News

Pew Poll: Perceptions of Job News Trend Upward    Tuesday, December 16, 2014
For the first time in at least five years, as many Americans say they are hearing good news (26%) as bad news (25%) about the nation’s job situation; a 45% plurality reports hearing a mix of good and bad news. This is the first time that more than 20% have expressed positive views about job news since the Pew Research Center began tracking this question in 2009. In June of that year, just 1% said news about the job situation was mostly good, and 71% said it was mostly bad. In the last year alone, the share hearing mostly bad news about jobs has fallen 15 points, while the percentage hearing mostly good news has risen nine points. When it comes to news about the overall economy, most continue to say that they’re hearing a mix of good and bad news (63%), while 21% say they are hearing mostly bad news and 14% are hearing mostly good news. The gap between positive and negative perceptions has narrowed considerably since a year ago, when 31% were hearing bad news and 7% were hearing good news. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted December 11-14, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,001 adults age 18 or older, including 501 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: About Half See CIA Interrogation Methods as Justified    Monday, December 15, 2014
Following the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA interrogation practices in the period following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, 51% of the public says they think the CIA methods were justified, compared with just 29% who say they were not justified; 20% do not express an opinion. The new national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that amid competing claims over the effectiveness of CIA interrogation methods, 56% believe they provided intelligence that helped prevent terrorist attacks, while just half as many (28%) say they did not provide this type of intelligence. Partisan divides on these questions are wide. A large majority of Republicans (76%) say the interrogation methods used by the CIA after 9/11 were justified. Democrats are divided – 37% say the methods were justified, while 46% disagree. About twice as many liberal Democrats (65%) as conservative and moderate Democrats (32%) say the CIA’s interrogation techniques were not justified. Overall, the public expresses the most doubt not about the CIA methods and program itself, but about the Senate committee’s decision to release its report: as many call the decision to publicly release the findings the wrong decision (43%) as the right decision (42%). The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted December 11-14, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,001 adults age 18 or older, including 501 cell phone interviews.

Pew Religion Poll: Most Say Religious Holiday Displays on Public Property Are OK    Monday, December 15, 2014
Controversies over public displays of religious symbols on government property annually pop up during the holiday season. For example, Florida officials faced a quandary again this year when they invited religious groups to erect displays in the State Capitol building and wound up not only with a Christian nativity scene but also with an atheist’s “Festivus” pole made of beer cans and a local satanic temple’s depiction of a fallen angel. Such controversies often end up in the courts, creating a set of legal precedents that public officials – and their lawyers – have to take into account at this time each year. A new Pew Research Center survey finds that 44% of Americans say Christian symbols like nativity scenes should be allowed on government property even if they are not accompanied by symbols from other religions. In addition, 28% of U.S. adults say that such symbols should be permitted, but only if they are accompanied by symbols from other religions, such as Hanukkah candles. One-in-five (20%) say there should be no religious displays on government property, period. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted December 3-7, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,507 adults age 18 or older, including 902 cell phone interviews.

Pew Global: Pope Francis’ Image Positive in Much of World    Thursday, December 11, 2014
Pope Francis, leader of the world’s nearly 1.1 billion Catholics, enjoys broad support across much of the world, according to a new survey report by the Pew Research Center. A median of 60% across 43 nations have a favorable view of the pontiff. Only 11% see the pope unfavorably, and 28% give no rating. Francis’ strongest support comes from Europe, where a median of 84% offer a favorable rating. Latin America – the pope’s home region – also gives him high marks, with 72% saying they have a positive opinion.1 However, Francis is less well-known in other parts of the world. In Africa, 44% say they like the pope, but 40% offer no rating. Asians are similarly unfamiliar with Francis, with 41% supporting him and 45% expressing no opinion. The Middle East is the most negative toward Francis, with a quarter viewing him unfavorably. However, an equal number (25%) give a positive rating and a plurality (41%) do not rate him. Americans are particularly fond of Pope Francis, with more than three-quarters (78%) giving him positive marks. Results for the survey are based on interviews from October 30, 2013 to March 4, 2014, among 14,564 respondents in nine Latin American countries, and another from March 17 to June 5, 2014, among 36,430 respondents in 34 countries, under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International.

Pew Poll: Few See Quick Cure for Nation’s Political Divisions    Thursday, December 11, 2014
As 2014 draws to a close, the public is deeply pessimistic about the prospects for healing the nation’s deep political divisions. And most Americans think continued partisan gridlock would wreak significant damage on the country. To start, perceptions of the current level of political division continue at record levels: 81% say the country is more politically divided these days than in the past. While that is little changed from two years ago, it is as high a percentage expressing this view as at any point over the past decade. Looking ahead, few Americans expect the nation’s political differences to diminish. Just 17% think the country will be less politically divided five years from now. More than three-quarters (78%) say either the country will be as about divided as is today (41%), or more politically divided (36%). A skeptical public does not expect much cooperation from either Barack Obama or Republicans in Congress over the next two years: 44% expect Barack Obama to cooperate with GOP leaders either a great deal or fair amount. Even fewer (28%) expect Congressional Republicans to cooperate with Obama. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted December 3-7, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,507 adults age 18 or older, including 902 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Immigration Action Gets Mixed Response, But Legal Pathway Still Popular    Thursday, December 11, 2014
The public is divided over President Obama’s recent executive action that expands the number of undocumented immigrants permitted to stay and work in the U.S. At the same time, Americans continue to broadly support a pathway to legal status for people in this country illegally. About as many disapprove (50%) as approve (46%) of Obama’s action, which could make up to 4 million people newly eligible for deportation relief. Roughly eight-in-ten Republicans (82%) disapprove of the executive action and about seven-in-ten Democrats (71%) approve of it, with very strong attitudes on both sides. The new national survey by the Pew Research Center and USA TODAY finds that 70% say there should be a way for undocumented immigrants to stay in the country legally, if they meet certain requirements.  Most of those who support legal status think there should be a way for unauthorized immigrants to become citizens (43% overall), while 24% say the path should only include permanent residency. These opinions are little changed from October.  majority of the public continues to give poor marks to Obama on how he is handling the nation’s immigration policy (56% disapprove vs. 38% approve). But his immigration approval rating is six points higher than it was in November 2013 — and is up 24 points among Hispanics since then (67% approval, up from 43%). The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted December 3-7, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,507 adults age 18 or older, including 902 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Growing Public Support for Gun Rights    Wednesday, December 10, 2014
For the first time in more than two decades of Pew Research Center surveys, there is more support for gun rights than gun control. Currently, 52% say it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns, while 46% say it is more important to control gun ownership. Support for gun rights has edged up from earlier this year, and marks a substantial shift in attitudes since shortly after the Newtown school shootings, which occurred two years ago this Sunday. The balance of opinion favored gun control in the immediate aftermath of the Newtown tragedy in December 2012, and again a month later. Since January 2013, support for gun rights has increased seven percentage points – from 45% to 52% — while the share prioritizing gun control has fallen five points (from 51% to 46%). The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center also finds a shift in attitudes about whether gun ownership in this country does more to protect people or put people’s safety at risk. Nearly six-in-ten Americans (57%) say gun ownership does more to protect people from becoming victims of crime, while 38% say it does more to endanger personal safety. In the days after Newtown, 48% said guns do more to protect people and 37% said they placed people at risk. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted December 3-7, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,507 adults age 18 or older, including 902 cell phone interviews.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: November 2014    Friday, November 21, 2014
The latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that just prior to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) open enrollment beginning this past Saturday, the uninsured remained largely unaware of its start, although about half of the uninsured expect to get health insurance in the next few months and seven in ten say that health insurance is something they need. Opinion on the law remains similar to past months – 46 percent say they have an unfavorable view of the law and 37 percent say they have a favorable view. Americans are divided as to what Congress should do next on the law – 29 percent say they support repealing the law entirely, 17 percent say they support scaling back what the law does, 20 percent support moving ahead with the law as is, and 22 percent feel that the law should be expanded. But like opinion on the law overall, partisans fall on opposite ends of the spectrum. The public has no expectation that debate on the ACA will die down soon; a finding that Democrats and Republicans agree on. Most say that now that the midterm elections are over the amount of partisan debate will increase or stay about the same. Finally, on the heels of the midterm elections, few voters (9 percent) named health care as one of the two most important factors in their vote, ranking 5th behind partisan control of Congress (27 percent), a candidate’s platform (18 percent), the economy and jobs (17 percent), dissatisfaction with government (16 percent) and similar to a candidate’s personal characteristics (9 percent). The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted November 5-13, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,501 adults age 18 or older, including 750 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Little Enthusiasm, Familiar Divisions After the GOP’s Big Midterm Victory    Wednesday, November 12, 2014
After a sweeping midterm election victory on Nov. 4, the Republican Party retook full control of Congress. But the public has mixed reactions to the GOP’s big win – much as it did four years ago, after Republicans gained control of the House though not the Senate. The post-election survey by the Pew Research Center finds that about half of Americans (48%) are happy the Republican Party won control of the Senate, while 38% are unhappy. That is almost a carbon copy of the public’s reactions to the 2010 election: 48% were happy the GOP won control of the House, while 34% were unhappy. There was much greater public enthusiasm after the Democrats gained control of Congress in 2006, and after the GOP swept to victory in both the House and Senate in the 1994 midterm election. As was the case four years ago, the public is divided over GOP leaders’ policy plans. About as many approve (44%) as disapprove (43%) of Republican congressional leaders’ policies and plans for the future. Following the 2010 election, 41% approved and 37% disapproved of Republican leaders’ plans. The public by wide margins approved of Democratic leaders’ future plans and policies in 2006 (50% to 21%) and Republican leaders’ proposals in 1994 (52% to 28%). The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted November 6-9, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,353 adults age 18 or older, including 812 cell phone interviews.

