republicans now enjoy advantages among typically loyal voting blocs that wavered in 2006 and are doing better with key swing groups. Americans who intend to vote GOP this fall are also far more engaged in the campaign this year.
Fully 80% say it is very important for Congress to pass legislation to address the job situation; nearly half of public disapproves of challenge to Arizona's immigration law and health care legislation.
Americans are less likely to vote for a candidate who supported TARP, more likely to back one who compromises, and split on health care supporters. Neither party has an advantage on the economy, but the GOP has improved on several issues. Sharp rise in BP criticism over the oil spill.
Congress's ratings are abysmal; Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan draws mixed ratings but half have no opinion.
While an increasing number of Americans cite addressing the government's red ink as a priority, there is not much support for spending cuts, regardless of party.
Strengthening the nation's economy and improving the job situation continue to top nation's priority list. However, shifts have occurred on the priority give to two issues: energy (down) and the budget deficit (up). Extremely large partisan gaps exist on the importance of health care and global warming.