News

Bankrate Poll: Did you miss the stock market rally? You're not alone    Thursday, April 09, 2015
Despite the proliferation of investment-based retirement accounts such as 401(k)s, 52 percent of Americans report not owning any stocks or stock-based investments such as mutual funds, according to Bankrate's Money Pulse survey. That doesn't surprise Robert Stammers, CFA, director of investor education for the CFA Institute. He says many Americans "see themselves as savers and they worry about capital preservation." Because of that, "they don't take the risk necessary to achieve the returns that they need to fulfill their long-term investment goals." Opting out of stocks, which have historically been one of the highest-returning types of securities available to individual investors, is likely to have some harsh consequences for Americans over the long term. "The average person has less than $25,000 saved for retirement," Stammers says. "So people certainly aren't prepared, and that's just making them less prepared." For adults under 30, only 26 percent of whom said they own stock, the consequences could be profound. Young people who don't invest in equities early are set to have "a lot less money later on," says John Salter, associate professor of financial planning at Texas Tech University. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted March 19-22, 2015 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,001 adults age 18 and older including 501 cellphone interviews.

Pew Global: Americans, Japanese: Mutual Respect 70 Years After the End of WWII    Tuesday, April 07, 2015
Adversaries in World War II, fierce economic competitors in the 1980s and early 1990s, Americans and Japanese nonetheless share a deep mutual respect. About two-thirds of Americans trust Japan a great deal or a fair amount and three-quarters of Japanese say they trust the United States, according to a new Pew Research Center survey. Americans are pleased with the current state of U.S.-Japan relations: More than eight-in-ten prefer that ties between the two nations remain as close as they have been in recent years or get closer. But Americans are divided over whether Japan should play a more active military role in the Asia-Pacific region. Even so, twice as many Americans as Japanese think Japan should take on more military responsibilities. As the two nations mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, history continues to frame U.S.-Japan ties. But different incidents over the past seven decades stand out in the American and Japanese consciousness. Americans cite both WWII, and the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan as the most important events in the modern relationship. The Japanese are most likely to name the postwar U.S.-Japan military alliance. Americans believe that Japan has atoned for its actions during WWII. But more than half of Americans, especially those 65 years of age and older, still believe, as they have since 1945, that the U.S. use of nuclear weapons to bomb Hiroshima and Nagasaki was justified. The Japanese strongly disagree. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted February 12-15, 2015 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,000 adults age 18 and older including 500 cellphone interviews.

Pew Poll: More Approve Than Disapprove of Iran Talks, But Most Think Iranians Are ‘Not Serious’    Monday, March 30, 2015
Ahead of a March 31 deadline for nuclear talks with Iran, more Americans approve (49%) than disapprove (40%) of the United States negotiating directly with Iran over its nuclear program. But the public remains skeptical of whether Iranian leaders are serious about addressing international concerns over their nuclear enrichment program. If a nuclear agreement is reached, most Americans (62%) want Congress to have final authority over the deal. Just 29% say President Obama should have final authority over any nuclear agreement with Iran. The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted March 25-29 among 1,500 adults, finds that just 27% have heard a lot about the nuclear talks between the United States and Iran in Lausanne, Switzerland. Another 49% have heard a little about the negotiations, while 24% have heard nothing at all. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted March 25-29, 2015 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,500 adults age 18 and older including 975 cellphone interviews.

Pew Poll: Federal Tax System Seen in Need of Overhaul    Thursday, March 19, 2015
The public sees the nation’s tax system as deeply flawed: 59% say “there is so much wrong with the federal tax system that Congress should completely change it.” Just 38% think the system “works pretty well” and requires “only minor changes.” These opinions have changed little since 2011. More Are Bothered by Corporations, Wealthy Not Paying Fair Share Than by What They Pay in TaxesWith the April 15 filing deadline approaching, Americans’ top complaint about the tax system is not the amount that they pay in taxes. Rather, it is the feeling that some corporations and wealthy people do not pay their fair share of taxes. Just 27% are bothered “a lot” by the amount they pay in taxes. By contrast, 64% say they are bothered a lot by the feeling that some corporations do not pay their fair share of taxes, and 61% say the same about some wealthy people failing to pay their fair share. In views of other aspects of the tax system, 44% say they are bothered a lot by the complexity of the system, while just 20% are bothered a great deal by the feeling that some poor people are not paying their fair share of taxes. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted February 18-22, 2015 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,504 adults age 18 or older, including 978 cell phone interviews.


