News

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

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

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

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

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

Pew Poll: Most Say U.S. Should ‘Not Get Too Involved’ in Ukraine Situation    Tuesday, March 11, 2014
As Russian troops remain in Ukraine’s Crimea region and Crimea’s Parliament has set up a secession vote, Americans prefer the U.S. to not get too involved in the situation. By a roughly two-to-one margin (56% vs. 29%), the public says it is more important for the U.S. to not get involved in the situation with Russia and Ukraine than to take a firm stand against Russian actions. The new national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted March 6-9, 2014 among 1,003 adults, find more disapprove (44%) than approve (30%) of the way the Obama administration is handling the situation involving Russia and Ukraine, while roughly a quarter (26%) offer no opinion. Opinions about the administration’s handling of the situation are divided along partisan lines. A majority of Republicans (67%) disapprove of its handling of the situation, while most Democrats (56%) approve. Independents by roughly two-to-one (52% to 24%) disapprove of how the administration has handled the situation involving Russia and Ukraine. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted March 6-9, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,003 adults age 18 or older, including 502 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Millennials in Adulthood    Monday, March 10, 2014
The Millennial generation is forging a distinctive path into adulthood. Now ranging in age from 18 to 33, they are relatively unattached to organized politics and religion, linked by social media, burdened by debt, distrustful of people, in no rush to marry— and optimistic about the future. They are also America’s most racially diverse generation. In all of these dimensions, they are different from today’s older generations. And in many, they are also different from older adults back when they were the age Millennials are now. Pew Research Center surveys show that half of Millennials (50%) now describe themselves as political independents and about three-in-ten (29%) say they are not affiliated with any religion. These are at or near the highest levels of political and religious disaffiliation recorded for any generation in the quarter-century that the Pew Research Center has been polling on these topics. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted February 14-23, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,821 adults age 18 or older, including 1,340 cell phone interviews.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Pew Poll: Public Skeptical of Decision to Hold Olympic Games in Russia    Tuesday, February 04, 2014
With the 2014 Winter Olympics approaching, more say it was a bad decision (44%) than a good decision (32%) to hold the games in Russia. About one-in-four (24%) say they don’t know. Concerns about terrorism and safety are foremost among those who think it was a bad decision to hold the Olympics in Russia. In an open-ended question, 62% of those who say it was a bad decision to hold the Winter Olympics in Russia mention terrorism or general security in Sochi as a reason they feel this way. Most Plan to Watch At Least Some of the Sochi OlympicsFar fewer (5%) mention the Russian government or President Vladimir Putin as reasons why it was a bad decision to hold the games there, while 4% say Russia’s treatment of gays and lesbians make the country a bad choice to host the games. Most adults are planning to watch either “a lot” (18%) or some (37%) of the Olympics, according to the new national survey by the Pew Research Center. About one-in-four adults (26%) say they plan to watch “very little” and 19% say they will not watch at all. Nearly one-in-four of those 50 and older (23%) plan to watch a lot, compared with 14% of those younger than 50. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted January 30 - February 2, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,003 adults age 18 or older, including 502 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: More Now See Failure than Success in Iraq, Afghanistan    Thursday, January 30, 2014
After more than a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the public does not think the United States has achieved its goals in either country. About half of Americans (52%) say the U.S. has mostly failed to achieve its goals in Afghanistan while 38% say it has mostly succeeded. Opinions about the U.S. war in Iraq are virtually the same: 52% say the United States has mostly failed in reaching its goals there, while 37% say it has mostly succeeded. In both cases, evaluations of the wars have turned more negative in recent years. In November 2011, as the U.S. was completing its military withdrawal from Iraq, a majority (56%) thought the U.S. had achieved its goals there. Similarly, the public’s critical assessment of U.S. achievements in Afghanistan stands in contrast to opinion in June 2011, shortly after Osama bin Laden was killed in neighboring Pakistan. At that time, 58% answered a forward-looking question by saying they thought the U.S. would achieve its goals in that country; the question in the current survey asks whether the U.S. has achieved its goals. The national survey finds more positive views of the original decision to take military action in Afghanistan than about whether the U.S. has achieved its goals. About half (51%) say the decision to use military force was the right one while 41% say it was the wrong decision. However, the share saying the war was the right decision has fallen five points since November (from 56%) and 13 points since January 2009 (64%), shortly before Barack Obama took office. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted January 15-19, 2014 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,504 adults age 18 or older, including 902 cell phone interviews.

