News

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.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: April 2014    Tuesday, April 29, 2014
The enrollment surge at the end of March in the health insurance exchanges, created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), was widely covered in the news, as was the announcement that at least 8 million people have used the new marketplaces to sign up for coverage.  The news got a fair amount of attention from the public, with over half saying they followed the enrollment numbers “very” or “fairly closely.” But the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that this news did little to change the public’s impressions of the law, with overall opinion remaining exactly where it was last month (46 percent unfavorable, 38 percent favorable). While over four in ten correctly identify the number of people who have signed up for insurance1, enrollment levels do not register as a success for most Americans. Nearly six in ten (including half of those who correctly identified the 8 million figure) believe enrollment fell short of the government’s expectations, and the same share believe the rollout problems indicate that the law is not working as planned. Still, more want the government to give the law a chance than want to scrap it and start over; nearly six in ten would prefer their representative in Congress work to improve the law, while just over a third want them to repeal and replace it. When asked why they haven’t gotten coverage yet this year, over a third of the uninsured say they tried to get coverage but it was too expensive, while smaller shares say they didn’t know about the ACA’s requirement to have insurance or didn’t think it applied to them. Just 7 percent of the uninsured say they would rather pay the fine than pay for coverage. This month’s tracking poll also finds public support for the ACA’s requirement that private health insurance plans cover the full cost of birth control, including a majority who believe that for-profit companies should be subject to this requirement even if their owners object to birth control on religious grounds. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted April 15-21, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,504 adults age 18 or older, including 754 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Bipartisan Support for Increased U.S. Sanctions against Russia    Monday, April 28, 2014
As the Obama administration announces new economic measures against Russian officials and companies, the public supports increased U.S. economic and diplomatic sanctions by a 53% to 36% margin. But by roughly two-to-one (62% to 30%), Americans oppose sending arms and military supplies to the Ukrainian government.The new national survey by the Pew Research Center and USA TODAY finds that only about a third of Americans (31%) think that what happens between Russia and Ukraine is “very important” to the United States; 36% say events in the region are somewhat important to the U.S. while 29% say they are not too important or not at all important. The survey finds only modest partisan differences in opinions about U.S. policy toward the crisis in Ukraine. Comparable percentages of Republicans (55%) and Democrats (58%) favor increased sanctions against Russia and majorities in both parties oppose arming the Ukrainian government. There are much larger partisan differences in opinions about Barack Obama’s handling of the crisis. More than half of Republicans (55%) say Obama has not been tough enough in dealing with the situation in Ukraine, compared with 33% of independents and 23% of Democrats. These views have remained steady over the past month. 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.


Reason-Rupe April 2014 National Survey    Tuesday, April 08, 2014
Americans don’t paint a pretty picture of their public servants in the new national Reason-Rupe poll. Americans tell Reason-Rupe that 75 percent of all politicians are “corrupted” by campaign donations and lobbyists.  And they say 70 percent of politicians use their political power to help their friends and hurt their enemies. No wonder just 17 percent approve of the job Congress is doing.  Or that President Obama’s approval rating is just 43 percent, with 51 percent disapproving. And while the Supreme Court just struck down limits on campaign contributions to federal candidates, the new Reason-Rupe poll finds Americans are actually more concerned about how elected officials misuse their power and taxpayer money once they’re in office than they are worried about campaign contributions.  Asked, which is a “more serious” problem — “special interest groups spending private money on campaigns to elect the politicians they favor” or “elected officials enacting policies and spending taxpayer money that benefit the special interests they favor” — 63 percent of Americans said officials enacting policies and spending taxpayer money for special interests was a more serious problem. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted March 26-30, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,003 adults age 18 or older, including 503 cell phone interviews.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: March 2014    Friday, April 04, 2014