Pew Global: Global Public Downbeat about Economy    Sunday, November 09, 2014
Six years after the beginning of the Great Recession, amid an uneven global economic recovery, publics around the world remain glum. In most nations, people say their country is heading in the wrong direction and most voice the view that economic conditions are bad, according to a new 44 country survey by the Pew Research Center conducted among 48,643 respondents from March 17 to June 5, 2014. This is the first in a series of Pew Research Center reports based on the Spring 2014 global survey that will look at public views of major economic changes in advanced, emerging and developing nations. A global median of 60% see their country’s economy performing poorly. This includes 64% of those surveyed in advanced economies and 59% in emerging markets. Only in developing economies is there some semblance of satisfaction with economic performance: 51% voice the view that their economy is doing well. Those who see their economy in the most negative light are the Greeks (97% say economic conditions are bad), Italians (96%), Spanish (93%) and Ukrainians (93%). In the United States, 58% are of the opinion that the American economy is not doing well; only 40% say its performance is good. (For more on the U.S. economy, see Views of Job Market Tick Up, No Rise in Economic Optimism.) Those most positive about their national economic conditions are the Chinese (89%), Vietnamese (87%) and Germans (85%). Results for the survey are based on 46,643 interviews from 44 countries conducted between March 17 and June 5, 2014 under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International.

Pew Poll: Fewer Voters Report Getting Robo-Calls, Campaign Ads Still Pervasive    Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Voters are reporting roughly similar levels of contact from political campaigns and groups as four years ago, with one notable exception. The share of voters who say they have received a phone call about the election has fallen 12 points since mid-October 2010, from 59% to 47%. This decline has been driven by a fall in the percentage saying they have gotten pre-recorded campaign calls, or robo-calls. Just 41% of registered voters say they have gotten a pre-recorded call about the elections, down from 55% in mid-October 2010. About one-in-five (22%) say they have received a live campaign call, the same as at this point in the 2010 campaign. The new national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that other forms of campaign outreach appear to be close to levels measured in 2010. Nearly two-thirds of voters (65%) say they have gotten printed mail from candidates or political groups, down from 71% in mid-October 2010; 30% have gotten an email, compared with 26% then. Slightly fewer voters say they have been visited at home by someone than did so four years ago (14% now, 18% then). And the share of voters receiving text messages from candidates or political groups has remained flat (at 4%) since 2010. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted October 8-14, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 2,003 adults age 18 or older, including 1201 cell phone interviews and 1,494 registered voters.



Pew Poll: As Midterms Near, GOP Leads on Key Issues, Democrats Have a More Positive Image    Thursday, October 23, 2014
With less than two weeks before the midterm elections, the Republican Party holds significant leads on several major issues. Voters say the GOP could do a better job than the Democrats on the economy, and the Republicans hold double-digit advantages on both terrorism and the budget deficit. However, the Democrats have advantages on a number of qualities and traits – from honesty to empathy and a willingness to compromise. And on some dimensions, the Republican Party is viewed less positively by voters than it was just prior to the 2010 election, when it captured the House. The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that neither party is especially popular with voters as they head into the midterms. The GOP’s favorable ratings are underwater: 39% of registered voters view the party favorably, while 55% have an unfavorable impression. Favorable ratings for the Democratic Party, while better than the GOP’s, are hardly robust: As many voters view the party unfavorably (48%) as favorably (47%). The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted October 8-14, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 2,003 adults age 18 or older, including 1201 cell phone interviews and 1,494 registered voters.


Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: October 2014    Wednesday, October 22, 2014
In the final Kaiser Health Tracking Poll before the 2014 midterm elections in November, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues to be just one of several issues on voters’ minds. Less than 1 in 10 registered voters (8 percent) identify the ACA as the most important issue to their vote, ranking 5th behind the economy (16 percent), dissatisfaction with government (12 percent), education (10 percent) and the situation in Iraq and Syria (9 percent). The ACA ranks 4th for Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike. Just over half of voters say they’re tired of hearing Congressional candidates talk about the ACA and wish they would move on to other issues, while 44 percent say they want candidates to continue the discussion. Meanwhile, as campaigns make their final appeal to voters, 6 in 10 report seeing political advertising related to the ACA, with more saying they have seen mostly negative advertising about the ACA rather than mostly positive. On the heels of the election is the start of the ACA’s second open enrollment period on November 15th, and, at this point, one key target – the uninsured – are not yet tuned in. About 9 in 10 of the uninsured are unaware of when the next open enrollment period begins. More specifically, two thirds of the uninsured say they know “only a little” or “nothing at all” about the marketplaces where people can shop for insurance and just over half are unaware of financial assistance available to help low- and moderate-income people purchase insurance. Among the general public more broadly, views on the ACA remain similar to past months with more expressing unfavorable views of the law than favorable and more wanting Congress to work to improve the law rather than repeal it. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted October 8-14, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,503 adults age 18 or older, including 752 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Support for U.S. Campaign against ISIS; Doubts about Its Effectiveness, Objectives    Wednesday, October 22, 2014
The public continues to support the U.S. military campaign against Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria. But most Americans say the U.S. military effort against ISIS is not going well, and just 30% think the U.S. and  The new national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Oct. 15-20 among 2,003 adults, finds that 57% approve of the U.S. military campaign against Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria, while just 33% disapprove. Support is highest among Republicans (68%); majorities of Democrats (54%) and independents (55%) also approve.its allies have a “clear goal” in taking military action. Yet negative evaluations of how well the U.S. military campaign against ISIS is going also cross party lines: 64% of Republicans, 61% of independents and 52% of Democrats say the military campaign is going not too well or not at all well. Moreover, majorities across the board – 70% of Republicans, 65% of independents and 54% of Democrats – think the United States and its allies lack a clear goal in taking military action against Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted October 15-20, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 2,003 adults age 18 or older, including 1,201 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Ebola Worries Rise, But Most Are ‘Fairly’ Confident in Government, Hospitals to Deal With Disease    Tuesday, October 21, 2014
Public concern about the spread of the Ebola virus in the U.S. has increased since early October. Currently, 41% are worried that they themselves or someone in their family will be exposed to the virus, including 17% who say they are very worried. In a survey two weeks ago, 32% worried about exposure to Ebola; 11% said they were very worried. Most people (58%) express little or no concern about becoming exposed to Ebola, though that is down from 67% in early October. And majorities have at least a fair amount of confidence in both the federal government and U.S. hospitals to deal with the disease. The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that 54% express either a great deal (18%) or fair amount (36%) of confidence in the federal government to “prevent a major outbreak of the Ebola virus in the U.S.” This is little changed from early October, when 57% had a great deal or fair amount of confidence in the government to prevent a major Ebola outbreak. About six-in ten Americans (61%) have a great deal or fair amount of confidence in U.S. hospitals “to diagnose and isolate possible cases of Ebola,” while 38% have little or no confidence. However, just as relatively few people (18%) express a “great deal” of confidence in the government to prevent a major Ebola outbreak as have a high degree of confidence in hospitals to diagnose of isolate Ebola cases (16%). The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted October 15-20, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 2,003 adults age 18 or older, including 1,201 cell phone interviews.