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

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

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

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

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


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


Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: December 2013    Monday, December 30, 2013
The Latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds a 13 percentage point rebound in support for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) among Democrats this month, but no overall movement in support or opposition to the ACA since the November poll found a negative shift in views following the problem-plagued rollout of the law. In December, 34 percent have a favorable view of the ACA and 48 percent have an unfavorable view.  The share of Americans that expect to see no personal impact from the law reached a new high in Kaiser polling this month and now stands at nearly half the public. Still, the public is more likely to attribute negative consequences to the law (believing it has increased the federal deficit and caused many people to lose their insurance coverage) than to say it has had positive effects (such as lowering prescription costs for seniors, eliminating cost-sharing for preventive services, and providing rebates to consumers whose health plans spent too much on administration).  Americans are divided on what they would like Congress to do next with the law, with about four in ten wanting the law to be expanded or kept as is and a similar share wanting to see it repealed (either being replaced with a Republican alternative or repealed and not replaced). This month’s survey also highlights some of the problems the uninsured continue to experience in accessing and paying for health care; for example, the uninsured are about twice as likely as those with insurance to report problems paying medical bills, and four times as likely to say they had trouble getting medical care in the past year. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted December 10-15, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,206 adults age 18 or older, including 604 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: In Deficit Debate, Public Resists Cuts in Entitlements and Aid to Poor    Thursday, December 19, 2013
As President Obama prepares to sign a bipartisan budget agreement that its proponents describe as a modest step toward addressing the deficit, the public shows little appetite for making some of the spending cuts often discussed as part of a broader “grand bargain” on the budget. Spending for Entitlements, Aid to Poor Favored over Deficit ReductionThe latest national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Dec. 3-8 among 2,001 adults, finds majorities say it is more important to maintain spending on Social Security and Medicare and programs to help the poor than to take steps to reduce the budget deficit. Nearly seven-in-ten (69%) say it is more important to maintain current Social Security and Medicare benefits than to reduce the deficit, while 59% prioritize keeping current levels of spending for programs that help the poor and needy over deficit reduction. There is greater public support for cutting military spending in order to achieve deficit reduction. About half of Americans (51%) say reducing the deficit is more important than keeping military spending at current levels, while 40% say deficit reduction is more important. Views of tradeoffs between government spending and deficit reduction are divided along partisan lines, and the differences are especially pronounced when it comes to programs that aid the poor and needy. Fully 84% of Democrats say it is more important to keep current spending levels for these programs than to reduce the deficit. A majority of Republicans (55%) say cutting the deficit is more important than maintaining current spending for programs to help the poor. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted December 3-8, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 2,001 adults age 18 or older, including 1,001 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: No Improvement in Public’s Views of Economic News    Wednesday, December 18, 2013
As the Federal Reserve meets to discuss whether to keep up its $85-billion-a-month bond-buying program, the public’s perceptions of recent economic news have shown little change. Six-in-ten (60%) are hearing a mix of good and bad news about the economy. Far more say they are hearing mostly bad news about the economy (31%) than mostly good news (7%). These views have not changed much over the past two years, although the percentage hearing mostly bad news is up five points since August. The new national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Dec. 12-15 among 1,000 adults, finds that perceptions of recent job news remain more negative than positive. Currently, 40% are hearing mostly bad news about jobs, while just 14% are hearing mostly good news; 41% say the news is mixed. These views also have changed little over the past year. News about prices for food and consumer goods also is seen as more bad than good: 45% say recent news about prices has been mostly bad while just 9% say it has been mostly good, with 40% saying it has been mixed. The stock market has made major gains in 2013, but just 17% are hearing mostly good news about financial markets; 28% say the news is mostly bad and 46% say it is a mix of good and bad. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted December 12-15, 2013 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: Republicans More Optimistic than Democrats about Midterms    Friday, December 13, 2013
Less than a year out from the 2014 midterm elections, Republicans are more optimistic than Democrats about their party’s electoral prospects. But the “expectations gap” is far more modest now than it was prior to the 2010 election, when Republicans were brimming with confidence, or 2006, when most Democrats anticipated a midterm victory. The new national survey by the Pew Research Center and USA TODAY, finds that 55% of Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters expect the GOP to do better than it has in recent elections, 33% think it will do about the same, while just 5% say it will do worse. Democrats and Democratic leaners are less confident: 43% say the party will do better than in recent elections, 43% about the same and 9% worse. Partisans’ predictions are more closely divided than during either the 2006 or 2010 midterm election cycles. At a later point in the 2010 campaign (June 2010), fully 72% of Republican voters were confident in their party’s chances to do better in the midterms. By contrast, just 29% of Democrats thought their party would do better in 2010 than in recent elections. At this point in the 2006 election, Democrats were highly confident of victory. In December 2005, 64% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters expected their party to do better in the 2006 midterms than in other recent elections; just 16% of Republican voters felt the same way about the GOP’s prospects. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted December 3-8, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 2,001 adults age 18 or older, including 1,001 cell phone interviews.