As the open enrollment period for new coverage options under the ACA comes to an end, the most-closely followed health policy news story this month was coverage of how many people have enrolled in these new options, with about half (48 percent) saying they followed this story “very closely” or “fairly closely.” Attention to this story trailed far behind the top two non-health news stories this month: the Malaysia Airlines flight that went missing over Southeast Asia (77 percent) and the conflict between Ukraine and Russia (68 percent), and just behind discussions in Washington about the federal budget and the veto of a bill in Arizona that would have given business owners the right to refuse service to gay people (51 percent each). Somewhat smaller shares report closely following other health-related news stories, including an upcoming change to food nutrition labels (46 percent), the announcement that some people who had their health plans canceled because of the ACA will be allowed to keep those plans for 2 more years (43 percent), a report finding a decline in the obesity rate for young children (40 percent), and news about a baby born with HIV who is apparently free of the virus after 9 months (33 percent). The least-closely followed health policy story asked about this month was news of the state of Arkansas’ alternative to Medicaid expansion, with only about one in ten (11 percent) saying they followed it “very closely” or “fairly closely.” Arkansas’ alternative to Medicaid expansion received national attention because it was the first state to win federal approval for a “private option”, which uses federal Medicaid money to help low-income people purchase private insurance, and because there was a contentious debate this month over continued funding. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted March 11-17, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,504 adults age 18 or older, including 751 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: America’s New Drug Policy Landscape    Wednesday, April 02, 2014
The public appears ready for a truce in the long-running war on drugs. A national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that 67% of Americans say that the government should focus more on providing treatment for those who use illegal drugs such as heroin and cocaine. Just 26% think the government’s focus should be on prosecuting users of such hard drugs. Support for a treatment-based approach to illegal drug use spans nearly all demographic groups. And while Republicans are less supportive of the treatment option than are Democrats or independents, about half of Republicans (51%) say the government should focus more on treatment than prosecution in dealing with illegal drug users. Support for Move Away from Set Drug TermsAs a growing number of states ease penalties for drug possession, the public expresses increasingly positive views of the move away from mandatory sentences for non-violent drug crimes. By nearly two-to-one (63% to 32%), more say it is a good thing than a bad thing that some states have moved away from mandatory sentences for non-violent drug offenders. In 2001, Americans were evenly divided over the move by some states to abandon mandatory drug terms. The survey by the Pew Research Center finds that support for the legalization of marijuana use continues to increase. And fully 75% of the public –including majorities of those who favor and oppose the legal use of marijuana – think that the sale and use of marijuana will eventually be legal nationwide. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted February 14-23, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,821 adults age 18 or older, including 1,340 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Concerns about Russia Rise, But Just a Quarter Call Moscow an Adversary    Tuesday, March 25, 2014
In the wake of Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region, public concern about Russia has increased, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Even so, when given the choice, more describe Russia as a serious problem but not an adversary (43%) than say it represents an adversary (26%). Just 22% say Russia is not much of a problem. Since last November, the percentage viewing Russia as an adversary has risen eight points (from 18%) while the share saying it is a serious problem has increased seven points (from 36%). The number of Americans who do not think of Russia as much of a problem has fallen by almost half – from 40% then to 22% today. Public Still Reluctant to See U.S. Get Too Involved in UkraineMost of the increase in the view that Russia is an adversary has come among Republicans. Currently, 42% of Republicans describe Russia as an adversary, up from 24% four months ago. Just 23% of independents and 19% of Democrats view Russia as an adversary, little changed from November. But increasing numbers of Democrats and independents describe Russia as at least a serious problem. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted March 20-23, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,002 adults age 18 or older, including 501 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Nearly Half of Public Says ‘Right Amount’ of Malaysian Jet Coverage    Monday, March 24, 2014
The public followed news about the missing Malaysia Airlines plane more closely than any other story last week. While the story has attracted extensive news coverage, especially from cable TV outlets, most Americans do not feel there has been too much coverage of the missing jetliner. The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that 44% followed news about the missing Malaysian jetliner most closely, far surpassing interest in any other story. Russia’s annexation of Crimea was a distant second, with 15% following that news most closely. Nearly half of Americans (48%) say news organizations are giving the right amount of coverage to the investigation into the missing jetliner; another 12% say there has been too little coverage of this story. A third (33%) think the investigation into plane’s fate has received too much coverage. However, more people think that the missing jetliner has received too much news coverage than say that about two other stories last week – Russia’s actions in Crimea and the rollout of the 2010 health care law; just 14% each view those stories as over-covered. For the most part, the public sees the amount of coverage of Russia and Crimea as appropriate (56% right amount). But fewer (40%) say that news about the rollout of the health care law has gotten the right amount of coverage. Nearly four-in-ten (37%) say implementation of the health care law has been under-covered by news organizations – the highest percentage of the three stories asked about. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted March 20-23, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,002 adults age 18 or older, including 501 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Most Say U.S. Should ‘Not Get Too Involved’ in Ukraine Situation    Tuesday, March 11, 2014
