Americans on Health Care

More than half (54%) of Americans disapprove of Obama’s signature health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, according to a Pew Research survey from December; 41% said they approved of the law. Nearly half (48%) said the law would make the nation’s health care situation worse in the long run, 35% said it would make it better, and 12% said it wouldn’t make much difference either way.

See more from our #SOTU2014 data roundup.

As Obama prepares for tonight’s State of the Union, his job rating on balance is more negative than positive. Currently 43% approve of the way Obama is handling his job as president, while 49% disapprove. While that is little changed since December, a year ago 52% approved of his job performance and 40% disapproved. 

As Obama prepares for tonight’s State of the Union, his job rating on balance is more negative than positive. Currently 43% approve of the way Obama is handling his job as president, while 49% disapprove. While that is little changed since December, a year ago 52% approved of his job performance and 40% disapproved. 

Our annual list of the public’s top policy priorities is out, just in time for tomorrow’s State of the Union address. For the first time since Barack Obama took office in 2009, deficit reduction has slipped as a policy priority among the public. 

Our annual list of the public’s top policy priorities is out, just in time for tomorrow’s State of the Union address. For the first time since Barack Obama took office in 2009, deficit reduction has slipped as a policy priority among the public. 

"Roughly two-thirds of Democrats (67%) and independents (65%) say that humans have evolved over time, compared with less than half of Republicans (43%)."

Six-in-Ten Americans Believe in Evolution

Supporters of same-sex marriage won key victories in several states Tuesday, including the first instances in which laws allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally were approved by voters.

This comes at a time when support for same-sex marriage has been on the rise. Across four Pew Research Center surveys this year, 48% of Americans say they favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally, while 43% are opposed. Just four years ago, in the 2008 election cycle, 51% opposed making same-sex marriages legal and 39% supported it. 

The recent gains come after years of electoral setbacks for advocates of same-sex marriage. More than 30 states have prohibited gay marriage by popular vote over the past 15 years. 
A look at different regions of the country finds wide disparities in attitudes about same-sex marriage. The states that approved measures this week are all in regions generally supportive of allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally. Other parts of the country are not as supportive.

Scott Keeter, Director of Survey Research at the Pew Research Center, discusses on C-Span how polls are designed and executed, what polls do an do not indicate and the technological challenges facing the polling industry.  


(Source: c-spanvideo.org)

Presidential Race Even: Romney Holds Turnout Edge. As the presidential campaign enters its final week, Barack Obama has failed to regain much of the support he lost in the days following the first presidential debate and the race is now even among likely voters, according to our just released nationwide survey.  
47% of likely voters favor Obama while an identical percentage supports Mitt Romney.
Obama holds a statistically insignificant two-point edge among registered voters: 47% to 45%.
When the sample is narrowed to likely voters, the balance of opinion shifts slightly in Romney’s direction, reflecting Romney’s turnout advantage over Obama, which could loom larger as Election Day approaches. 
In both earlier October surveys, more Republicans and Republican leaners than Democrats and Democratic leaners are predicted to be likely voters. In September, the gap was more modest.
The deadlock in candidate support continues to reflect the strengths and weaknesses of the two candidates. Romney’s personal image has improved substantially since the summer, and his favorability rating among registered voters (50%) is now about the same as Obama’s (52%).
But Obama continues to lead his rival on many personal characteristics and issues. Obama is seen as the candidate with more moderate positions on issues and as more willing to work with members of the other party. He also holds wide advantages on empathy and consistency. Obama leads Romney by about two-to-one (59% to 31%) as the candidate who connects well with ordinary Americans, and by 51% to 36% as the candidate who takes consistent positions on issues.

Presidential Race Even: Romney Holds Turnout Edge. As the presidential campaign enters its final week, Barack Obama has failed to regain much of the support he lost in the days following the first presidential debate and the race is now even among likely voters, according to our just released nationwide survey.  