Pew Poll: Public Libraries and Hispanics    Tuesday, March 17, 2015
When it comes to public libraries, immigrant Hispanics pose both a challenge and an opportunity to the library community. On the one hand, this group, which makes up half of the adult U.S. Hispanic population, is less likely than other Americans to have ever visited a U.S. public library and is much less likely to say that they see it as “very easy” to do so. At the same time, Hispanic immigrants who have made their way to a public library stand out as the most appreciative of what libraries have to offer, from free books to research resources to the fact that libraries tend to offer a quiet, safe space. And they are more likely than other groups to say that closing their community library would have a major impact on their family. These are some of the findings of this latest installment of the Pew Research Center’s reporting on the Center’s landmark 2013 Library Services Survey. Seven-in-ten (72%) Latinos ages 16 and older say they have visited a public library or bookmobile in person at one point or another in their lives, the survey shows, a share below that of whites (83%) and blacks (80%). But this finding masks a large difference among Latinos. Fully 83% of U.S.-born Latinos say they have visited a public library at some point in their lives—a share similar to that of whites and blacks. However, among immigrant Latinos, a smaller share—60%—say they have visited a public library or bookmobile in person. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted July 18-Septmeber 30, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 6,224 Americans, including 739 Hispanics ages 16 and older.

Bankrate Poll: Do you want a big tax refund or bigger paycheck?    Thursday, March 12, 2015
Americans may hate the annual tax-filing season, but they certainly welcome the refunds that are issued each year. In fact, more than half of those who participated in Bankrate's March Money Pulse survey say that they expect to get or have already received their IRS tax refund from the Treasury Department. That's not surprising. The IRS reports that most taxpayers do get money back each year when they file their returns. The desire for a refund is strong at all income levels. More than half of respondents in the Bankrate Money Pulse poll say they prefer tax refunds to breaking even at filing time or owing Uncle Sam a bit. And nearly 4 in 10 (38 percent) of all Americans say they would like a big IRS tax refund. Only 27 percent of Americans say they want to hit that tax sweet spot of not getting a refund, but not owing Uncle Sam any money when they file their 1040 forms. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted February 26 - March 1, 2015 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,003 adults age 18 and older including 501 cellphone interviews.