As Russian troops remain in Ukraine’s Crimea region and Crimea’s Parliament has set up a secession vote, Americans prefer the U.S. to not get too involved in the situation. By a roughly two-to-one margin (56% vs. 29%), the public says it is more important for the U.S. to not get involved in the situation with Russia and Ukraine than to take a firm stand against Russian actions. The new national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted March 6-9, 2014 among 1,003 adults, find more disapprove (44%) than approve (30%) of the way the Obama administration is handling the situation involving Russia and Ukraine, while roughly a quarter (26%) offer no opinion. Opinions about the administration’s handling of the situation are divided along partisan lines. A majority of Republicans (67%) disapprove of its handling of the situation, while most Democrats (56%) approve. Independents by roughly two-to-one (52% to 24%) disapprove of how the administration has handled the situation involving Russia and Ukraine. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted March 6-9, 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: Millennials in Adulthood    Monday, March 10, 2014
The Millennial generation is forging a distinctive path into adulthood. Now ranging in age from 18 to 33, they are relatively unattached to organized politics and religion, linked by social media, burdened by debt, distrustful of people, in no rush to marry— and optimistic about the future. They are also America’s most racially diverse generation. In all of these dimensions, they are different from today’s older generations. And in many, they are also different from older adults back when they were the age Millennials are now. Pew Research Center surveys show that half of Millennials (50%) now describe themselves as political independents and about three-in-ten (29%) say they are not affiliated with any religion. These are at or near the highest levels of political and religious disaffiliation recorded for any generation in the quarter-century that the Pew Research Center has been polling on these topics. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted February 14-23, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,821 adults age 18 or older, including 1,340 cell phone interviews.

Three-quarters of American adults support hydropower    Wednesday, March 05, 2014
Americans view hydropower as a clean, reliable and renewable resource, and support hydro-specific initiatives for tax credits, federal reinvestment in facility upgrades, and federal  investment in research and development. “Hydropower is already the nation’s largest source of low-cost renewable electricity,” said Linda Church Ciocci, Executive Director of the National Hydropower Association. “These poll results demonstrate that Americans believe that this invaluable clean resource should be maintained, expanded, and supported through targeted federal policy.” Hydropower enjoys a strongly positive reputation as an energy source. Nearly four-in-five Americans (78%) believe hydropower is cleaner than other current forms of energy, and roughly the same number (77%) think of hydropower as an environmentally-friendly resource. Moreover, hydropower is also seen as renewable (74%) and reliable (72%) by nearly three-quarters of Americans. With all of these attributes there is broad bipartisan consensus that they describe hydropower well – with majorities of Democrats, Republicans and Independents in agreement. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted January 9-12, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,006 adults age 18 or older, including 504 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Hillary Clinton’s Strengths: Record at State, Toughness, Honesty    Tuesday, March 04, 2014
If she runs for president in 2016, Hillary Clinton would bring a number of potential strengths to the race, from her tenure as secretary of state to her perceived toughness and honesty. Fully 67% of Americans approve of the job she did as secretary of state, while majorities say she is tough (69%) and honest (56%). The public also rejects the notion that Clinton is unlikable – a change from the 2008 Democratic primary campaign. In a memorable moment from that contest, then-candidate Barack Obama turned to Clinton during a debate and said sarcastically, “You’re likable enough, Hillary.” Today, just 36% say Clinton is “hard to like”; a majority (57%) says that phrase does not describe her. During the 2008 primary season, about half of voters found Clinton hard to like (51% in March 2008). However, the new national survey by the Pew Research Center and USA TODAY, conducted Feb. 27-Mar. 2 among 1,002 adults, finds that Clinton is not widely seen as having new ideas. About half (49%) say the phrase “having new ideas” describes Clinton, while 40% say it does not; 11% offer no opinion. And while Clinton’s performance at the State Department is viewed positively, her handling of the 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate at Benghazi, Libya registers as a negative aspect of her background. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted February 14-23, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,821 adults age 18 or older, including 1,340 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Public Divided Over Increased Deportation of Unauthorized Immigrants    Thursday, February 27, 2014