  • 47% of likely voters favor Obama while an identical percentage supports Mitt Romney.
  • Obama holds a statistically insignificant two-point edge among registered voters: 47% to 45%.
  • When the sample is narrowed to likely voters, the balance of opinion shifts slightly in Romney’s direction, reflecting Romney’s turnout advantage over Obama, which could loom larger as Election Day approaches. 
  • In both earlier October surveys, more Republicans and Republican leaners than Democrats and Democratic leaners are predicted to be likely voters. In September, the gap was more modest.
  • The deadlock in candidate support continues to reflect the strengths and weaknesses of the two candidates. Romney’s personal image has improved substantially since the summer, and his favorability rating among registered voters (50%) is now about the same as Obama’s (52%).
  • But Obama continues to lead his rival on many personal characteristics and issues. Obama is seen as the candidate with more moderate positions on issues and as more willing to work with members of the other party. He also holds wide advantages on empathy and consistency. Obama leads Romney by about two-to-one (59% to 31%) as the candidate who connects well with ordinary Americans, and by 51% to 36% as the candidate who takes consistent positions on issues.
With the election less than two weeks away, Americans are following the presidential campaign more closely on nearly every news platform than they were earlier in the year, including print newspapers. 
The biggest gains have come on the internet-both to the websites of traditional news sources and those native to the web. 
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are growing especially rapidly as a source of political news. The number of Americans who say they regularly go to these destinations to learn about the campaign has doubled since January. Even with that jump, however, these leading social media platforms are still turned to by a relatively limited number of Americans, about 17% in all, when those who mentioned at least one of those platforms are combined. 
When asked which sources of campaign news had been “most useful,” nearly half of Americans named television in one of its various forms. Cable news was first on that list, named as the most useful source by 24%; a little more than a quarter volunteered various forms of the internet, while a third as many named local or national newspapers (8%) or radio (6%).

With the election less than two weeks away, Americans are following the presidential campaign more closely on nearly every news platform than they were earlier in the year, including print newspapers.

  • The biggest gains have come on the internet-both to the websites of traditional news sources and those native to the web. 
  • Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are growing especially rapidly as a source of political news. The number of Americans who say they regularly go to these destinations to learn about the campaign has doubled since January. Even with that jump, however, these leading social media platforms are still turned to by a relatively limited number of Americans, about 17% in all, when those who mentioned at least one of those platforms are combined. 
  • When asked which sources of campaign news had been “most useful,” nearly half of Americans named television in one of its various forms. Cable news was first on that list, named as the most useful source by 24%; a little more than a quarter volunteered various forms of the internet, while a third as many named local or national newspapers (8%) or radio (6%).
Have you taken our News IQ Quiz yet?
See if you know more about the presidential election than the average American voter in our 11-question quiz. 

Have you taken our News IQ Quiz yet?

See if you know more about the presidential election than the average American voter in our 11-question quiz. 

Conservative, Intelligent, Good, Unknown, and Young. These are the words most frequently used to describe Paul Ryan, in a recent national survey by the Pew Research Center and the Washington Post.  People offered a roughly equal number of positive and negative descriptions. Of those offering a one-word reaction, 37% describe Ryan in clearly positive terms, using such words as intelligent, good, energetic , honest and smart. Another 35% of the words used are clearly negative in tone, such as idiot, extreme, phony and scary. The remaining 28% of the descriptions were not clearly positive or negative, such as conservative, unknown and young. 

Conservative, Intelligent, Good, Unknown, and Young. These are the words most frequently used to describe Paul Ryan, in a recent national survey by the Pew Research Center and the Washington Post.  People offered a roughly equal number of positive and negative descriptions. Of those offering a one-word reaction, 37% describe Ryan in clearly positive terms, using such words as intelligent, good, energetic , honest and smart. Another 35% of the words used are clearly negative in tone, such as idiot, extreme, phony and scary. The remaining 28% of the descriptions were not clearly positive or negative, such as conservative, unknown and young. 


Where do you fit on the political spectrum and how do you compare to others?  Take our 12 question political party quiz, based on our national survey, and we’ll tell you where you fit on the political spectrum overall, as well as on economic and social issues.  

Where do you fit on the political spectrum and how do you compare to others?  Take our 12 question political party quiz, based on our national survey, and we’ll tell you where you fit on the political spectrum overall, as well as on economic and social issues.  

Fewer, Poorer, Gloomier – The Lost Decade of the Middle Class

As the 2012 presidential candidates prepare their closing arguments to America’s middle class, they are courting a group that has endured a lost decade for economic well-being. Since 2000, the middle class has shrunk in size, fallen backward in income and wealth, and shed some of its characteristic faith in the future, according to a new nationwide survey of middle-class adults and an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau and Federal Reserve data.

  • 85% of Americans who describe themselves as middle class say it is more difficult now than it was a decade ago for middle-class people to maintain their standard of living.
  • For the middle-income group, the “lost decade” of the 2000s has been even worse for wealth loss than for income loss, as median wealth declined by 28%. 
  • The middle-income tier included 51% of all adults in 2011, down from 61% in 1971. According to 2010 data, only the upper tier has increased its share of America’s total household income, while the middle class took in 45%, down from 62%. 
  • Neither Obama nor Romney has closed the deal with the beleaguered middle class.
  • 62% say “a lot” of the blame lies with Congress, more than with banks and financial institutions, large corporations, the Bush administration, the Obama administration, foreign competition or the middle class itself. 