Credit Cards Poll: Public lukewarm about paying by cellphone    Monday, March 09, 2015
U.S. consumers are no more interested in paying for purchases using mobile phones than they were six months ago, when Apple unveiled its high-profile pay-by-iPhone technology known as Apple Pay, according to a new poll from CreditCards.com. The poll suggests that even though the number of mobile payments is growing dramatically, with Apple Pay becoming a dominant method, skeptics of paying by phone remain unmoved. In the telephone poll 17 percent of respondents said they would pay for items using a cellphone "always" or "most of the time" if they could. When the same question was asked in September 2014, 13 percent of those answering responded similarly. Those answering "never" or "hardly ever" accounted for 64 percent this time, compared with 62 percent in the fall. This poll's margin of error is 3.6 percentage points. The indifference to mobile payments comes even as Apple, Google and other technology companies continue to push the technology. At an event Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook said Apple Pay is available at 700,000 locations nationwide, and he detailed plans for the Apple Watch, debuting in April, which will allow wearers to charge items by waving the watch near a payment terminal at a participating retailer. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted March 5-8, 2015 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: Far More Interest Among Republicans Than Democrats in Clinton Emails, Netanyahu    Monday, March 09, 2015
From news about the economy to controversy over Hillary Clinton’s emails and the trial of the Boston marathon bomber, no single story dominated the public’s news interest last week. The Week's Top StoriesTwo stories drew far more interest from Republicans than Democrats: 34% of Republicans followed reports about Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email address as secretary of state very closely, compared with just 16% of Democrats. Similarly, about twice as many Republicans (34%) as Democrats (18%) closely followed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress last Tuesday. Partisan Differences in Interest in Clinton Emails, NetanyahuThere are smaller partisan differences in interest in the week’s other stories. For instance, comparable percentages of Democrats (26%) and Republicans (22%) paid very close attention to arguments at the Supreme Court over the Affordable Care Act; 30% of Democrats and 24% of Republicans very closely followed news about the Department of Justice report on race and policing in Ferguson, Mo. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted March 5-8, 2015 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: Most Say Government Policies Since Recession Have Done Little to Help Middle Class, Poor    Wednesday, March 04, 2015
The public makes sharp distinctions about which groups have benefited – and which have not – from the economic policies the government has put in place since the start of the recession. Majorities say that large banks, large corporations and the wealthy have been helped a great deal or a fair amount by government policies. By contrast, 72% say that, in general, the government’s policies since the recession have done little or nothing to help middle class people, and nearly as many say they have provided little or no help for small businesses (68%) and the poor (65%). These opinions have changed little in recent years, and differ only modestly across demographic and income categories. There are significant partisan differences in these views, though majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents say that government policies following the start of the recession have done little or nothing for the poor and the middle class. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted February 18-22, 2015 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,504 adults age 18 or older, including 978 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: More View Netanyahu Favorably Than Unfavorably; Many Unaware of Israeli Leader    Friday, February 27, 2015
The public has a more positive than negative view of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of his address to a joint session of Congress next week. About four-in-ten (38%) have a favorable opinion of the Israeli leader, compared with 27% who hold an unfavorable view. Roughly a third (35%) express no opinion of Netanyahu, including 23% who say they have never heard of him. Netanyahu will address Congress on March 3 at the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner and congressional Republicans. Netanyahu is better known – and viewed much more favorably – among Republicans than among Democrats or independents. More than twice as many Republicans view Netanyahu favorably (53%) as unfavorably (21%); 26% have no opinion. By contrast, Democrats hold mixed views of Netanyahu (28% favorable vs. 35% unfavorable); 37% have no opinion. Independents’ opinions of Netanyahu mirror those of the overall public (38% favorable, 26% unfavorable, 36% no opinion). The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted February 18-22, 2015 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,504 adults age 18 or older, including 978 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Democrats Have More Positive Image, But GOP Runs Even or Ahead on Key Issues    Thursday, February 26, 2015
This week’s political battles over immigration, funding for the Department of Homeland Security and the Keystone XL pipeline have been waged by opposing parties that possess starkly different strengths and weaknesses. Majorities say the Democratic Party is open and tolerant, cares about the middle class and is not “too extreme.” By contrast, most Americans see the GOP lacking in tolerance and empathy for the middle class, and half view it as too extreme. Nonetheless, the Republicans more than hold their own with the Democrats in views of which party can better handle major issues. The Republican Party runs even on the economy and immigration and holds double-digit leads over the Democrats on terrorism, foreign policy and taxes. President Obama’s job approval has ticked up in recent months, to 48% currently, and his rating dwarfs the 26% approval measure for the leaders of the new Republican Congress. Yet the public is divided over whether Obama or Republican congressional leaders should take the lead in solving the nation’s problems: 40% say Obama while 38% say GOP leaders. That is virtually unchanged from a few days after the midterm elections in November. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted February 18-22, 2015 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,504 adults age 18 or older, including 978 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Growing Support for Campaign Against ISIS – and Possible Use of U.S. Ground Troops    Tuesday, February 24, 2015
The public has grown more supportive of the U.S. fight against ISIS, as about twice as many approve (63%) as disapprove (30%) of the military campaign against the Islamic militant group in Iraq and Syria. Last October, 57% approved and 33% disapproved. The possibility of sending U.S. ground troops to the region is more divisive, although the idea draws more support than it did four months ago. Currently, about as many favor (47%) as oppose (49%) sending U.S. ground troops to fight Islamic militants in Iraq and Syria; in October, 39% favored the idea and 55% opposed it. The new national survey by the Pew Research Center also finds a shift over the past year in public attitudes about the best approach for dealing with global terrorism. In the new survey, 47% say “using overwhelming military force is the best way to defeat terrorism around the world.” About as many (46%) say that “relying too much on military force to defeat terrorism creates hatred that leads to more terrorism.” The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted February 18-22, 2015 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,504 adults age 18 or older, including 978 cell phone interviews.

