"That’s a number you don’t often see."

Carroll Doherty, director of political research at the Pew Research Center, speaking at our Generations in the Next America event about Millennials and politics.  Follow our live blog.

Half of Millennials call themselves independent, versus 27% Democrats and 17% Republicans. But when you include those who “lean” toward one party or another, half identify with the Democratic Party versus 34% for the Republican Party.

Who’s angry at the government today?
If the federal government shuts down over a budget disagreement, about as many Americans would blame the Republicans (39%) as would blame the Obama administration (36%), with 17% volunteering that both would be equally to blame.

If the federal government shuts down over a budget disagreement, about as many Americans would blame the Republicans (39%) as would blame the Obama administration (36%), with 17% volunteering that both would be equally to blame.

Our study from late March found a partisan divide on opinions towards immigrants.

Our study from late March found a partisan divide on opinions towards immigrants.

Republicans continue to trail Democrats and Independents in their support for legalizing marijuana, but a growing minority now hold this view. Among Republicans, most conservatives oppose legalization, while about half of self-described liberals and moderates support it.
Click through our full slideshow here.

Republicans continue to trail Democrats and Independents in their support for legalizing marijuana, but a growing minority now hold this view. Among Republicans, most conservatives oppose legalization, while about half of self-described liberals and moderates support it.

Click through our full slideshow here.

"In my decades of polling, I recall only one moment when a party had been driven as far from the center as the Republican Party has been today…"


 JUST RELEASED: 

Nearly half of gun owners (48%) volunteer that the main reason they own a gun is for protection; just 32% say they have a gun primarily for hunting and even fewer cite other reasons, such as target shooting. In 1999, 49% said they owned a gun mostly for hunting, while just 26% cited protection as the biggest factor. 

Among the survey’s other major findings:

  •  Gun owners and non-gun owners have fundamental disagreements over the effectiveness of new gun laws. Two-thirds (66%) of those who live in households that do not have guns say stricter gun laws would reduce the number of deaths in mass shootings, compared with just 35% of gun owners.
  • Women make up just 26% of all gun owners. Most women say the main reason they own a gun is for protection; among men, protection also is the main reason, though men are more likely than women to say they own a gun for hunting.
  • Partisan differences in attitudes about many gun-related issues are at least as great as the differences between gun owners and non-gun owners. Fully 79% of Democrats say tougher gun laws would cut down on the number of deaths from mass shootings; just 29% of Republicans agree.

In case you missed it: our latest survey on political party image, from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

At a time when the Republican Party’s image is at a historic low, a Pew Research Center survey on the political parties finds 62% of the public says the GOP is out of touch with the American people, 56% think it is not open to change and 52% say the party is too extreme. Opinions about the Democratic Party are mixed, but the party is mostly viewed more positively than the GOP.

At a time when the Republican Party’s image is at a historic low, a Pew Research Center survey on the political parties finds 62% of the public says the GOP is out of touch with the American people, 56% think it is not open to change and 52% say the party is too extreme. Opinions about the Democratic Party are mixed, but the party is mostly viewed more positively than the GOP.

Change over time in Americans’ preferences for increasing or decreasing spending on various programs. The long-term trend over the past quarter-century is, for the most part, away from spending growth.

Change over time in Americans’ preferences for increasing or decreasing spending on various programs. The long-term trend over the past quarter-century is, for the most part, away from spending growth.

62% of the general public favors strict emission limits on power plants to address climate change. However, while 72% of Democrats favor this policy, only 42% of Republicans do.

By a wide margin (71% to 26%), the public favors increasing the minimum wage from its current level of $7.25 per hour to $9.00 an hour. But while large majorities of Democrats (87%) and independents (68%) favor raising the minimum wage, Republicans are evenly divided (50% favor, 47% oppose).

What are you tracking in the news? Our latest survey shows the debate over gun control topped the public’s news interests last week. 37% say they followed the gun control debate very closely. Interest was comparably high among Democrats (43% very closely) and Republicans (39%). 

What are you tracking in the news? Our latest survey shows the debate over gun control topped the public’s news interests last week. 37% say they followed the gun control debate very closely. Interest was comparably high among Democrats (43% very closely) and Republicans (39%). 

The public expresses mixed views of Marco Rubio, following his response to Obama’s State of the Union address. Overall, 26% view Rubio favorably, 29% unfavorably, and 46% cannot offer a rating. Rubio receives particularly high ratings among those who agree with the Tea Party. Read more.

While the public is pessimistic about the prospects for bipartisan cooperation in Washington, the public’s desire for political compromise in Washington has increased notably.  Today, 50% say they prefer politicians who compromise while 44% like leaders who stick to their positions.