Pew Global: Middle Easterners See Religious and Ethnic Hatred as Top Global Threat    Thursday, October 16, 2014
With growing conflicts engulfing the Middle East, people in the region name religious and ethnic hatred most frequently as the greatest threat to the world. Moreover, publics across the globe see the threat of religious and ethnic violence as a growing threat to the world’s future. But in Europe, concerns about inequality trump all other dangers and the gap between the rich and the poor is increasingly considered the world’s top problem by people living in advanced economies, including the United States. Elsewhere, Asians and Latin Americans are somewhat divided about the world’s greatest danger, but pollution and environmental problems as well as the spread of nuclear weapons are high on their list of threats. African countries see AIDS and other infectious diseases as the most pressing issue in the world today. Across the nations surveyed, opinions on which of the five dangers is the top threat to the world vary greatly by region and country, and in many places there is no clear consensus. Around a quarter of Americans say the growing gap between the rich and the poor (27%) is the greatest threat to the world today, with 24% saying this about religious and ethnic hatred and 23% expressing concern about the spread of nuclear weapons. Fewer say pollution and other environmental problems (15%) or AIDS and other infectious diseases (7%) are the world’s top problems. Results for the survey are based on 46,643 interviews from 44 countries conducted between March 17 and June 5, 2014 under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International.

Bankrate: Two-Thirds of Americans Are Holding Back on Spending    Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Financial security among Americans increased in October for the third straight month, according to a monthly reading by Bankrate.com. Bankrate's Financial Security Index increased to a measurement of 101, thanks to an improvement in job security, comfort level with debt, net worth and overall financial situation. Comfort level with savings deteriorated over the past 12 months, however. The index, which is based on telephone interviews, suggests improved financial security whenever it rises above 100. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted October 2-5, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,007 adults age 18 or older, including 506 cell phone interviews.

Reason Poll: 70% of Americans Oppose Racial Profiling by the Police    Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Protests in Ferguson continue today over the police shooting of an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown. The latest Reason-Rupe poll asked Americans what they thought about a number of issues in the criminal justice system including their perceptions of police abuse, accountability in police departments, and racial bias and injustice.The latest poll finds fully 70 percent of Americans oppose the use of racial profiling in police departments, while 25 percent support this practice. Breaking these numbers down further, 48 percent strongly disapprove, 22 percent somewhat disapprove, while 12 percent somewhat approve and 13 percent strongly approve. The question was careful to avoid using the actual words racial profiling, but described it as follows: “It has been reported that some police officers stop motorists or pedestrians of certain racial or ethnic groups because the officers believe that these groups are more likely than others to commit certain types of crimes. Do you approve or disapprove of this practice by the police?” Considerable demographic and even partisan differences emerge on the practice of racial profiling. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted October 1-6, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,004 adults age 18 or older, including 503 cell phone interviews.

Pew Global: Emerging and Developing Economies Much More Optimistic than Rich Countries about the Future    Thursday, October 09, 2014
As they continue to struggle with the effects of the Great Recession, publics in advanced economies are pessimistic about the financial prospects for the next generation. Most of those surveyed in richer nations think children in their country will be worse off financially than their parents. In contrast, emerging and developing nations are more optimistic that the next generation will have a higher standard of living. Overall, optimism is linked with recent national economic performance. Countries that have enjoyed relatively high levels of growth in recent years also register some of the highest levels of confidence in their children’s economic futures. Looking ahead, people in the emerging and developing world see better opportunities at home than abroad. Majorities or pluralities in 30 of the 34 emerging and developing nations surveyed say they would tell young people in their country to stay at home in order to lead a good life, instead of moving to another country. A good education and hard work are most often seen as the keys to getting ahead in life. This view is especially prevalent in emerging and developing nations, where most see economic opportunity expanding. Still, many also believe success can be determined by things outside a person’s control, such as luck or having a wealthy family.Results for the survey are based on 46,643 interviews from 44 countries conducted between March 17 and June 5, 2014 under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International.

Pew Poll: Most Are Confident in Government’s Ability to Prevent Major Ebola Outbreak in U.S.    Monday, October 06, 2014
As the Ebola outbreak in Africa continues, and two patients receive treatment in the U.S., most Americans have at least a fair amount of confidence in the government’s ability to prevent a major outbreak of Ebola in the U.S. In addition, relatively few are concerned that they or a family member will be exposed to the virus. The new national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that 20% say they have a “great deal” of confidence in the federal government to prevent a major outbreak of Ebola in the U.S., while another 38% say they have a “fair amount” of confidence. Fewer than half express “not too much confidence” (24%) or “no confidence at all” (17%) in the government to prevent a major Ebola outbreak. So far, the Ebola virus has not led to widespread concern about personal health: Just 11% are very worried that they or someone in their family will be exposed to the virus, while another 21% are somewhat worried. Two-thirds say they are either not too (37%) or not at all worried (30%) about contracting Ebola. Public concern over the possibility of contracting the Ebola virus is lower than for other recent public health threats. In August 2009, 45% were worried about the possibility of being exposed to swine flu, and in November 2005, 38% worried about contracting bird flu. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted October 2-5, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,007 adults age 18 or older, including 506 cell phone interviews.

From ISIS to Unemployment: What Do Americans Know?    Thursday, October 02, 2014
The latest Pew Research Center News IQ quiz measures the public’s awareness of key facts in the news: from questions about conflicts around the world to the current minimum wage and the chair of the Federal Reserve. (Before reading this report, take the quiz yourself by clicking here.) The survey finds that a large majority (73%) is able to correctly identify the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour (from a list of other amounts ranging from $5.25 to $12.50). In addition, amid ongoing U.S.-led airstrikes against Islamic militants in the Middle East, 67% can identify Syria as one of the countries in which the militant group known as ISIS currently controls territory (from a list that included Pakistan, Kuwait and Egypt). And 60% know that Ukraine was once part of the Soviet Union; the other choices were Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia and Scandinavia. Other questions prove more challenging. About half (49%) know that the term “Common Core” refers to school curriculum standards. Relatively few choose the other options, which include “the military’s code of conduct,” “abdominal exercises” and “a newly developed microprocessor,” but 37% volunteer that they don’t know the answer. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted September 25-28, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,002 adults age 18 or older, including 501 cell phone interviews.

Bankrate: September 2014 Financial Security Index charts    Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Financial security among Americans improved in September as consumers showed especially strong confidence in their job security and net worth, according to a monthly survey by Bankrate.com. Bankrate's Financial Security Index increased to 100.4, compared with 99.5 from the same period last year. The index, which is based on a national telephone survey, indicates an improvement in financial security over the past 12 months when it rises above 100. The survey estimated that 26 percent of Americans feel more secure about their jobs compared with a year ago, while 14 percent feel less secure. Another 59 percent said they felt the same. The survey also estimated that 27 percent of Americans had a higher net worth this year compared with last year, while net worth declined for another 20 percent. Greg McBride, CFA, Bankrate's chief financial analyst, said that record highs in the stock market, as well as continued increases in home prices, contributed to the strong feelings about job security and net worth. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted September 4-7, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,003 adults age 18 or older, including 502 cell phone interviews.

Pew Religion Poll: Public Sees Religion’s Influence Waning    Tuesday, September 23, 2014
Nearly three-quarters of the public (72%) now thinks religion is losing influence in American life, up 5 percentage points from 2010 to the highest level in Pew Research polling over the past decade. And most people who say religion's influence is waning see this as a bad thing. Perhaps as a consequence, a growing share of the American public wants religion to play a role in U.S. politics. The share of Americans who say churches and other houses of worship should express their views on social and political issues is up 6 points since the 2010 midterm elections (from 43% to 49%). The share who say there has been “too little” expression of religious faith and prayer from political leaders is up modestly over the same period (from 37% to 41%). And a growing minority of Americans (32%) think churches should endorse candidates for political office, though most continue to oppose such direct involvement by churches in electoral politics. The findings reflect a widening divide between religiously affiliated Americans and the rising share of the population that is not affiliated with any religion (sometimes called the “nones”). The public’s appetite for religious influence in politics is increasing in part because those who continue to identify with a religion (e.g., Protestants, Catholics and others) have become significantly more supportive of churches and other houses of worship speaking out about political issues and political leaders talking more often about religion. The “nones” are much more likely to oppose the intermingling of religion and politics. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted September 2-9, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 2,002 adults age 18 or older, including 1,201 cell phone interviews.