Bankrate: Credit card debt still a big concern    Monday, February 23, 2015
It's been six years since the recession ended, and a big chunk of consumers still can't bail themselves out of credit card debt. Nearly one-quarter of Americans (24 percent) owe more money on their credit cards than they have in emergency savings, according to a survey that accompanied Bankrate's February Financial Security Index. This proclivity is problematic. Credit cards charge higher interest rates than savings accounts pay, which makes it harder for those Americans to climb out of debt. "From a purely financial standpoint, it makes more sense to pay down that high interest rate" before you start to save, says Kelley Long, member of the American Institute of CPAs. But "not having an emergency fallback fund is just a first-class ticket to getting further into debt," Long says. Its absence increases the odds that you'll need to open new loans to cover unexpected expenses, such as car repairs, or if you lose your job. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted February 5-8, 2015 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: Increased Public Support for the U.S. Arming Ukraine    Monday, February 23, 2015
As fighting continues in eastern Ukraine between government forces and Russian-backed rebels, the public has become more supportive of sending arms to the Ukrainian government and increasing sanctions on Russia. More still oppose (53%) than favor (41%) the U.S. sending arms and military supplies to the Ukrainian government, but support for arming Ukraine is up 11 points since April 2014, when opposition outweighed support by about two-to-one (30% favored, 62% opposed). At the same time, there is increased support for additional economic and diplomatic sanctions against Russia. Six-in-ten (60%) favor the U.S. increasing sanctions on Russia, while 34% are opposed. Support for tougher sanctions against Russia has risen seven points from last April. The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center finds the public is split over whether the U.S. should provide training to Ukrainian troops: 49% say they would favor this, while 46% are opposed. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted February 18-22, 2015 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,504 adults age 18 or older, including 978 cell phone interviews.

Bankrate: Americans racked by retirement fears    Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Our nation is nervous about retirement. More than a quarter of Americans, 28 percent, say that the specter of high medical expenses in old age worries them the most, according to a new survey by Bankrate.com. The thought of running out of savings also gives people the jitters, with 23 percent of Americans identifying that as their biggest retirement worry, Bankrate's survey found. You can reasonably budget for living expenses, but longevity and health care costs are wild cards. Fretting about medical expenses in old age may be justified. A couple who retired in 2014 will need $220,000 to cover health care costs in retirement, according to a recent estimate from Fidelity Investments. Among people over age 50, one-third are anxious about expensive illnesses or injuries. Just over a quarter of people ages 30 to 49 years old are worried, as well. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted January 22-25, 2015 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,003 adults age 18 or older, including 501 cell phone interviews.

Pew Global: Discontent with Politics Common in Many Emerging and Developing Nations    Thursday, February 12, 2015
People in emerging and developing countries around the world are on balance unhappy with the way their political systems are working. A recent Pew Research Center survey finds that, across 31 emerging and developing nations, a median of 52% are dissatisfied with their political system, while 44% are satisfied. Discontent is particularly widespread in the Middle East and Latin America, where about six-in-ten say their system is not working well. The opposite is true, however, in Asia – a median of 60% are either very or somewhat satisfied with their political system. Political satisfaction is closely tied to views about national economic conditions. Countries where people say the economy is doing poorly are more likely to be unhappy with their current political system. And most people believe that the wealthy have too much influence on politics, while the poor have too little influence.  Results for the survey are based on 38,620 face-to-face interviews conducted in 34 countries under the direction of Princeton Survey Research Associates International from March 17 to June 5, 2014.