Immigration legislation is stalled in the House, but the public continues to broadly support a path to legalization for undocumented immigrants. At the same time, however, Americans are evenly divided over the growing number of undocumented immigrants who have been deported from the U.S. in recent years, with as many viewing this as a good thing as a bad thing (45% each). The total number of deportations reached a record number of 419,384 in fiscal year 2012, according to the Department of Homeland Security. With roughly three years left in Barack Obama’s second term, more than 1.6 million undocumented immigrants have been deported since he took office. In former President Bush’s eight years in office, two million were deported. While opinion about the growing number of deportations is divided along partisan lines – with Republicans more supportive of the practice than Democrats – Chart showing number of deportations of illegal immigrants per yearthere also are sizable differences between Hispanics and whites. By 60% to 35%, most Hispanics view the increased number of deportations negatively, while whites are more likely to see this trend as a good thing (49%) rather than bad (42%). The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted February 14-23, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,821 adults age 18 or older, including 1,340 cell phone interviews.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: February 2014    Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Amid the recent media focus on “narrow network” health insurance plans, the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that those who are most likely to be customers in the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s new insurance exchanges (the uninsured and those who purchase their own coverage) are more likely to prefer less costly plans with narrow networks over more expensive plans with broader networks. Narrow network plans are a tougher sell among those with employer coverage, who tend to pay less of their health care costs directly since their employers pick up much of the cost. Overall opinion of the ACA remains about the same as it has been since November, with just under half the public viewing the law unfavorably (47 percent this month, 50 percent in January) and just over a third having a favorable view (35 percent this month, 34 percent in January). Still, more Americans want Congress to keep the law in place and work to improve it rather than repeal it. Among those who are currently uninsured, unfavorable views of the law continue to outnumber favorable ones by a large margin as they did in January. Lack of awareness about key aspects of the law also continues among the uninsured – just about a quarter are aware of the March 31st deadline to sign up for coverage, and just over six in ten say they know little or nothing about the ACA’s health insurance exchanges. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted February 11-17, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,501 adults age 18 or older, including 751 cell phone interviews.

February 2014 Bankrate Financial Security Index charts    Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Bankrate's monthly survey measures how secure Americans feel about their personal finances compared with 12 months ago.  This month, the index fell to 99.3, the same level seen in November. Workers with full-time jobs were more likely to report higher levels of credit card debt. Thirty-six percent of full-time workers said they had a greater amount of credit card debt, compared with 24 percent for part-time workers and 21 percent for people who were not employed. Retirees were more likely to report higher levels of savings. Sixty-four percent of retired respondents said their emergency funds or savings accounts were greater than their credit card debt. That compares with 51 percent for those who weren't retired. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted February 6-9, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,004 adults age 18 or older, including 502 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Mixed Views of Economic News Persist    Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Over the past year, the unemployment rate has fallen, but so too has the share of Americans in the labor force. The stock market rose during much of 2013, before falling at the start of this year. Through it all, the public’s perceptions of economic news have changed very little. Currently, 61% say the news they are hearing about the economy is a mix of good and bad, 33% say it is mostly bad and just 5% say it is mostly good. The public appears to view economic indicators – both good and bad – with a measure of caution. For example, 21% say they are hearing mostly bad news about the stock market while 13% say it is mostly good; 49% say it is mixed. Last June, opinions were more positive – 24% said the stock market news was mostly good while 16% said it was mostly bad. Yet half said the stock market news was mixed, virtually the same as today. The new national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that views about news on other economic sectors are mostly unchanged since December. More are hearing good news about real estate values (25%) than bad news (19%); while it is the only economic sector registering more good news than bad news, a 44% plurality still says it is hearing mixed news. Regarding the job situation, more of the public is hearing mostly bad news (42%) than mostly good news (12%). The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted February 6-9, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,004 adults age 18 or older, including 502 cell phone interviews.