Reason-Rupe December 2013 National Survey    Friday, December 13, 2013
At a recent event, President Barack Obama said the health care law is here to stay and vowed, "We aren't going back.” But 55 percent of Americans say they’d prefer to go back to the health care system that was in place before the Affordable Care Act, while 34 percent prefer the current health care system.  The latest Reason-Rupe national telephone poll finds the Affordable Care Act’s troubled launch has made 47 percent of Americans less confident in government’s ability to solve problems. Forty-one percent say the troubles have made no difference and 11 percent say the health care law’s launch has given them more confidence in the government. “This is the most transparent administration in history,” President Obama has declared. However, 57 percent of Americans tell Reason-Rupe that the Obama administration is not the most transparent administration in history, while 37 percent agree with the president’s statement.  A majority of Americans, 52 percent, say they disagree with President Obama’s views about the proper size and power of government, while 38 percent agree with the president. Fifty-four percent of those surveyed feel government is generally a “burdensome part of society that impedes the ability of people to improve their lives,” while 41 percent feel “government is primarily a source of good and helps people improve their lives.” The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted December 4-8, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,011 adults age 18 or older, including 506 cell phone interviews.

Poll: End Workplace Discrimination Against Gays    Wednesday, December 11, 2013
A strong majority of Americans say they support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, legislation that would ban most private businesses from workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, according to the latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll. A plurality of Republicans dissent, the survey found, but their objections fade if the measure applied only to sexual orientation. The numbers underscore the degree to which public opinion has swung in favor of expanding gay rights, even if support lags for transgender men and women. And they demonstrate the predicament facing Republicans, who more often than not now find themselves on the losing end of the culture war. Like immigration, some types of gun control, and—increasingly—gay marriage, the GOP opposes legislation that draws support from a majority of the country. In November, 10 Republicans joined with Democrats to approve ENDA in the Senate. But the GOP-controlled House has shelved the legislation, and there's little hope among its supporters that it will receive a vote on the floor. In the poll, respondents were told the Senate had passed legislation that supporters "say is necessary to ensure that all workers are treated equally whether they are heterosexual or homosexual," while opponents "say it will lead to unnecessary lawsuits and impinge on religious freedom." They were then asked if they supported the measure and if it should include transgender people.The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted December 5 to 8, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,002 adults age 18 or older, including 501 cell phone interviews.

Majority of Americans Say Bag Sequestration    Tuesday, December 10, 2013
As congressional negotiators work toward a budget deal to avoid another government shutdown, a majority of Americans appear to want some sort of agreement to be struck that would avoid triggering another round of automatic government budget cuts. According to the most recent United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, a commanding majority of those surveyed, 61 percent, would undo all or some of the automatic sequester cuts, which remain the law of the land. Just 18 percent favored enacting all of the required cuts. Should Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Paul Ryan, who cochair the budget conference committee, fail to reach a deal before the end of the week, it's possible Congress will be forced to pass a resolution to fund the government at the spending levels called for by the sequester, which sits at $967 billion for the current fiscal year. Should they reach a deal, it could fund the government at a higher level and reverse some of the sequester cuts. But the public remains divided on how to pay for increased spending if some of the sequester cuts are to be avoided. In fact, just 29 percent of those who oppose the automatic cuts say that the savings should come from cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. A solid 73 percent of those surveyed instead believe the savings should be secured by raising taxes on the wealthy by eliminating tax credits and deductions—a strategy that Republicans have rejected. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted December 5 to 8, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,002 adults age 18 or older, including 501 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Obama Job Rating Regains Some Ground, But 2013 Has Taken a Toll    Tuesday, December 10, 2013
For the first time since last spring, Barack Obama’s steadily declining job rating has shown a modest improvement. And while his signature legislative accomplishment – the 2010 health care law – remains unpopular, Obama engenders much more public confidence on health care policy than do Republican leaders in Congress. The flawed rollout of the health care law has registered with the public, with an increasing number of Americans saying its effect on the country so far has been negative. However, assessments of the law’s future impact are little changed and, if anything, have become slightly more positive. The national survey by the Pew Research Center and USA TODAY finds that despite the recent uptick in Obama’s job rating, his standing with the public is much worse today than it was at the start of the year. The percentage viewing Obama as “not trustworthy” has risen 15 points since January – from 30% to 45%. There has been a comparable increase in the share saying he is “not able to get things done” (from 37% to 51%). Yet, Obama’s job rating has reversed a six-month slide. Currently, 45% approve of the way he is handling his job as president while 49% disapprove. In early November, amid the widely criticized rollout of health care exchanges and the Healthcare.gov website, 41% approved of his job performance and 53% disapproved. His job rating had been as high as 51% in May and 55% in December 2012, shortly after he won reelection. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted December 3 to 8, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 2,001 adults age 18 or older, including 1,001 cell phone interviews.