Pew Poll: Views of Job News Turn Much More Positive Over Past Year    Tuesday, February 10, 2015
For the first time since the end of the recession in 2009, a greater share of the public is hearing mostly good news (28%) than bad news (22%) about the job situation. Nearly half (47%) say they are hearing a mix of good and bad news. This marks a stark change from a year ago, when just 12% said they were hearing mostly good news about jobs, while more than three times as many (42%) had negative perceptions; 44% described the news as mixed. Positive impressions about job news continue to tick up as the Labor Department reported the greatest three-month increase in new jobs since 1997. However, January’s unemployment rate of 5.7% sits at the same point as in October. A new survey by the Pew Research Center shows that views of news about the overall economy also have become more positive, although a majority (62%) continues to describe the news as mixed. For the first time since the Pew Research Center began tracking this question in December 2008, about as many are hearing mostly good news (18%) as bad news (17%) about the economy. In previous surveys, negative views had consistently surpassed positive impressions. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted February 5-8, 2015 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,003 adults age 18 or older, including 502 cell phone interviews.

Reason Rupe: 78 Percent of Americans Say Voters Should Get to Vote on Govt Employee Benefit Increases    Tuesday, February 10, 2015
The latest Reason-Rupe poll finds that nearly 8 in 10 Americans think that the public should be allowed to vote on increases to public employees pensions and benefits. Support is largely non-partisan with 73 percent of Democrats, 81 percent of independents, and 80 percent of Republicans favoring such votes. Solid majorities of both public (61%) and private (82%) sector workers also favor allowing the public to vote on such increases. Nevertheless, as one might expect, public employees themselves are more opposed to such a proposal. Indeed government workers are more than twice as likely as private sector workers to oppose allowing the public vote on public pension increases (37 to 16 percent). The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted January 29 - February 2, 2015 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: 83% Say Measles Vaccine Is Safe for Healthy Children    Monday, February 09, 2015
An 83% majority of the public says vaccines for diseases such as measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) are safe for healthy children, while about one-in-ten (9%) think such vaccines are not safe. An additional 7% volunteer that they don’t know. Majorities across virtually every demographic and partisan group view the vaccines as safe. However, there are some differences in attitudes, with less educated people and younger adults more likely to say they are not safe. The new national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Feb. 5-8 among 1,003 adults, finds Republicans (89%) and Democrats (87%) generally agree that such vaccines are safe for children who are healthy. Roughly nine-in-ten college graduates (92%) see vaccines for MMR as safe for healthy children. This view is somewhat less widespread among those with some college experience (85%) or a high school degree or less (77%). The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted February 5-8, 2015 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,003 adults age 18 or older, including 502 cell phone interviews.

Vocal Valentines: Half of American Couples Clash Over Clutter, SpareFoot Survey Say    Friday, February 06, 2015
Nothing kills romance like smelly socks tossed on the floor, dirty dishes piled in the sink and piles of unpaid bills. A new SpareFoot survey found that almost half (48 percent) of American couples who are married or are living with a partner argue over clutter. Seven percent of couples engage in clutter spats every day. The survey shows one-third of cohabiting couples (33 percent) argue about clutter either monthly, weekly or daily. And over half of couples (52 percent) said that when they clash over clutter, both sides get accused of harboring too much stuff. The most common source of clutter conflict? Overflowing closets. Over half (51 percent) of couples who quarrel over clutter say the disagreements caused them to get rid of clothing. Arguments also spurred couples to purge excess belongings, including furniture (29 percent), electronics (28 percent) and books (25 percent). The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted January 22-25, 2015 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,003 adults age 18 or older, including 502 cell phone interviews.

Pew Journalism: Investigative Journalists and Digital Security    Thursday, February 05, 2015
About two-thirds of investigative journalists surveyed (64%) believe that the U.S. government has probably collected data about their phone calls, emails or online communications, and eight-in-ten believe that being a journalist increases the likelihood that their data will be collected. Those who report on national security, foreign affairs or the federal government are particularly likely to believe the government has already collected data about their electronic communications (71% say this is the case), according to a new survey of members of Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) – a nonprofit member organization for journalists – by the Pew Research Center in association with Columbia University’s Tow Center for Digital Journalism. Thus far, concerns about surveillance and hacking have mostly fallen short of keeping many journalists from pursuing a story or a source; Just 14% say that in the past 12 months, such concerns have kept them from pursuing a story or reaching out to a particular source, or have led them to consider leaving investigative journalism altogether. The results are based on data collected from online surveys conducted December 3-28, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a representative sample of 671 journalists who are members of Investigative Reporters and Editors, Inc. (IRE).