Pew Global: Faith and Skepticism about Trade, Foreign Investment    Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Trade and foreign investment engender both faith and skepticism around the world, according to a new Pew Research Center survey of 44 nations. Global publics generally agree that international commercial activity is a good thing, particularly people in developing and emerging economies. But not everyone is convinced, especially in advanced economies. Such skepticism is particularly strong in France, Italy, Japan and the United States. Each of these nations is involved in negotiating major regional trade agreements. That undercurrent of skepticism could complicate current government efforts to further deepen and broaden global markets. Publics across a diverse range of advanced, emerging and developing economies overwhelmingly say that international trade and global business ties are good for their country. A global median of 81% among the nations surveyed hold such views. People also generally voice the opinion (a median of 74%) that it is beneficial for their economy when foreign companies build new factories in their country. Results for the survey are based on 46,643 interviews from 44 countries conducted between March 17 and June 5, 2014 under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International.

Pew Poll: Bipartisan Support for Obama’s Military Campaign Against ISIS    Monday, September 15, 2014
President Obama’s plan for a military campaign against Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria is drawing public support. And, in a rare display of bipartisanship, majorities of both Republicans (64%) and Democrats (60%) approve of the president’s plan. The new national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that overall, 53% approve of Obama’s plan, while 29% disapprove; 19% do not offer an opinion. However, as many say their greater concern is that the U.S. will go too far in getting involved in the situation in Iraq and Syria as that it will not go far enough in stopping Islamic militants (41% each). That represents a shift in opinion since mid-August, when by 51% to 32%, more said their bigger concern was that the U.S. would get too involved in the situation in Iraq. Despite bipartisan support for Obama’s military campaign against ISIS, Republicans and Democrats differ in their concerns for U.S. military action: Most Republicans worry it will not go far enough (66%); by contrast, 54% of Democrats say their bigger concern is that it will go too far. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted September 11-14, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,003 adults age 18 or older, including 501 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Wide Partisan Differences Over the Issues That Matter in 2014    Friday, September 12, 2014
Heading into the final weeks before the midterm elections, Republican and Democratic voters are split not only over their candidate preferences, but also about the importance of key issues in the election. Foreign policy, the budget deficit and immigration are among the most dominant issues for Republican voters; each is named by 70% or more as “very important” to their vote in the fall. But only about half of Democratic voters say each of these issues are very important to their vote decisions. In contrast, both the environment and economic inequality rate as very important to about seven-in-ten Democratic voters—but no more than about four-in-ten Republicans. The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that terrorism and the economy are top issues for both Republican and Democratic voters, though in both cases they rate as more important for Republicans than Democrats. Health care also remains a key issue for voters in both parties this fall, with 77% saying it is very important to their vote. Democratic voters are more likely than Republican voters (80% vs. 75%) to say health care will be very important to their vote in November. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted September 2-9, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 2,002 adults age 18 or older, including 1,201 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Growing Concern about Rise of Islamic Extremism at Home and Abroad    Thursday, September 11, 2014
As President Obama prepares to address the nation about the militant group ISIS, the public has become more worried about Islamic extremism. Six-in-ten (62%) are very concerned about the rise of Islamic extremism around the world, which is the largest share dating back to 2007. A somewhat smaller majority (53%) is very concerned about the possibility of rising Islamic extremism in the U.S, which ties a record high. The new national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that ratings of the government’s job in reducing terrorism have worsened since late last year. Roughly four-in-ten (42%) say the government is doing “not too well” or “not at all well” in reducing the terror threat, up 16 points from November. While the new survey does not ask about ISIS specifically, 67% last month identified the militant group in Iraq and Syria as a “major threat” to the U.S. The survey also finds a shifting balance between concerns about civil liberties and protection from terrorism. In a reversal from last year after Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks, 50% today say they are more concerned that government anti-terrorism policies have not gone far enough to protect the country, while 35% are more concerned that the policies have gone too far in restricting civil liberties. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted September 2-9, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 2,002 adults age 18 or older, including 1,201 cell phone interviews.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: August-September 2014    Tuesday, September 09, 2014
The latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that the public continues to be more likely to express an unfavorable view of the health care law (47 percent) than a favorable one (35 percent). However, after rising to 53 percent in July, the latest poll finds that the share with an unfavorable view fell back down closer to the shares reported earlier in the year.  The share not offering an opinion on the law increased to 19 percent this month, while the share with a favorable view remains similar to previous levels. Even as overall opinion remains more negative than positive, nearly twice as many Americans say they want their Congressional representative to work to improve the law (63 percent) rather than to repeal it and replace it with something else (33 percent). When it comes to personal impact, a majority of the public (56 percent) says the law has not directly impacted them or their families. Of those who say the law has touched them directly, about twice as many report being hurt (27 percent) as report being helped (14 percent). Those who report being hurt by the law mainly say that it has increased the cost of their health care or insurance (16 percent), while those who say the law has helped them mainly say it has allowed someone in their family to get or keep health coverage (6 percent) or made it easier for them to get the health care they need (4 percent). The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted August 25-September 2, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,505 adults age 18 or older, including 752 cell phone interviews.

Pew Global: Global Public Downbeat about Economy    Tuesday, September 09, 2014
Six years after the beginning of the Great Recession, amid an uneven global economic recovery, publics around the world remain glum. In most nations, people say their country is heading in the wrong direction and most voice the view that economic conditions are bad, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center. A global median of 60% see their country’s economy performing poorly. This includes 64% of those surveyed in advanced economies and 59% in emerging markets. Only in developing economies is there some semblance of satisfaction with economic performance: 51% voice the view that their economy is doing well. Those who see their economy in the most negative light are the Greeks (97% say economic conditions are bad), Italians (96%), Spanish (93%) and Ukrainians (93%). In the United States, 58% are of the opinion that the American economy is not doing well; only 40% say its performance is good. Those most positive about their national economic conditions are the Chinese (89%), Vietnamese (87%) and Germans (85%). Results for the survey are based on 46,643 interviews from 44 countries conducted between March 17 and June 5, 2014 under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International.

Atlantic Media/Siemens State of the City Poll, Part 1    Monday, August 25, 2014
According to the new State of the City Poll, when it comes to overall community satisfaction, the suburbs come out on top. The poll, which surveyed a representative sample of over 1,600 U.S. adults on a wide-ranging set of topics related to quality of life and local government policies, found that all things considered, Americans who live in suburban areas are the most satisfied with where they live. Among suburbanites, 84 percent of those surveyed rated the communities where they live as overall excellent or good, compared to 75 percent of urban dwellers and 78 percent of rural residents. More results from this survey to come in the following weeks.

Bankrate August 2014 Financial Security Index    Monday, August 18, 2014
Over a third of all Americans (36%) have not saved any money for retirement, according to a new Bankrate.com  report. Sixty-nine percent of 18-29 year-olds haven’t saved anything, along with 33% of 30-49 year-olds, 26% of 50-64 year-olds and 14% of people 65 and older. The good news is that Americans who are saving are starting earlier. Twice as many 30-49 year-olds started saving in their 20s as opposed to their 30s. But 50-64 year-olds were only slightly more likely to have started saving in their 20s than their 30s, and Americans 65 and older were almost evenly split between starting in their 20s, 30s and 40s. “Regardless of age, there is no better time than the present to start saving for retirement,” says Bankrate.com chief financial analyst Greg McBride, CFA. “The key to a successful retirement is to save early and aggressively, but even those on the cusp of their golden years should have some money allocated toward equities as opposed to all cash and bonds.” Americans’ feelings of financial security were unchanged from one month ago, indicating a slight improvement in their financial security compared to one year ago. Bankrate.com’s August Financial Security Index registered at 100.1. Any number above 100 illustrates improved financial security compared to one year ago, while any number below 100 reflects deteriorating financial security. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted August 7-10, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,003 adults age 18 or older, including 502 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Stark Racial Divisions in Reactions to Ferguson Police Shooting    Monday, August 18, 2014
Blacks and whites have sharply different reactions to the police shooting of an unarmed teen in Ferguson, Mo., and the protests and violence that followed. Blacks are about twice as likely as whites to say that the shooting of Michael Brown “raises important issues about race that need to be discussed.” Wide racial differences also are evident in opinions about of whether local police went too far in the aftermath of Brown’s death, and in confidence in the investigations into the shooting. The new national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that the public overall is divided over whether Brown’s shooting raises important issues about race or whether the issue of race is getting more attention than it deserves: 44% think the case does raise important issues about race that require discussion, while 40% say the issue of race is getting more attention than it deserves. By about four-to-one (80% to 18%), African Americans say the shooting in Ferguson raises important issues about race that merit discussion. By contrast, whites, by 47% to 37%, say the issue of race is getting more attention than it deserves. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted August 14-17, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,000 adults age 18 or older, including 500 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Support for U.S. Airstrikes in Iraq; Concern About Getting Too Involved    Monday, August 18, 2014
As fighting rages in Iraq, most Americans (54%) say they approve of U.S. airstrikes against Islamic militants there, while 31% disapprove. But while the public backs airstrikes, there is widespread concern about the U.S. becoming too involved in Iraq. Overall, 51% say their greater concern about military action is that the U.S. will go too far getting involved in the situation. Fewer (32%) say they are more concerned  that the U.S. will not go far enough in stopping Islamic militants. The new national survey by the Pew Research Center and USA TODAY finds wide partisan divides in views of the Iraq situation. Republicans strongly back U.S. airstrikes against the militants by a 71%-14% margin. In addition, Republicans are far more concerned that the United States won’t go far enough to stop Islamic militants (57%) than that the U.S. will get too involved in Iraq (34%). By contrast, Democrats express more modest support for the airstrikes (54% approve, 35% disapprove). By a 62%-25% margin, more Democrats say their greater concern is that the U.S. will get too involved in the situation, than that the U.S. will not do enough to stop Islamic militants. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted August 14-17, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,000 adults age 18 or older, including 500 cell phone interviews.