The Rising Cost of Not Going to College    Tuesday, February 11, 2014
For those who question the value of college in this era of soaring student debt and high unemployment, the attitudes and experiences of today’s young adults—members of the so-called Millennial generation—provide a compelling answer. On virtually every measure of economic well-being and career attainment—from personal earnings to job satisfaction to the share employed full time—young college graduates are outperforming their peers with less education. And when today’s young adults are compared with previous generations, the disparity in economic outcomes between college graduates and those with a high school diploma or less formal schooling has never been greater in the modern era. These assessments are based on findings from a new nationally representative Pew Research Center survey of 2,002 adults supplemented by a Pew Research analysis of economic data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The economic analysis finds that Millennial college graduates ages 25 to 32 who are working full time earn more annually—about $17,500 more—than employed young adults holding only a high school diploma. The pay gap was significantly smaller in previous generations. College-educated Millennials also are more likely to be employed full time than their less-educated counterparts (89% vs. 82%) and significantly less likely to be unemployed (3.8% vs. 12.2%). Education and Views About Work Turning to attitudes toward work, employed Millennial college graduates are more likely than their peers with a high school diploma or less education to say their job is a career or a steppingstone to a career (86% vs. 57%). In contrast, Millennials with a high school diploma or less are about three times as likely as college graduates to say their work is “just a job to get [them] by” (42% vs. 14%). The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted October 7-27, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 2,002 adults age 18 or older, including 1,523 cell phone interviews.

EKINS: Polling the real-world effect of a minimum-wage hike    Saturday, February 08, 2014
President Obama wants to “give America a raise.” He’s raising the minimum wage for federal contractors to $10.10 an hour and is urging Congress to raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10. Politico also reports, “the Obama administration wants to make raising the federal minimum wage a centerpiece of Democrats’ 2014 midterm election efforts.” They hope the national push and planned ballot initiatives in several states will mobilize key Democratic-leaning constituencies that might not normally turn out in non-presidential elections. Advocates for raising the minimum wage believe this is a slam-dunk issue for them. First, they are equipped with numerous polls finding what appears to be overwhelming support. For example, Gallup recently found 76 percent favor raising the minimum wage, while only 22 percent oppose it. A recent Reason-Rupe poll found 72 percent of Americans in favor of increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, including 53 percent of Republicans, 72 percent of independents, and 87 percent of Democrats. The Reason results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted December 4-8, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,011 adults age 18 or older, including 506 cell phone interviews.