Pew Internet, Science, & Tech: Public and Scientists’ Views on Science and Society    Thursday, January 29, 2015
Scientific innovations are deeply embedded in national life — in the economy, in core policy choices about how people care for themselves and use the resources around them, and in the topmost reaches of Americans’ imaginations. New Pew Research Center surveys of citizens and a representative sample of scientists connected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) show powerful crosscurrents that both recognize the achievements of scientists and expose stark fissures between scientists and citizens on a range of science, engineering and technology issues. This report highlights these major findings. The general public results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted August 15-25, 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. The scientist results are based on data collected from online surveys conducted September 13 - October 13, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a random sample of 3,748 U.S.-based members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: January 2015    Wednesday, January 28, 2015
With the Supreme Court set to hear the King v. Burwell case in March, the latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that a majority of the public says they have heard nothing at all about the case. In an initial reaction to what Congress or states using the federal marketplace should do if the Supreme Court rules that financial help to buy health insurance is only available to people in states with state-run marketplaces, nearly two-thirds of the public says Congress should pass a law making subsidies available to eligible people in all states, and a majority of the public in states using healthcare.gov would want their state to create its own marketplace. As Congress considers legislation to change the employer requirement under the law, more of the public says they oppose changing the full-time worker definition under the ACA from 30 to 40 hours a week than say they support it and about a third remain unsure, but opinion can be swayed after hearing some of the other side’s argument. With less than a month left in this year’s open enrollment period, most uninsured are unaware of the deadline to enroll and a substantial share remains unaware of the financial assistance available to help eligible people buy insurance. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted January 15-21, 2015 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,503 adults age 18 or older, including 752 cell phone interviews.

Pew Journalism: After Charlie Hebdo, Balancing Press Freedom and Respect for Religion    Wednesday, January 28, 2015
About three-in-four Americans (76%) have heard at least a little about the attack on the offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center, conducted January 22-25 among 1,003 adults. Of these, a majority (60%) says that it was okay for Charlie Hebdo to have published cartoons that depict the Prophet Muhammad, but nearly three-in-ten (28%) do not support the magazine’s decision to publish this material – saying it was not okay. The reasons Americans give for their views on the subject highlight an ongoing tension in the U.S. between the values of free expression and religious tolerance. When asked to explain their position on whether or not it was okay to publish these cartoons, a majority of those who heard about the attack and say it was okay to publish cite freedom of speech and of the press (70%). The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted January 22-25, 2015 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: Obama in a Word: ‘Good,’ ‘Incompetent’    Tuesday, January 20, 2015
As public perceptions of Barack Obama have changed over the course of his presidency, so too have the words used to describe him. The national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that the words good (35 mentions) and incompetent (33 mentions) are used most frequently to describe Obama. Those words also were used most often in June 2013, the last time this question was asked. This report shows the actual number of respondents mentioning each word; they are not percentages. However, some new words have emerged in the descriptions of Obama: Among the roughly half of respondents asked the question (N=746), dictator is mentioned by 12, while eight describe Obama as impressive. Neither word had been used in nine prior surveys asking for one-word descriptions of Obama since he became president. And a perennial critique of Obama – socialist – is not as prominent on the list of descriptions as in the past; in the new survey, five respondents describe Obama as a socialist. In April 2009, when Obama was generally described in positive terms (and his job approval was much higher than it is today), socialist stood out among the negatives. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted January 7-11, 2015 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,504 adults age 18 or older, including 976 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Most Support Stronger U.S. Ties With Cuba    Friday, January 16, 2015
Fully 63% of Americans approve of the Obama administration’s decision last month to re-establish diplomatic ties with Cuba after more than 50 years. And there is equally broad support for going further and ending the decades-long U.S. trade embargo against Cuba (66% favor this). Yet there is broad public skepticism that a thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations will lead to greater democracy in Cuba. Only about a third (32%) say they think Cuba will become more democratic over the next several years, while 60% say it will be about the same as it is now. The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center finds strong support among Democrats and independents for the restoration of diplomatic ties with Cuba, and for ending the embargo. About three-quarters of Democrats (74%), along with 67% of independents support the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, with similar levels of support for ending the trade embargo, “which would allow U.S. companies to do business in Cuba and Cuban companies to do business in the U.S.” The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted January 7-11, 2015 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,504 adults age 18 or older, including 976 cell phone interviews.