Reason Poll: 42% of Likely Voters Plan to Vote Democratic, 41% say Republican, This November    Friday, August 15, 2014
The latest Reason-Rupe poll finds an Democrats and Republicans essentially tied on the generic House ballot. Among likely voters, 42 percent say they plan to vote Democratic while 41 percent say Republican. Likely voters are those who are registered and say they are certain or very likely to vote in the midterms. One of the reasons for the tight ballot is that Republicans are more motivated to vote this November than Democrats or Independents. Among Republicans and Republican leaners, 89 percent are registered and say they are certain or very likely to vote, compared to 67 percent of Democrats. Fifty-nine percent of independents are registered and likely to vote. When likely voters are offered the choice of which party they would prefer control Congress, 34 percent opt for “neither” party, 33 percent say Republicans, and 29 percent say Democrats. Part of the reason for this Republican edge is that even though 54 percent of non-partisan independents would rather “neither” party control Congress; more prefer Republican to Democratic control 26 to 12 percent respectively. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted August 6-10, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,000 adults age 18 or older, including 500 cell phone interviews.

Bankrate Poll: Feeling better and worse about Obamacare    Wednesday, August 06, 2014
Familiarity with the Affordable Care Act has reinforced both negative and positive perceptions of President Barack Obama's historic health care reforms, according to the latest Bankrate Health Insurance Pulse survey. The results also show many Americans are concerned that Obamacare's next enrollment period will bring much higher health insurance rates, and that most lack confidence in whether the online health exchanges, or marketplaces, will work smoothly. "Even people who are in the subsidized plans in the exchanges might be worried … because this is a whole new world for them," says Deborah Chollet, a senior fellow at Mathematica Policy Research in Washington, D.C. "Last September and October when they first went onto HealthCare.gov and looked at premiums, while many of them were pleasantly surprised at how low the prices were, that means they now have something to lose," she says. Asked to assess the impact of Obamacare on their own health care compared with a year ago, a survey-high 37 percent rated it as more negative. That's up 9 percentage points since last August. On the flip side, 16 percent rated Obamacare's personal impact as more positive, tying a survey high. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted July 17-20, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,002 adults age 18 or older, including 500 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Modest Improvement in Views of Economic News    Tuesday, August 05, 2014
Amid recent reports on the U.S. unemployment rate and gross domestic product, public views of economic news have improved modestly since February. A 64%-majority of the public says they are hearing “a mix of both good and bad news” about the economy these days, little changed over the last several months. But about a quarter (24%) say they are hearing mostly bad news about the economy, down from 33% in February and as low as at any point over the past five years. Though relatively few say they are hearing mostly good economic news (10%), this figure has edged higher over the past six months (from 5%). In particular, public perceptions of jobs news have ticked more positive. Today, 20% say they are hearing good news about the job situation, up from 12% in February, while the proportion hearing bad news has dropped from 42% to 34% (a 41% plurality says they are hearing mixed news about the job situation these days). The new national survey by the Pew Research Center finds Americans’ views of news about consumer prices and gas prices are, on balance, negative. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted July 31 - August 3, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,002 adults age 18 or older, including 501 cell phone interviews.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: July 2014    Friday, August 01, 2014
The latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that over half the public has an unfavorable view of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in July, up eight percentage points since last month, while the share viewing the law favorably held steady at just under four in ten. A solid majority continues to prefer that Congress work to improve the law rather than repeal and replace it. The uptick in negative views comes at a time when Americans report hearing more negative than positive things about the ACA in advertising and personal conversations, and when large shares of the public want leaders in Washington to pay more attention to other issues like the economy and jobs, the federal budget deficit, education, and immigration. The poll also finds misperceptions about the ACA persist: fewer than four in ten are aware that enrollees in new insurance under the ACA had a choice between private health plans, while a quarter incorrectly believe they were enrolled in a single government plan and another four in ten are unsure.

Pew Poll: Shifting Views of Supreme Court’s Ideology among Liberals, Conservatives    Thursday, July 31, 2014
Overall views of the U.S. Supreme Court – and its ideology – have changed only modestly since last measured in April before the court’s end-of-term decisions, including the Hobby Lobby ruling that limits the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive requirement. But among liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans there have been sizable changes in opinions of the court; more liberals now view the Supreme Court as conservative – and fewer conservatives view it as liberal – than did so just a few months ago. The national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that as many Americans call the court liberal (26%) as say it is conservative (27%). More (38%) say the current Supreme Court is “middle of the road.” Before the recent rulings, somewhat more viewed the court as liberal (31%) than conservative (25%), with 35% viewing it as middle of the road. Liberal Democrats are much more likely to see the court as conservative after this term’s rulings; fully 60% now say this, compared to less than half in April (47%). Today, liberal Democrats are nearly twice as likely as the public overall to say the court is conservative. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted July 8-14, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,805 adults age 18 or older, including 1,082 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Far More Continue to View Russia as a ‘Serious Problem’ Than as an ‘Adversary’    Monday, July 28, 2014
Most Americans still are not inclined to view Russia as an adversary, though the share saying Russia represents a serious problem has continued to increase, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center. Currently, 26% of the public says that Russia is an adversary, while 49% think it is a serious problem but not an adversary, and just 15% say it is not much of a problem. These opinions have changed only modestly since March, shortly after Russia’s annexation of Crimea. The share saying Russia is an adversary is unchanged since then, while the share saying Russia is a serious problem has increased six percentage points, from 43% to 49%. Since last November, however, there has been a substantial change in public views of Russia. Currently, 75% view Russia either as an adversary or a serious problem, up from 54% in November. And the proportion viewing Russia as not much of a problem has fallen by more than half, from 40% then to just 15% today. A new national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that compared with three months ago, the public is more likely to believe that the events in Russia and Ukraine are important to U.S. interests. About a week after Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over Ukraine, 48% say events in the region are very important to the United States, up 17 points from April (31%). The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted July 8-14, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,005 adults age 18 or older, including 1,002 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Hamas Seen as More to Blame Than Israel for Current Violence    Monday, July 28, 2014
As fighting continues to rage in Gaza amid calls for a cease-fire, about twice as many Americans say Hamas (40%) as Israel (19%) is responsible for the current violence. Just a quarter (25%) believe that Israel has gone too far in responding to the conflict; far more think Israel’s response has been about right (35%) or that it has not gone far enough (15%). The new national survey by the Pew Research Center finds substantial partisan divisions over which side is most responsible for the violence and Israel’s response to the conflict. A majority of Republicans (60%) say Hamas is most responsible for the current violence. Democrats are divided: 29% say Hamas is more responsible, 26% Israel, while 18% volunteer that both sides are responsible. There also are deep differences over Israel’s response to the conflict: Nearly half of Republicans (46%) say Israel’s response has been about right while another 19% say it has not gone far enough; just 16% think Israel’s response has been excessive. Among Democrats, as many say Israel has gone too far (35%) as say its response has been about right (31%); 9% say Israel has not gone far enough. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted July 8-14, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,005 adults age 18 or older, including 1,002 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: GOP Has Midterm Engagement Advantage    Thursday, July 24, 2014
The Republican Party holds a clear advantage in voter engagement in this fall’s midterm elections, according to a new national survey by the Pew Research Center. Yet GOP voters are not as enthused and engaged as they were at this point in the midterm campaign four years ago, prior to the Republican Party winning control of the House of Representatives, or as Democratic voters were in 2006, before Democrats gained control of Congress. The latest survey by the Pew Research Center finds neither party has an advantage in voter preferences. Currently, 45% say if the election were held today they would support the Republican in their district or lean toward the Republican, while 47% favor the Democrat or lean Democratic. The two parties also ran even on the so-called “generic ballot” throughout much of the 2010 campaign. The GOP’s victory in the national popular vote in 2010 – and their gain of 63 seats in the House – was ultimately fueled by a sharp rise in turnout by the Republican base, particularly among conservatives and older voters. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted July 8-14, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,805 adults age 18 or older, including 1,082 cell phone interviews.