Pew Poll: Public Skeptical of Decision to Hold Olympic Games in Russia    Tuesday, February 04, 2014
With the 2014 Winter Olympics approaching, more say it was a bad decision (44%) than a good decision (32%) to hold the games in Russia. About one-in-four (24%) say they don’t know. Concerns about terrorism and safety are foremost among those who think it was a bad decision to hold the Olympics in Russia. In an open-ended question, 62% of those who say it was a bad decision to hold the Winter Olympics in Russia mention terrorism or general security in Sochi as a reason they feel this way. Most Plan to Watch At Least Some of the Sochi OlympicsFar fewer (5%) mention the Russian government or President Vladimir Putin as reasons why it was a bad decision to hold the games there, while 4% say Russia’s treatment of gays and lesbians make the country a bad choice to host the games. Most adults are planning to watch either “a lot” (18%) or some (37%) of the Olympics, according to the new national survey by the Pew Research Center. About one-in-four adults (26%) say they plan to watch “very little” and 19% say they will not watch at all. Nearly one-in-four of those 50 and older (23%) plan to watch a lot, compared with 14% of those younger than 50. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted January 30 - February 2, 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: More Now See Failure than Success in Iraq, Afghanistan    Thursday, January 30, 2014
After more than a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the public does not think the United States has achieved its goals in either country. About half of Americans (52%) say the U.S. has mostly failed to achieve its goals in Afghanistan while 38% say it has mostly succeeded. Opinions about the U.S. war in Iraq are virtually the same: 52% say the United States has mostly failed in reaching its goals there, while 37% say it has mostly succeeded. In both cases, evaluations of the wars have turned more negative in recent years. In November 2011, as the U.S. was completing its military withdrawal from Iraq, a majority (56%) thought the U.S. had achieved its goals there. Similarly, the public’s critical assessment of U.S. achievements in Afghanistan stands in contrast to opinion in June 2011, shortly after Osama bin Laden was killed in neighboring Pakistan. At that time, 58% answered a forward-looking question by saying they thought the U.S. would achieve its goals in that country; the question in the current survey asks whether the U.S. has achieved its goals. The national survey finds more positive views of the original decision to take military action in Afghanistan than about whether the U.S. has achieved its goals. About half (51%) say the decision to use military force was the right one while 41% say it was the wrong decision. However, the share saying the war was the right decision has fallen five points since November (from 56%) and 13 points since January 2009 (64%), shortly before Barack Obama took office. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted January 15-19, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,504 adults age 18 or older, including 902 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Deficit Reduction Declines as Policy Priority    Tuesday, January 28, 2014
For the first time since Barack Obama took office in 2009, deficit reduction has slipped as a policy priority among the public. Overall, 63% say reducing the budget deficit should be a top priority for Congress and the president this year, down from 72% a year ago. Most of the decline has come among Democrats: Only about half of Democrats – 49% – view deficit reduction as a top priority, down 18 points since last January. The Pew Research Center’s annual survey of policy priorities, conducted Jan. 15-19 among 1,504 adults, finds that the public’s agenda continues to be dominated by the economy (80% top priority), jobs (74%) and terrorism (73%). As in past years, the lowest-rated priorities are dealing with global warming (29%) and dealing with global trade (28%). (Click here for an interactive showing the public’s priorities since 2002.) Deficit reduction had surged as a policy priority during Obama’s first term: Between 2009 and 2013, the share citing the deficit as a top priority rose 19 points. In the current survey, majorities of Republicans (80%) and independents (66%) continue to say reducing the budget deficit should be a top priority for the president and Congress. However, just 49% of Democrats view this as a top priority, the lowest percentage since Obama took office. A year ago, 67% of Democrats rated cutting the deficit as a top policy goal. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted January 15-19, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,504 adults age 18 or older, including 902 cell phone interviews.

January 2014 Financial Security Index charts    Thursday, January 23, 2014
Bankrate's monthly survey measures how secure Americans feel about their personal finances compared with 12 months ago. The results of Bankrate's Financial Security Index have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. This month, the index rose to 102.6, up 2.2 points from December. Younger people were more likely to splurge: 18 percent of people between 18 and 29 spent more than expected, compared with 9 percent of those 65 years old and older. Big earners had trouble keeping to their holiday budget: 23 percent of those with at least a $75,000 income spent more than expected. That's compared with only 11 percent of those who made $30,000 or less. Those with less education were more likely to be frugal: 30 percent of people with a high school diploma or less spent less than expected. Nineteen percent of those with a college degree spent less than expected. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted January 2-5, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,005 adults age 18 or older, including 505 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Most See Inequality Growing, but Partisans Differ over Solutions    Thursday, January 23, 2014
There is broad public agreement that economic inequality has grown over the past decade. But as President Obama prepares for Tuesday’s State of the Union, where he is expected to unveil proposals for dealing with inequality and poverty, there are wide partisan differences over how much the government should – and can – do to address these issues. Partisans Agree Inequality Has Grown, But Differ Sharply over Gov’t ActionThe new national survey by the Pew Research Center and USA TODAY, conducted Jan. 15-19 among 1,504 adults, finds that 65% believe the gap between the rich and everyone else has increased in the last 10 years. This view is shared by majorities across nearly all groups in the public, including 68% of Democrats and 61% of Republicans. Yet there is a sharp disagreement over whether this gap needs government attention. Among Democrats, 90% say the government should do “a lot” or “some” to reduce the gap between the rich and everyone else, including 62% who say it should do a lot. But only half as many Republicans (45%) think the government should do something about this gap, with just 23% saying it should do a lot. Instead, nearly half of Republicans say the government should do “not much” (15%) or “nothing at all” (33%) about the wealth divide. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted January 15-19, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,504 adults age 18 or older, including 902 cell phone interviews.