Commonwealth: The Rise in Health Care Coverage and Affordability Since Health Reform Took Effect    Thursday, January 15, 2015
New results from the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey, 2014, indicate that the Affordable Care Act's subsidized insurance options and consumer protections reduced the number of uninsured working-age adults from an estimated 37 million people, or 20 percent of the population, in 2010 to 29 million, or 16 percent, by the second half of 2014. Conducted from July to December 2014, for the first time since it began in 2001, the survey finds declines in the number of people who report cost-related access problems and medical-related financial difficulties. The number of adults who did not get needed health care because of cost declined from 80 million people, or 43 percent, in 2012 to 66 million, or 36 percent, in 2014. The number of adults who reported problems paying their medical bills declined from an estimated 75 million people in 2012 to 64 million people in 2014. The results are based on data collected from telephone  interviews conducted July 22 - December 14, 2014 by Princeton  Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 6,027 adults age 19 or older, including 3,025 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Public’s Policy Priorities Reflect Changing Conditions at Home and Abroad    Thursday, January 15, 2015
As views of the economy improve and terrorist threats persist, the public’s policy priorities have changed: For the first time in five years, as many Americans cite defending the U.S. against terrorism (76%) as a top policy priority  as say that about strengthening the nation’s economy (75%). Since Barack Obama began his second term in January 2013, the economy has declined 11 points as a top priority, and improving the job situation has fallen 12 points (from 79% to 67%). There has been little change over the past two years in the number saying that defending against terrorism should be a top priority; in fact, this has consistently been among the public’s leading policy goals since 2002. But it has moved to the top of the priorities list as the economy and jobs have fallen. The Pew Research Center’s annual policy priorities survey also finds that the goal of strengthening the military has increased in importance. Currently, 52% say strengthening the military should be a top policy priority for the president and Congress this year, up from 41% in January 2013. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted January 7-11, 2015 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,504 adults age 18 or older, including 976 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Obama Job Rating Ticks Higher, Views of Nation’s Economy Turn More Positive    Wednesday, January 14, 2015
President Obama enters the seventh year of his presidency in a familiar position when compared with his recent predecessors. His 47% job approval rating places him squarely between George W. Bush (33%) and Bill Clinton (63%) at similar points in their second terms. Obama’s rating is comparable to Ronald Reagan’s in January 1987 (49%), when Reagan was embroiled in the Iran-Contra affair. The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that Obama’s job approval has risen five points since December (42%). The president’s job rating changed very little over the course of 2014. Obama is being helped by a steady improvement in public views of the nation’s economy. Currently, 27% say the economic conditions are excellent or good, up from 16% a year ago. Perhaps more important, almost twice as many expect the economy to be better than worse a year from now (31% vs. 17%). For the first time in five years, more Americans say Obama’s economic policies have made conditions better (38%) than worse (28%); 30% say they have not had much of an effect. And Obama engenders more confidence on the economy than do the leaders of the new Republican majority in Congress. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted January 7-11, 2015 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,504 adults age 18 or older, including 976 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Terrorism Worries Little Changed; Most Give Government Good Marks for Reducing Threat    Monday, January 12, 2015
In the aftermath of deadly terrorist attacks in Paris — and months after the start of U.S. airstrikes against ISIS — there has been little change in the public’s worries about an imminent terrorist attack in the United States. One-in-four (25%) are very worried about a domestic terrorist attack happening “soon,” while about four-in-ten (39%) are somewhat worried; 36% are not too worried or not at all worried. That balance of opinion has not significantly changed since last July. The long-term trend on terrorism concerns has been fairly stable, except on a few occasions, since the fall of 2001. In addition, the public gives high ratings to the U.S. government’s anti-terrorism efforts. About seven-in-ten say the government is doing very well (22%) or fairly well (50%) in reducing the threat of terrorism. This is a substantial shift from early September 2014, when 56% positively rated the government’s job in this area, but in line with opinions dating back more than a decade. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted January 7-11, 2015 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,504 adults age 18 or older, including 976 cell phone interviews.