Bankrate July 2014 Financial Security Index charts    Sunday, July 20, 2014
Bankrate's monthly survey measures how secure Americans feel about their personal finances compared with 12 months ago. This month, the index dropped to 100.1 from 101.5 in June. Only 14% of retirees picked real estate as their top 10-year investment, compared with 25% of people who were still in the workforce.
Cash was a top pick of 29% of Southerners, compared with 21% of people from the Midwest or West. The youngest age group, those between 18 and 29, favored cash above all other investment choices. 30% of Democrats felt more comfortable with their job security, compared with 15% of Republicans. 22% of people 65 and older felt less secure, compared with 6% of those between 18 and 29. Among people identifying as "black, non-Hispanic," 37% said they felt more secure today compared with 20% of those identifying as "white, non-Hispanic." The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted July 17-20, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,002 adults age 18 or older, including 502 cell phone interviews.


Pew Poll: Most Think the U.S. Has No Responsibility To Act in Iraq    Friday, July 18, 2014
As violence and chaos spreads in Iraq, the public is wary of U.S. involvement in the country. A 55% majority says the United States does not have a responsibility to do something about the violence in Iraq; 39% do see a responsibility to act. Overall public awareness of the situation in Iraq is high: 45% say they have heard a lot about the violence in Iraq and takeover of large parts of the country by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). However, more Americans (57%) say they have heard a lot about the recent influx of unaccompanied minors across the U.S.-Mexican border illegally. Those who have heard a lot about violence in Iraq are more likely than those who have heard little or nothing to see a U.S. responsibility to act. Still, just 44% of those who have heard a lot about the situation say the U.S. has a responsibility to do something about the violence in Iraq, compared with 35% who have heard less about this situation. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted July 8-14, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,805 adults age 18 or older, including 1,082 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Surge of Central American Children Roils U.S. Immigration Debate    Wednesday, July 16, 2014
As the president and Congress struggle over how to deal with the influx of thousands of unaccompanied minors from Central America across the U.S.-Mexican border, a new survey finds that the public favors a shift in U.S. policy to expedite the legal processing of the children. President Obama gets very low ratings for his handling of the issue. Just 28% of the public approves of the way he is handling the surge of children from Central America, while twice as many (56%) disapprove. That is one of the lowest ratings for his handling of any issue since he became president. But Obama’s overall job rating is virtually unchanged from April: 44% approve of his job performance while 49% disapprove. And as was the case in January, neither party has a significant edge when it comes to dealing with immigration; 42% say the Republican Party could do a better job on the issue while 40% say the Democratic Party. The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted July 8-14 among 1,805 adults, finds that about half (53%) think that the legal process for dealing with Central American children who cross the border illegally should be accelerated, even if that means that some children who are eligible for asylum are deported. Fewer (39%) support staying with the current policy, even though the process could take a long time and the children will stay in the U.S. in the interim. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted July 8-14, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,805 adults age 18 or older, including 1,082 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: As Mideast Violence Continues, a Wide Partisan Gap in Israel-Palestinian Sympathies    Tuesday, July 15, 2014
As violence between Israel and Hamas shows no signs of abating, the sympathies of the American public continue to lie with Israel rather than the Palestinians. And dating back to the late 1970s, the partisan gap in Mideast sympathies has never been wider. Currently, 51% of Americans say that in the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians, they sympathize more with Israel. Just 14% sympathize more with the Palestinians, while 15% volunteer that they sympathize with neither side and 3% sympathize with both. These views are little changed from April, before the recent outbreak of Mideast violence. However, the share of Republicans who sympathize more with Israel has risen from 68% to 73%; 44% of Democrats express more sympathy for Israel than the Palestinians, which is largely unchanged from April (46%). The share of independents siding more with Israel than the Palestinians has slipped from 51% to 45%. Just 17% of Democrats, 17% of independents and 6% of Republicans sympathize more with the Palestinians than Israel. These numbers have changed little since April. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted July 8-14, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,805 adults age 18 or older, including 1,082 cell phone interviews.

Pew Global: Global Opposition to U.S. Surveillance and Drones, but Limited Harm to America’s Image    Monday, July 14, 2014
Revelations about the scope of American electronic surveillance efforts have generated headlines around the world over the past year. And a new Pew Research Center survey finds widespread global opposition to U.S. eavesdropping and a decline in the view that the U.S. respects the personal freedoms of its people. But in most countries there is little evidence this opposition has severely harmed America’s overall image. In nearly all countries polled, majorities oppose monitoring by the U.S. government of emails and phone calls of foreign leaders or their citizens. In contrast, Americans tilt toward the view that eavesdropping on foreign leaders is an acceptable practice, and they are divided over using this technique on average people in other countries. However, the majority of Americans and others around the world agree that it is acceptable to spy on suspected terrorists, and that it is unacceptable to spy on American citizens. Another high-profile aspect of America’s recent national security strategy is also widely unpopular: drones. In 39 of 44 countries surveyed, majorities or pluralities oppose U.S. drone strikes targeting extremists in countries such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Moreover, opposition to drone attacks has increased in many nations since last year. Israel, Kenya and the U.S. are the only nations polled where at least half of the public supports drone strikes. Results for the survey are based on telephone and face-to-face interviews conducted under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International. Survey results are based on national samples. 

Bankrate: Will Obamacare be a factor in how you vote?    Wednesday, July 02, 2014
Though more than half of Americans would like to see changes made to the Affordable Care Act, the national mood toward Obamacare will most likely be a contributing factor rather than a game-changer in this fall's elections, according to the latest Bankrate Health Insurance Pulse survey. Asked what action the new Congress should take on health reform following the midterm elections, 52 percent said they'd like to see the ACA undergo major or minor changes, 30 percent would repeal it and just 12 percent would keep it intact. When Bankrate's previous Pulse surveys offered just two options -- keep Obamacare or repeal it -- responses were evenly split. A larger majority said the law will influence the way they vote in November's races for Congress, but the results don't spell a mandate for any particular political party. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted June 19-22, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,003 adults age 18 or older, including 502 cell phone interviews.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: June 2014    Tuesday, July 01, 2014
As many employers begin to expand their wellness program offerings under new guidelines set forth by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that while the public is amenable to the idea of wellness programs in general, they do not think it’s appropriate for employers to charge workers higher health insurance premiums if they don’t participate in these programs. Further, an even larger share of the public is opposed to the idea of employers tying workers’ health insurance premiums to their ability to meet certain health goals. About half of working-age people with employer-provided health insurance say their employer offers some type of wellness program, and most of those who are offered (three in ten of all those with employer coverage) say they participate. Public opinion on the ACA overall holds steady this month, with 39 percent of the public having a favorable view and 45 percent an unfavorable one. Compared with earlier polls, somewhat fewer now say their impression of the law is based mostly on what they’ve heard in the media, while more say they are basing their opinion on their own experience or that of their family and friends. A majority continues to say the law hasn’t had much impact to date for their own families, and four in ten say they don’t have enough information to understand how the law will impact them. Among those who are currently uninsured, the share who feel they don’t have enough information rises to six in ten. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted July 8-14, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,202 adults age 18 or older, including 601 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Americans show modest interest in Iraq news, less interest in World Cup    Monday, June 30, 2014
So far, the growing crisis in Iraq has not drawn strong interest from the American public. As Sunni militants extend their control of large swaths of Iraq, 25% say they are paying very close attention to the growing violence and political instability in Iraq. By comparison, 28% of Americans surveyed June 26-29 say they followed news about problems with care at veterans’ hospitals very closely and 21% paid very close attention to news about the IRS losing employee emails. The new national survey by the Pew Research Center conducted among 1,002 adults finds that fewer Americans tracked news about the World Cup soccer tournament in Brazil (17%), the 2014 midterms (16%) and recent Supreme Court rulings (15%). (The survey was conducted before the court’s Hobby Lobby decision.) Young people typically express lower levels of interest in news stories than older Americans, and the age differences are striking when it comes to Washington news and violence in Iraq. Just 13% of those younger than 30, and 19% of those 30-49, say they tracked news about Iraq very closely. That compares with 36% of those 65 and older and 34% of those 50 to 64. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted Jun 26-29, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,002 adults age 18 or older, including 501 cell phone interviews.