The report examines trends in middle-class income and wealth and attitudes of middle-class individuals, including how they define the middle class, how they view the future, which presidential candidate they view as best for the middle class and much more.  Read more at http://www.pewsocialtrends.com/middle-class/

Reports that the Democratic Party may add support for gay marriage to its party platform are in keeping with a significant shift of opinion on this issue among Democrats. About two-thirds (65%) say they favor gay marriage, up 15 points since 2008, compared with 24% of Republicans, up from 19% in 2008.  Overall, public opinion on same-sex marriage remains divided.

Reports that the Democratic Party may add support for gay marriage to its party platform are in keeping with a significant shift of opinion on this issue among Democrats. About two-thirds (65%) say they favor gay marriage, up 15 points since 2008, compared with 24% of Republicans, up from 19% in 2008.  Overall, public opinion on same-sex marriage remains divided.

(Source: pewforum.org)

Most Voters Comfortable with Romney’s Mormon Faith
While most voters continue to say it’s important for a president to have strong religious beliefs, there is little evidence that concerns about Obama or Romney’s faith will have much of an impact on the 2012 election. 
Key findings from our latest national survey (conducted June 28-July 9, 2012):
60% of voters who know Romney is Mormon are comfortable with that and 21% say it doesn’t matter to them. 
Almost four years into his presidency the view that Obama is Muslim persists; 17% of registered votes say Obama is Muslim, while 49% say he is Christian and 31% say they don’t know his religion.  
The percentage of voters identifying Obama’s religion as Christian has increased from August 2010 from 38% to 49%, while there has been little change in the percentage saying he is Muslim.  
Fewer say Obama is Christian and more say he is Muslim than did so in October 2008, at the end of the last presidential campaign, particularly among conservative Republicans.  
Overall, 45% of voters say they are comfortable with Obama’s religion, while 19% are uncomfortable.  
Read the report at http://pewrsr.ch/OdqJFe
 
 

Most Voters Comfortable with Romney’s Mormon Faith

While most voters continue to say it’s important for a president to have strong religious beliefs, there is little evidence that concerns about Obama or Romney’s faith will have much of an impact on the 2012 election.

Key findings from our latest national survey (conducted June 28-July 9, 2012):

  • 60% of voters who know Romney is Mormon are comfortable with that and 21% say it doesn’t matter to them. 
  • Almost four years into his presidency the view that Obama is Muslim persists; 17% of registered votes say Obama is Muslim, while 49% say he is Christian and 31% say they don’t know his religion.  
  • The percentage of voters identifying Obama’s religion as Christian has increased from August 2010 from 38% to 49%, while there has been little change in the percentage saying he is Muslim.  
  • Fewer say Obama is Christian and more say he is Muslim than did so in October 2008, at the end of the last presidential campaign, particularly among conservative Republicans.  
  • Overall, 45% of voters say they are comfortable with Obama’s religion, while 19% are uncomfortable.  

Read the report at http://pewrsr.ch/OdqJFe

 

 

With more than three months to go before Election Day, most voters already feel that there’s little left to learn about the presidential candidates. 
When it comes to Barack Obama, 90% say they already pretty much know what they need to know about him; just 8% say they need to learn more. 
A substantial majority (69%) also says they already mostly know what they need to know about Mitt Romney. Only about a quarter (28%) say they need to learn more to get a clear impression of Romney. 
Fully two-thirds of voters say they already know as much as they need to about both presidential candidates.
41% of voters say they would like to learn more about Romney’s record as governor, 36% would like to learn more about his tax returns, while 35% want to know more about his record as chief executive of Bain Capital. Far fewer want to hear more about Romney’s wealth (21%), his family and upbringing (19%) or his religious beliefs (16%).
 Read the report at http://pewrsr.ch/OeO4ov

With more than three months to go before Election Day, most voters already feel that there’s little left to learn about the presidential candidates.

  • When it comes to Barack Obama, 90% say they already pretty much know what they need to know about him; just 8% say they need to learn more. 
  • A substantial majority (69%) also says they already mostly know what they need to know about Mitt Romney. Only about a quarter (28%) say they need to learn more to get a clear impression of Romney. 
  • Fully two-thirds of voters say they already know as much as they need to about both presidential candidates.
  • 41% of voters say they would like to learn more about Romney’s record as governor, 36% would like to learn more about his tax returns, while 35% want to know more about his record as chief executive of Bain Capital. Far fewer want to hear more about Romney’s wealth (21%), his family and upbringing (19%) or his religious beliefs (16%).

 Read the report at http://pewrsr.ch/OeO4ov

(Source: people-press.org)