Kaiser Health Policy Tracking Poll: December 2014    Thursday, December 18, 2014
With many of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) major provisions taking effect this past year, such as the individual mandate and coverage expansions through Medicaid and the health insurance marketplaces, the December Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds that many Americans are aware of the main parts of the law and, with the exception of the individual mandate, at least 6 in 10 feel favorably towards them. However, as the employer requirement takes effect in January for firms with 100 or more workers, Americans’ initial opinions of the provision are malleable, particularly if they hear it may cause some employers to move workers from full time to part time. Similarly, opinions on the individual mandate can change when more information is provided. Despite the individual provisions receiving high marks, opinion of the law overall remains stable with 46 percent reporting an unfavorable view and 41 percent reporting a favorable view. The public is fractured over what Congress should do next with the law with 3 in 10 preferring repeal, about 1 in 10 saying they would like Congress to scale back the law, a fifth saying they want implementation to continue, and a quarter favoring expanding the law. Americans give a wide variety of answers when asked to say in their own words what the law does, but about 4 in 10 say that it expands access to health care and health insurance. And, about one month into the ACA’s second open enrollment period, the poll finds the vast majority of the uninsured don’t know the deadline to enroll, most expect to get health insurance in the next few months, and nearly two-thirds say they don’t think they’ll have to pay a fine, or don’t know if they will, for not having coverage this year. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted December 2-9, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,505 adults age 18 or older, including 755 cell phone interviews.


Pew Poll: As U.S. Energy Production Grows, Public Policy Views Show Little Change    Thursday, December 18, 2014
The public is gradually becoming aware of America’s energy boom. Currently, 54% say domestic energy production has been increasing in recent years, up from 48% in September 2013. Meanwhile, the recent slide in gas prices is registering widely: An overwhelming 89% say that that pump prices have fallen in the past month. Despite the growth of domestic energy production, public attitudes about energy policies have changed only modestly in recent years. In broad terms, developing alternative energy is viewed as a more important priority than expanding the exploration and production of oil, coal and natural gas. By two-to-one (60% to 30%), more prioritize the development of alternative energy sources than expanded extraction of energy from traditional sources. Yet when asked about specific policies to address the energy supply, a majority of Americans continue to support allowing more offshore oil and gas drilling in U.S. waters (56%) and more mining and drilling on federally-owned land (58%). These opinions are largely unchanged from recent years. 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: 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.

Vanderbilt Poll: Voters continue to want Medicaid expansion in Tennessee     Wednesday, December 03, 2014
Though still unconvinced of the overall merits of the Affordable Care Act, registered voters in Tennessee continue to say they favor accepting federal dollars to expand the state Medicaid program. Fifty-six percent of those asked by the Vanderbilt Poll said they strongly or somewhat support expanding Medicaid to provide medical care for people living on low incomes. This support is not new, since a majority of the public was also supportive of Medicaid expansion a year ago in the December 2013 Vanderbilt poll. Gov. Bill Haslam has been negotiating with federal officials about expanding Medicaid, despite resistance from Republicans in the state legislature who have stated they will not support any such plan. Legislation was enacted this year requiring the governor to get approval from the General Assembly on any Medicaid expansion plan. The ACA itself continues to be unpopular among Tennessee voters, but nearly one-third of registered voters remain unconvinced one way or the other. Forty-four percent of registered voters say they generally feel unfavorable to it. Twenty percent felt generally favorable toward it, but 35 percent said they haven’t heard enough about it to form an opinion. The Vanderbilt Poll is conducted just prior and then after each session of the Tennessee General Assembly, in order to gauge how closely the concerns of citizens align with their representatives in Nashville. The November 2014 poll surveyed 949 registered voters. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted November 10-20, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a representative sample of 1,210 adults living in Tennessee, including 601 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.


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