Bankrate June 2014 Financial Security Index    Monday, June 23, 2014
Bankrate's monthly survey measures how secure Americans feel about their personal finances compared with 12 months ago. This month, the index increased to 101.5 from 98.7 in May. People identifying as black were nearly twice as likely (40%) to say they have no emergency savings as those identifying as white (21%). Retirees were more than twice as likely (36%) to have saved at least six months' of expenses as 18- to 29-year-olds (16%). 36% of people with a high school education or less said they had no emergency savings, compared with 10% of college grads. 27% of Democrats said they felt "more secure," compared with 16% of Republicans. 32% of 18- to 29-year-olds said they felt "more secure," compared with 15% of people who were at least 65 years old. 28% of Southerners said they felt "more secure," compared with 17% of people who live in the Midwest. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted June 5-8, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,004 adults age 18 or older, including 501 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Public Has Doubts about Bergdahl Prisoner Exchange    Monday, June 09, 2014
The prisoner exchange that freed U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl from the Taliban in Afghanistan gets a more negative than positive reaction from the public. Overall, 43% say it was the wrong thing for the Obama administration to exchange five Taliban prisoners for captive soldier Bergdahl, while fewer (34%) say it was the right thing to do; 23% do not offer an opinion. The new national survey by the Pew Research Center and USA TODAYfinds that while this specific prisoner exchange is viewed negatively on balance, most think the U.S. has a responsibility to do all it can to free captive U.S. soldiers in general, regardless of the circumstances of their capture. Overall, 56% say the U.S. has a responsibility to do all it can to return an American captive soldier, no matter what the circumstances; 29% say that because Bergdahl left his post, the U.S. was not obligated to do all it could to secure his release. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted June 5-8, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,004 adults age 18 or older, including 501 cell phone interviews.

Pew Global: Brazilian Discontent Ahead of World Cup    Tuesday, June 03, 2014
The national mood in Brazil is grim, following a year in which more than a million people have taken to the streets of major cities across the country to protest corruption, rising inflation and a lack of government investment in public services such as education, health care and public transportation, among other things. A new survey by the Pew Research Center finds that 72% of Brazilians are dissatisfied with the way things are going in their country, up from 55% just weeks before the demonstrations began in June 2013. Opinions about the national economy have changed even more dramatically over this one-year period. Two-thirds now say Brazil’s once-booming economy is in bad shape, while just 32% say the economy is good. In 2013, the balance of opinion was reversed: a 59%-majority thought the country was in good shape economically, while 41% said the economy was bad. Economic ratings had been consistently positive since 2010, when Pew Research first conducted a nationally-representative survey of Brazil. Results for the survey in Brazil are based on 1,003 face-to-face interviews with adults 18 and older, conducted between April 10 and April 30, 2014 under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International.

USA Today Poll: Confidence in veterans' care plummets to new low    Monday, June 02, 2014
Americans' confidence in the medical care provided for soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan has plummeted to new lows in the wake of the VA scandal, a USA TODAY Poll finds. Most people see the problem as widespread and systemic. Just one in five rate the job the government does in providing veterans with medical care as excellent or good, about half the percentage who said that in a Pew Research Center survey in 2011. Then, half rated the care as "only fair" or poor; now seven in 10 do. Those are the lowest ratings in the four times the question has been asked since 2007. The results underscore the breadth of concerns raised by reports that veterans faced months of delay in getting medical appointments and that some Veterans Affairs officials tried to conceal the long wait times. President Obama accepted VA Secretary Eric Shinseki's resignation Friday. By 67%-16%, Americans see the problems at the VA as widespread, not isolated incidents. Only 12% are very confident the agency can make the significant changes needed in the way the system operations; 42% are somewhat confident about that. Another 42% have little or no confidence that the problems can be fixed. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted May 29 - June 1, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,001 adults age 18 or older, including 501 cell phone interviews.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: May 2014    Friday, May 30, 2014
The latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that more than four years after the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and several months into the first year of its coverage expansions, most Americans do not feel personally impacted by the law. Among the minority who say they have felt an impact, more feel they have been harmed than helped by the law, with Republicans more likely to say they have been hurt and Democrats more likely to say they have been helped. More continue to want Congress to work on improving the law than repealing it, with those who want improvements calling for lower health care costs, expanded access, and more help for specific populations. Six months out from the 2014 midterm election and in the midst of primary battles in many states, the ACA is already a frequent topic of political conversation and the subject of an abundance of campaign advertising. Even at this early stage, about half of registered voters say they are tired of hearing candidates for Congress talk about the health care law and want them to focus more on other issues like jobs, while just over four in ten want candidates to continue debating the law. Views on this question track the familiar ACA partisan divide. A majority of voters say they’ll consider a candidate’s position on the health care law as one of many factors in their vote, while three in ten say they would only vote for a candidate who shares their views on the health care law. This is about the same as the share who say their vote would be similarly dependent on a candidate’s views on government spending and somewhat higher than the share who say their votes depend on a candidate’s views on job creation and immigration. With the election still six months away, just over half of voters say they haven’t paid much attention to the campaign so far. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted May 13-19, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,505 adults age 18 or older, including 755 cell phone interviews.

Bankrate Poll: Could Obamacare prompt you to retire early?    Wednesday, May 28, 2014
While Americans remain deeply divided on the merits of the Affordable Care Act and skeptical about health insurance exchanges, they're receptive to Obamacare provisions that could free them to change jobs or retire early, according to the latest Bankrate Health Insurance Pulse survey. Four years after its enactment, health care reform still faces a public relations challenge: 43 percent of survey respondents rate the ACA's impact so far as mostly negative, while 28 percent consider it mostly positive. Tim Jost, a health law professor at Washington and Lee University School of Law in Lexington, Virginia, attributes the divide to widespread public confusion about a law that has little direct impact on the many Americans who are insured through their employer. That, he says, has led some to blame a host of unrelated ills on Obamacare. "A very large proportion of the American population is misinformed as to what's in the Affordable Care Act," Jost says. "So when they see that their premiums are going up, their employer contribution is going down, their cost sharing is going up and their employers are thinking about defined contribution plans, the natural tendency is to blame all of that on the Affordable Care Act." He adds: "But all of that happened largely outside the Affordable Care Act and would have happened anyway." The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted May 15-18, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,500 adults age 18 or older, including 500 cell phone interviews.

Voters overwhelmingly support Tennessee Promise Program    Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam’s Tennessee Promise Program, which makes community and technical colleges free to high school graduates, received overwhelming support in the latest Vanderbilt Poll. In the poll, 86 percent said they approved of the initiative, which is the cornerstone of Haslam’s “Drive to 55” campaign, aimed at bringing the percentage of Tennesseans with college degrees or technical certifications to 55 percent by 2025. Haslam proposed the program during his State of the State address in February and the General Assembly passed the legislation in its final days. The price tag for the Tennessee Promise Program is to be paid for with proceeds from the state lottery. Haslam himself remains popular with Tennesseans; his job approval stands at 58 percent. About half of the Democrats approve of his job, and nearly 75 percent of Republicans. On another education front, 58 percent of voters said they supported the Common Core State Standards, which are a set of standards in math and English developed with the goal of preparing public school students for college or the workforce. Democrats were the most supportive of Common Core at 76 percent, with independents at 57 percent and Republicans at 44 percent. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted April 28 - May 14, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among 1,245 registered voters in the state of Tennessee.


