A year before the 2008 presidential election, most major national opinion trends decidedly favor the Democrats and discontent with the state of the nation is markedly greater than it was four years ago. Also, Republicans have become less likely to say that their party is doing a good job standing up for its traditional positions.
A new Pew Research Center for the People & the Press survey finds broad potential appeal among Republicans for the all-but-announced candidacy of former Sen. Fred Thompson; meantime President Bush's approval rating has sunk to an all-time low of 29%.
As the Democratic-led Congress approaches the 100-day mark, pluralities approve of House Speaker Pelosi's and Senate Majority Leader Reid's leadership. But Democrats get mixed reviews on campaign promises and policies and proposals.
Two-thirds of the public now says that the U.S. military effort in Iraq is not going well, reflecting a sharp increase in the last year. And most say the country is also losing ground in problem areas from the federal budget to corruption to the environment.