Majority of Republican Men Support Universal Background Checks on Gun Sales    Friday, December 06, 2013
A majority of Republican and Republican-leaning men, 53 percent, would be "very pleased" or "somewhat pleased" if legislation requiring universal background checks on all gun sales was passed by Congress and signed by the president, according to the latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll. The results quantify the broad popularity of expanding background checks on firearms purchases across the political spectrum, even among a segment of the public usually opposed to gun-control measures. Support for universal background checks ranges from mild among Republican men to strong among Republican women to almost wild among Democrats. Three-quarters of Democrats said they would be "very pleased" to see background-check legislation enacted—more than the 64 percent of Republicans who said they would be "very pleased" if the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was repealed. At first glance, the political downside to background-check legislation is virtually nonexistent: Just 14 percent of all Americans and just 19 percent of Republicans said they would be "very disappointed" if such a law was enacted. Among Republican women, just 12 percent said the same. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted November 21-24, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,003 adults age 18 or older, including 503 cell phone interviews.

Americans See Little Chance of Better Obama-Congress Relationship in 2014    Thursday, December 05, 2013
Americans say the relationship between President Obama and Congress was more frayed than usual in 2013—and, if anything, only likely to get worse next year. The first year of Obama's second term has been marked by a government shutdown, no significant legislative achievements, and incessant bickering between the administration and Capitol Hill, prompting 57 percent of Americans to say the White House and Congress are cooperating less than usual, according to the latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll. Only 5 percent of Americans said Obama and Congress cooperated more than usual this year. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points. With Congress on track to pass the fewest new laws this year since at least 1947, Americans are even more pessimistic about a renewed cooperative spirit emerging in 2014, when the congressional midterm elections will be held. While 16 percent of poll respondents said they expected more cooperation next year, 60 percent said the level of cooperation would stay as bad as it is today, and 23 percent predicted relations would deteriorate even further. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted November 21-24, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,003 adults age 18 or older, including 503 cell phone interviews.

November 2013 Financial Security Index charts    Monday, November 25, 2013
Bankrate's monthly survey of six questions measures how secure Americans feel about their personal finances compared with 12 months ago. This month, the index rose to 99.3, up 1.9 points from October. 29 percent of people making at least $75,000 prioritize paying down debts, compared to 16 percent of other respondents. 52 percent of people making less than $30,000 are focused on staying on top of bills, versus just 28 percent of people earning more than that. 27 percent of 18-29-year-olds are concentrating on saving, while just 15 percent of those 30-and-older say the same thing. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted November 7-10, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,003 adults age 18 or older, including 502 cell phone interviews.

Pew Forum: Views on End-of-Life Medical Treatments    Monday, November 25, 2013
At a time of national debate over health care costs and insurance, a Pew Research Center survey on end-of-life decisions finds most Americans say there are some circumstances in which doctors and nurses should allow a patient to die. At the same time, however, a growing minority says that medical professionals should do everything possible to save a patient’s life in all circumstances. When asked about end-of-life decisions for other people, two-thirds of Americans (66%) say there are at least some situations in which a patient should be allowed to die, while nearly a third (31%) say that medical professionals always should do everything possible to save a patient’s life. Over the last quarter-century, the balance of opinion has moved modestly away from the majority position on this issue. While still a minority, the share of the public that says doctors and nurses should do everything possible to save a patient’s life has gone up 9 percentage points since 2005 and 16 points since 1990. The uptick comes partly from a modest decline in the share that says there are circumstances in which a patient should be allowed to die and partly from an increase in the share of the public that expresses an opinion; the portion that has no opinion or declines to answer the survey question went down from 12% in 1990 to 8% in 2005 and now stands at 3%. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted November 7-10, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 4,006 adults age 18 or older, including 2,002 cell phone interviews.