E-Reading Rises as Device Ownership Jumps    Thursday, January 16, 2014
The proportion of Americans who read e-books is growing, but few have completely replaced print books for electronic versions. The percentage of adults who read an e-book in the past year has risen to 28%, up from 23% at the end of 2012. At the same time, about seven in ten Americans reported reading a book in print, up four percentage points after a slight dip in 2012, and 14% of adults listened to an audiobook. Though e-books are rising in popularity, print remains the foundation of Americans’ reading habits. Most people who read e-books also read print books, and just 4% of readers are “e-book only.” Audiobook listeners have the most diverse reading habits overall, while fewer print readers consume books in other formats. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted January 2-5, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,005 adults age 18 or older, including 505 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Christie Story Attracts Little Public Interest    Tuesday, January 14, 2014
The public paid far more attention to last week’s cold snap than to the controversy swirling around New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. There also has been little short-term change in opinions about Christie: 60% say their opinion of Christie has not changed in recent days, while 16% now view him less favorably and 6% more favorably. The national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that just 18% paid very close attention to Christie’s apology on Jan. 9 for the highway lane closures ordered by his aides. By contrast, 44% very closely followed news about the cold winter weather that gripped much of the U.S. and 28% tracked news about the economy. The release of a book by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates that criticized the Obama administration drew even less interest than news about Christie. Just 11% followed news about Gates’ book very closely. Winter Weather Leads News InterestThe survey finds that majorities of Republicans (69%), Democrats (55%) and independents (60%) say that their opinion of Christie has not changed lately. Among Republicans, about as many say their opinion has become more favorable (9%) as less favorable (10%). More Democrats say their opinion has become less favorable (25%) than more favorable (3%). Among independents, 14% say their opinion of Christie has become less favorable and 6% more favorable. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted January 9 - 12, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,006 adults age 18 or older, including 504 cell phone interviews.


Public’s Views on Human Evolution    Friday, January 03, 2014
According to a new Pew Research Center analysis, six-in-ten Americans (60%) say that “humans and other living things have evolved over time,” while a third (33%) reject the idea of evolution, saying that “humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.” The share of the general public that says that humans have evolved over time is about the same as it was in 2009, when Pew Research last asked the question. About half of those who express a belief in human evolution take the view that evolution is “due to natural processes such as natural selection” (32% of the American public overall). But many Americans believe that God or a supreme being played a role in the process of evolution. Indeed, roughly a quarter of adults (24%) say that “a supreme being guided the evolution of living things for the purpose of creating humans and other life in the form it exists today.” These beliefs differ strongly by religious group. White evangelical Protestants are particularly likely to believe that humans have existed in their present form since the beginning of time. Roughly two-thirds (64%) express this view, as do half of black Protestants (50%). By comparison, only 15% of white mainline Protestants share this opinion. There also are sizable differences by party affiliation in beliefs about evolution, and the gap between Republicans and Democrats has grown. In 2009, 54% of Republicans and 64% of Democrats said humans have evolved over time, a difference of 10 percentage points. Today, 43% of Republicans and 67% of Democrats say humans have evolved, a 24-point gap. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted March 21 - April 8, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,983 adults age 18 or older.



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