Pew Global: One Year after Morsi’s Ouster, Divides Persist on El-Sisi, Muslim Brotherhood    Thursday, May 22, 2014
Nearly a year of tumult and violence has drained Egyptians of their optimism and battered the images of key players in the post-Mubarak era, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center. As a controversial presidential election approaches, 72% of Egyptians are dissatisfied with their country’s direction, and although most still want democratic rights and institutions, confidence in democracy is slipping. In a shift from previous years, Egyptians are now more likely to say that having a stable government (54%) is more important than having a democratic one (44%). Last July’s military takeover wins support from a slender majority: 54% favor it; 43% oppose. And while the next president is almost certain to be Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the former general who has been the most powerful figure in the country since last year’s overthrow of the government, the new poll finds that his popularity is limited. Sisi receives a favorable rating from 54% of Egyptians, while 45% view him unfavorably, a more mixed review than many media reports from Egypt over the last year might suggest. Meanwhile, ratings have declined for former President Mohamed Morsi, the man Sisi removed from power. Currently, 42% express a favorable opinion of Morsi, down from 53% in last year’s survey, which was conducted just weeks before his ouster. However, the fact that roughly four-in-ten Egyptians still hold a positive opinion of the jailed former president may be a surprise to many, given the government’s crackdown on Morsi’s organization, the Muslim Brotherhood. Results for the survey in Egypt are based on 1,000 face-to-face interviews with adults 18 and older, conducted between April 10 and April 29, 2014 under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International.

Pew Poll: For 2016 Hopefuls, Washington Experience Could Do More Harm than Good    Monday, May 19, 2014
As the 2016 presidential campaign begins to take shape, Washington experience has become less of a potential asset for those seeking the White House. A new national survey testing candidate traits finds that 30% would be less likely to support a candidate with “many years” of experience as an elected official in Washington, while 19% would be more likely to support such a candidate. About half (48%) say it would not matter if a candidate had long Washington experience. By contrast, early in the 2008 presidential campaign, more than twice as many saw lengthy Washington experience as a positive than negative trait for a presidential candidate (35% more likely vs. 15% less likely). A separate measure dating back to the late 1980s shows an even larger decline in the perceived value of Washington experience. The question asks which better prepares someone to be president – serving as a senator or member of Congress or as a state’s governor – and mentions possible advantages of each position. In the case of a member of Congress, it would be acquiring experience in Washington and foreign policy; a governor is described as able to gain experience as head of an administration. In 1987, 66% said experience as a member of Congress provided better preparation for the White House while just 22% said serving as governor was better preparation. In 2007, two decades later, congressional experience was still preferred by more than two-to-one (55% to 24%). But today, the public is divided: 44% say serving in Congress better prepares someone to be president while as many say experience as governor is better preparation. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted April 23-27, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,501 adults age 18 or older, including 901 cell phone interviews.

Pew Global: A Fragile Rebound for EU Image on Eve of European Parliament Elections    Monday, May 12, 2014
Support for the European Union may be rebounding just in time for the European Parliament elections, according to a new survey of seven EU nations by the Pew Research Center. After a dramatic decline in the wake of the euro crisis, EU favorability is now on the rise in France, the United Kingdom, and Germany. And faith in one of the EU’s founding principles – that European economic integration is good for their own country – is up in the UK, Poland and Germany. But, as the electorate heads to the polls beginning May 22, publics across Europe overwhelmingly think that their voice is not heard in Brussels, home to the EU. Majorities in most countries complain that the EU does not understand their needs and is intrusive and inefficient. And they express little enthusiasm for giving the EU greater power on economic issues. Moreover, in most of the countries surveyed, ratings for the EU have yet to return to pre-crisis levels. Italians are increasingly critical of the institution and are divided over whether to keep using the euro as their currency. And Greeks, who have suffered most from the economic downturn, remain deeply skeptical of many aspects of the European project. The results are based on telephone and face-to-face interviews under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International.

Pew Global: Despite Concerns about Governance, Ukrainians Want to Remain One Country    Thursday, May 08, 2014
A clear majority of Ukrainians agree that their country should remain a single, unified state, according to a pair of new surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center in Ukraine and Russia – after Crimea’s annexation by Russia, but prior to recent violence in Odessa and other cities. The survey in Ukraine also finds a clearly negative reaction to the role Russia is playing in the country. By contrast, the poll in Russia reveals a public that firmly backs Vladimir Putin and Crimea’s secession from Ukraine. Among Ukrainians, 77% say Ukraine should remain united, compared with 14% who think regions should be permitted to secede if they so desire. In Ukraine’s west, which includes the central region around Kyiv (Kiev), as well as portions of the country that border Poland, Slovakia and Hungary, more than nine-in-ten (93%) think their nation should remain unified. A smaller majority (70%) in the country’s east – which includes areas along the Black Sea and the border with Russia – also prefer unity. Only in the breakaway territory of Crimea do more than half (54%) voice support for the right to secede. The survey in Ukraine finds that ethnic Ukrainians and ethnic Russians largely have favorable views of one another. Nonetheless, there are stark regional divides, especially when it comes to the issues of official languages and governance. In western Ukraine, nearly two-thirds (66%) think only the Ukrainian language should have legal standing. By contrast, roughly seven-in-ten in eastern Ukraine (73%) say both Russian and Ukrainian should be official state languages. This view is especially widespread among the region’s Russian-only speakers1: 86% in this group think the Russian and Ukrainian languages should share official status. Meanwhile, in Crimea nearly three-quarters (74%) say both languages should have legal status on the Crimean peninsula.The results are based on face-to-face interviews under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International, including 1,000 interviews in Russia and 1,659 interviews in the Ukraine.

Pew Poll: Supreme Court Favorability Rebounds    Tuesday, May 06, 2014
Favorable views of the Supreme Court are back above 50%, having rebounded from historic lows reached in the summer of 2013. However, the court still has several major decisions pending that could impact the public’s views, including rulings on challenges to the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that employers include contraceptive coverage in their employees’ health plans. The latest survey by the Pew Research Center finds that 56% have a favorable view of the court, while 35% have an unfavorable view. (The survey was conducted before the court’s ruling that a town council in New York and, by extension, other legislatures, can begin meetings with a Christian prayer.) Last July, following high-profile rulings on the Voting Rights Act and same-sex marriage, about half held a favorable view of the court (48%), among the lowest measures recorded in Pew Research surveys. Currently, more Democrats (63%) than Republicans (54%) have a favorable impression of the Roberts court, though the gap has narrowed considerably since July 2012. At that time, shortly after the court upheld most of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, 64% of Democrats viewed the court favorably compared with just 38% of Republicans. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted April 23-27, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,501 adults age 18 or older, including 901 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Midterm Election Indicators Daunting for Democrats    Monday, May 05, 2014
With the midterm elections six months away, Democrats are burdened by an uneven economic recovery and a stubbornly unpopular health care law. Perhaps equally important, Barack Obama’s political standing is in some respects weaker than it was at a comparable point in the 2010 campaign, which ended with the Republicans gaining a majority in the House. A national survey by the Pew Research Center and USA TODAY, conducted April 23-27 among 1,501 adults (including 1,162 registered voters), finds that 47% of registered voters support the Republican candidate in their district or lean Republican, while 43% favor the Democratic candidate or lean Democratic. The trend over the past six months in the so-called generic ballot shows that Democrats have lost ground. In October, Democrats held a six-point lead (49% to 43%) in midterm voting preferences. While a majority of voters (54%) say that Barack Obama will not be a factor in their vote this fall, more (26%) see their vote as a vote against the president than for him (16%). In February 2010, 24% of voters saw their vote as for Obama while about as many (20%) considered it a vote against him. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted April 23-27, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,501 adults age 18 or older, including 901 cell phone interviews.

Pew Global: Public Health a Major Priority in African Nations    Thursday, May 01, 2014
Concerns about public health are widespread in sub-Saharan Africa, and there is considerable support in the region for making public health challenges a top national priority. In particular, people want their governments to improve the quality of hospitals and other health care facilities and deal with the problem of HIV/AIDS. A Pew Research Center survey, conducted March 6, 2013 to April 12, 2013 in six African nations, also finds broad support for government efforts to address access to drinking water, access to prenatal care, hunger, infectious diseases, and child immunization. A median of 76% across six countries surveyed say building and improving hospitals and other health care facilities should be one of the most important priorities for their national government. The percentage of the public who holds this view ranges from 85% in Ghana to 64% in Nigeria. Similarly, a median of 76% believe preventing and treating HIV/AIDS should be one of government’s most important priorities, ranging from 81% in Ghana to 59% in Nigeria. A median of at least 65% also say the other issues included on the poll — ranging from access to drinking water to increased child immunization — should be among the most important priorities. In fact, majorities hold this view about all seven issues in all six nations. The results are based on face-to-face interviews under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International.


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