Kaiser Health Tracking Poll: November 2013    Friday, November 22, 2013
The latest Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds the public’s views souring on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in November, with about half having an unfavorable view of the law and a third having a favorable view, a gap that was seen only once before, during the Republican presidential primaries in 2011. This negative shift in opinion comes amid heavy news coverage of the website problems plaguing the law’s online health insurance exchanges and stories about individuals being dropped from their insurance coverage because their plans don’t meet minimum requirements set by the ACA, stories that were followed closely by more than half the American public this month. The partisan divide on the law continues, but support among Democrats dropped sharply this month after rallying in September and October. Views among women also shifted this month, and for the first time in Kaiser tracking, the share of women with an unfavorable view outnumbered those with a favorable view by a large margin (48 percent versus 32 percent). Visibility of the health insurance exchanges increased among the public overall in November, but reaching the uninsured with information remains a challenge – about four in ten uninsured say they’ve heard nothing at all about the new marketplaces to date, and two-thirds say they still don’t have enough information about the law to know how it will impact them. Still, nearly six in ten of those who currently lack coverage say they plan to get insurance in 2014. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted November 13-18, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,204 adults age 18 or older, including 602 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Philippines Disaster Draws Limited Interest, Donations    Tuesday, November 19, 2013
The aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines is drawing less attention from the American public than a number of other major international disasters in recent years. About one-in-three Americans (32%) say they are very closely following news about the deadly typhoon that struck the Philippines on Nov. 8. By comparison, 55% of the public closely followed the aftermath of the 2011 tsunami in Japan, 58% followed the tsunami that struck coastlines around the Indian Ocean at the end of 2004, and 60% followed the 2010 Haiti earthquake. In the new national survey, Typhoon Haiyan tied with economic news as the second-most closely followed story this week. The health care rollout was the public’s top story, with 37% following it very closely. Attention to the Philippines typhoon is similar to the levels of interest in the 2008 earthquake in China (30% followed closely) and the 2010 earthquake in Chile (27%). One-in-Three Plans to Donate to Philippines ReliefUp to this point, the share of Americans making donations to the Philippines trails donations to natural disasters that got more attention: 14% say they have donated to storm relief efforts. The share of the public that has donated so far is somewhat less than after the disasters in Haiti, Japan or the Indian Ocean. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted November 14-17, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,013 adults age 18 or older, including 506 cell phone interviews.

Public Agrees on Obesity’s Impact, Not Government’s Role    Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Most Americans (69%) see obesity as a very serious public health problem, substantially more than the percentages viewing alcohol abuse, cigarette smoking and AIDS in the same terms. In addition, a broad majority believes that obesity is not just a problem that affects individuals: 63% say obesity has consequences for society beyond the personal impact on individuals. Just 31% say it impacts the individuals who are obese but not society more broadly. Yet, the public has mixed opinions about what, if anything, the government should do about the issue. A 54% majority does not want the government to play a significant role in reducing obesity, while 42% say the government should play a significant role. And while some proposals for reducing obesity draw broad support, others are decidedly unpopular. The new national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that two-thirds (67%) favor requiring chain restaurants to list calorie counts on menus. But just 31% support limits on the size of sugary soft drinks in restaurants and convenience stores – 67% oppose this idea. More than half (55%) favor banning TV ads of unhealthy foods during children’s programming, but barely a third (35%) supports raising taxes on sugary soft drinks and unhealthy foods. On each of these policies, Democrats and women are more supportive than Republicans, independents and men. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted October 30- November 6, 2013 by 2,003 adults age 18 or older, including 1,002 cell phone interviews.

Why Minorities Are More Optimistic About the Value of College    Friday, November 08, 2013
Jason Parkinson, a 29-year-old electrician from Cleveland, doesn't consider it much of a handicap that he never obtained a four-year college degree after high school. "It doesn't do any good anymore," he says. "You get a four-year degree, you work at a fast-food restaurant. You can go to trades and manufacturing…. I'm not big on going to college for a career that might not even be there in 10 years." Those contrasting responses from Parkinson, who is white, and Stathas, who is Hispanic, point to one of the most intriguing findings in a new College Board/National Journal Next America Poll. While minorities worry more than whites about affording the cost of higher education, they are more likely to see a payoff from the investment for themselves and for the country overall. The survey, which measures assessments of the pathways to opportunity, found broad agreement among whites, African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asian-Americans that the U.S. still provides young people from any racial background an adequate chance to succeed—and that the primary and secondary schools in their neighborhood are preparing them to do so. But on several fronts, the poll said minorities were considerably more optimistic than whites that more access to education will mean more opportunity, both personally and throughout the economy. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted October 14-24, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,272 adults age 18 or older, including 675 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Most Say Monitoring Allied Leaders’ Calls Is Unacceptable    Monday, November 04, 2013
In the wake of reports that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been listening to phone calls of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other heads of state, a 56% majority of Americans say it is unacceptable for the U.S. to monitor the phones of allied leaders, while 36% say the practice is acceptable. There are virtually no partisan differences in these opinions. Roughly equal shares of partisans — 57% of Republicans, 53% of Democrats and 56% of independents — say that the practice is unacceptable. News reports indicate that President Obama was unaware of the program to tap Merkel’s phone and that he might ban future eavesdropping of allied leaders. The new national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that 22% say they very closely followed reports about the U.S. government’s phone and internet surveillance programs. That is similar to the share that paid very close attention to stories about government surveillance in September and over the summer. Attention was highest in mid-June, when 35% said they were following reports about the initial disclosures by Edward Snowden. The public followed reports about the government’s surveillance programs less closely than news about the new health insurance exchanges (32%) and the U.S. economy (31%). By comparison, 16% followed baseball’s World Series very closely. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted October 31 - November 2, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,002 adults age 18 or older, including 501 cell phone interviews.

Photo and Video Sharing Grow Online    Monday, October 28, 2013
A new study by the Pew Research Center’s Internet Project shows that 54% of internet users have posted original photos or videos to websites and 47% share photos or videos they found elsewhere online. The mobile landscape has also added to photo- and video-sharing. Apps like Snapchat and Instagram have capitalized on the ubiquity of cell phones and smartphones that make it simple to upload and share images. Some 9% of cell phone owners use Snapchat and 18% use Instagram. This is the first time the Pew Internet Project has asked cell owners about Snapchat and Instagram. “Sharing photos and videos online adds texture, play, and drama to people’s interactions in their social networks,” said Pew Internet’s Maeve Duggan, author of a report on the new findings. “Pictures document life from a special angle, whether they relate to small moments, personal milestones, or larger news and events. Mobile connectivity has brought these visuals into countless lives in real-time. This all adds up to a new kind of collective digital scrapbook with fresh forms of storytelling and social bonding.” The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted October 3-6, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,000 adults age 18 or older, including 500 cell phone interviews.

October 2013 Financial Security Index    Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Bankrate's monthly survey measures how secure Americans feel about their personal finances compared to 12 months ago. The results of Bankrate's Financial Security Index have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points. This month, the index declined to 97.4, down 2.1 points from September. 81% of parents with kids under 18 say they have reasons to limit their spending, versus 68% of people who don't have kids younger than 18. There were no major differences in how people of different income classes answered this question. 34% of people 65 and older say they have no reason to limit their spending, compared to 26% of those who are younger. Job fears are what's most holding down spending for 10% of respondents earning $75,000 a year or more, compared to just 4% of respondents making less than $30,000. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted October 3-6, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,000 adults age 18 or older, including 500 cell phone interviews.


Nearly half say replace everyone in Congress    Monday, October 21, 2013
The impasse that shut down much of the federal government for 16 days has left Americans in the sort of throw-the-bums-out mood that presaged two recent tumultuous elections in which control of the House of Representatives shifted from one party to the other. In a nationwide USA TODAY/Princeton Survey Research Poll, just 4% of those surveyed — equal to the margin of error — say Congress would be changed for the worse if nearly every member was replaced next year. Nearly half say it would work better. About four in 10 say a wholesale overhaul wouldn't make much difference. Those findings are similar to the public's views in previous years when voter dismay cost one side or the other control of the House. In 1994, when Democrats lost their majority, 40% said Congress would be better off if most members were replaced. In 2006, when Republicans lost control, 42% held that view. Now 47% say Congress would work better if nearly every seat changed hands next year. (The question wasn't asked in 2010, when Republicans regained control.) Among Republicans and Republican leaners, a 52% majority say Congress would be better off if most of the current members were replaced — even though the GOP now controls the House and holds most of those seats. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted October 17-20, 2013 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: Partisans Dug in on Budget, Health Care Impasse    Tuesday, October 08, 2013
Nearly a week into the first government shutdown in more than 17 years, most Americans express frustration and concern about the situation. Yet on the core issue dividing Republicans and Democrats in Washington – whether cuts or delays to the 2010 health care law should be part of any budget deal – there is little support for compromise among members of either party. The national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Oct. 3-6 among 1,000 adults, finds 44% say Republican leaders should give ground on their demand that any budget deal include cuts or delays to the 2010 health care law. Nearly as many (42%) say it is Obama who should give ground, by agreeing to changes in the health care law. Even when asked if the only way to end the shutdown soon is for their side to give ground on the health care issue, most are unwilling to back down. A majority of Democrats (58%) say it would be unacceptable for Obama to agree to cuts or delays in the Affordable Care Act, even if this is the only way to resolve the shutdown soon. Roughly the same share of Republicans (54%) say it would be unacceptable for GOP leaders to agree to any deal that does not include cuts or delays to Obamacare. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted October 3-6, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,000 adults age 18 or older, including 500 cell phone interviews.

Don't Tie Shutdown to Obamacare Funding    Monday, October 07, 2013
Americans are divided on who deserves blame for the government shutdown, but one thing's certain: A solid majority thinks it's wrong to demand changes to Obamacare as a price for reopening the government. The latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll finds little consensus on whom to blame for shutting down the government—38 percent say it's the Republicans, 30 percent say it's President Obama, and 19 percent say it's both. But public opinion is clearer on the House GOP's approach: Overwhelmingly, Americans think Congress should fund the federal government and deal with health care separately; and just as strongly, Americans oppose including GOP priorities—even those with which they otherwise agree—in a bargain to raise the debt ceiling. The results portend political risk for Republicans should they continue to employ their current approach. Americans oppose those tactics, the data show, and if the government breaches its debt limit, triggering broad-based economic turmoil, Americans could hold Republicans responsible. Half of the poll's respondents disapprove of Obama's handling of negotiations over the shutdown, according to results from the same survey commissioned by the Pew Research Center. But congressional GOP leaders still score worse on this measure: 69 percent disapprove of the way they are handling the budget negotiations, while only 19 percent approve. Congressional Democrats fall in between: 29 percent approve and 58 percent disapprove. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted October 3-6, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,001 adults age 18 or older, including 500 cell phone interviews.

Republican Rebranding Shows No Sign of Working    Tuesday, October 01, 2013
Despite months of Republican talk about rebranding the party to broaden its appeal, nearly half of all Americans say the GOP hasn't changed much since it lost the 2012 presidential election. According to the latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, 46 percent of respondents said "there has been no change" in the Republican Party's views since the 2012 election. Thirty-two percent of respondents said the GOP is "further from representing" their own views, twice as many as those who said the party has gotten closer to them (16 percent). Not surprisingly, Democrats were most likely to say the GOP has moved further away from their views, but a majority of independent voters (52 percent) said they had seen no changes in the GOP's views since the last election. In the months after the 2012 election, the Republican National Committee planned an "autopsy" of the party's electoral failures. Part of the report's goal was mechanical: President Obama's win demonstrated that the Democratic Party's get-out-the-vote and targeting techniques had outstripped the GOP's, and party leaders wanted to close the gap. But another goal was to lay the groundwork for a more inclusive Republican Party. Presidential nominee Mitt Romney essentially matched his party's best-ever showing by a challenger among white voters, but it was not enough to win the White House, partly because Obama matched Democrats' best-ever performance among Hispanic voters. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted September 25-29, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,005 adults age 18 or older, including 503 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Anger at Government Most Pronounced among Conservative Republicans    Monday, September 30, 2013
With a possible government shutdown just hours away, public anger at the federal government is as high as at any point since the Pew Research Center began asking the question in 1997. Anger is most palpable among conservative Republicans – 41% say they are angry at the federal government, the highest among any partisan group. The new national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that 26% overall say they are angry at the federal government, while 51% feel frustrated. Just 17% say they are basically content with the government. The share of Americans who say they are angry at the federal government has risen seven points since January and now equals the high reached in August 2011, a few weeks after the widely criticized debt ceiling agreement between the president and Congress. As in the past, substantial majorities across the political spectrum are either angry or frustrated with the federal government. But anger at the government is far more widespread among conservative Republicans than other partisan groups. This marks a change from 2011, when political independents (30% angry) were about as likely as conservative Republicans (32%) to express anger at the federal government. In the new survey, 41% of conservative Republicans say they feel angry at the government, compared with 27% of independents. Conservative Republicans are roughly twice as likely as liberal Democrats to say they are angry with government (41% vs. 18%). The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted September 25-29, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,005 adults age 18 or older, including 503 cell phone interviews.

Huge Majority Thinks Washington Can Reduce Gun Violence    Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Americans overwhelmingly think there is something Washington can do to reduce gun violence, but pronounced splits on the specific legislative fix underscore the difficulty Congress would face passing a bill. In the wake of the mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, 71 percent of respondents in the latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll agreed that "there's something that can be done through public policies" that would help seriously reduce mass shootings. The sentiment was broadly popular across gender, race, and party lines; only 24 percent of respondents disagreed. Among whites, men without college educations were most likely to oppose that statement, but most (64 percent) still supported it. The results echo President Obama's appeal to the country to not view gun violence as inevitable after a string of high-profile mass shootings. "Sometimes I fear there's a creeping resignation that these tragedies are just somehow the way it is, that this is somehow the new normal," Obama said in a memorial speech on Sunday. Later, he said: "I do not accept that we cannot find a commonsense way to preserve our traditions, including our basic Second Amendment freedoms and the rights of law-abiding gun owners, while at the same time reducing the gun violence that unleashes so much mayhem on a regular basis." The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted September 19-22, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,003 adults age 18 or older, including 500 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Blame for Both Sides as Possible Government Shutdown Approaches    Monday, September 23, 2013
If the federal government shuts down because Republicans and the Obama administration fail to agree on a budget, there will be plenty of blame to go around. About as many say they would blame the Republicans (39%) for such a standoff as say they would blame Obama (36%), with 17% volunteering that both would be equally to blame. This parallels the divided sentiment on the eve of the budget standoff in the spring of 2011, which was ultimately averted. But opinions are notably different today than they were during the budget battle of 1995. A November 1995 Washington Post/ABC News survey asked a similar question and found that 46% said a shutdown would mainly be the fault of the Republican Congress; just 27% said the bulk of the blame would fall on the Clinton administration. The Pew Research Center survey finds that the public is divided over whether a budget deal will be reached by the Sept. 30 deadline for shutting down the government: 46% say the two sides will reach a budget agreement, 45% say they will not. As in past congressional showdowns over fiscal issues, most Americans (57%) want the lawmakers they agree with on this issue to be more willing to compromise, even if it means passing a budget they disagree with. Just a third (33%) wants lawmakers to stand by their principles, even if the federal government shuts down. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted September 19-22, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,003 adults age 18 or older, including 500 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Public Backs Diplomatic Approach in Syria, But Distrusts Syria and Russia    Tuesday, September 17, 2013
As U.S. and Russian diplomats reached an agreement over the weekend to dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles, the public expresses support for a diplomatic approach to the crisis but is skeptical about its effectiveness. By a 67% to 23% margin, the public approves of Barack Obama’s decision to delay military airstrikes and pursue a diplomatic effort to convince Syria to give up its chemical weapons. However, just 26% think Syria will give up control of its chemical weapons, while 57% think it will not. More generally, the public has little trust in Syria. Just 8% say the United States can trust Syria a great deal or a fair amount, while 63% say Syria cannot be trusted at all and another 22% say it can’t be trusted much. The public is skeptical of Russia as well: just 24% say the United States can trust Russia even a fair amount, down from 33% last year. The latest Pew Research Center survey was conducted as the United States and Russia concluded an agreement providing for inspection of Syria’s chemical weapons this fall, with destruction of the arms slated to begin next year. Because of the timing of the poll, it did not specifically ask about the U.S.-Russia agreement. The Obama administration has reiterated that military airstrikes are still possible if Syria does not cooperate fully with the disarmament process, but the public remains, on balance, opposed to the use of force even under these circumstances. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted September 12-15, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,002 adults age 18 or older, including 501 cell phone interviews.

Pew/USA Today Poll: As Health Care Law Proceeds, Opposition and Uncertainty Persist    Monday, September 16, 2013
As a key step in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act approaches, public views of the 2010 health care law are as negative as ever, and many are unaware of the elements of the law that will be going into place. While opposition to the law runs deep, critics are divided over whether the effort should be to make the law work as well as possible or to make it fail. With health insurance exchanges set to open on Oct. 1, the latest national survey by the Pew Research Center and USA TODAY finds that 53% of Americans disapprove of the law while 42% approve. Overall approval of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) ticked up last July in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold most of the law (47% approved, 43% disapproved), but opinions are now as negative as they have been any point since the bill’s passage. The 53% of the public who disapprove of the law are divided over what they would like elected officials who oppose the law to do now that the law has begun to take effect. About half of disapprovers (27% of the public overall) say these lawmakers “should do what they can to make the law work as well as possible,” but nearly as many (23% of the public) say these officials “should do what they can to make the law fail.” This strategic question is a particular point of conflict within the Republican Party. Overall, just 13% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents approve of the law while 85% disapprove. Fewer than half of all Republicans and Republican leaners (43%) want elected officials who oppose the law to do what they can to make it fail; 37% say they should try to make it work as well as possible. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted September 4-8, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,506 adults age 18 or older, including 755 cell phone interviews.

Reason-Rupe September 2013 National Survey    Monday, September 16, 2013
Public says Obama disappoints on transparency, Congress passes too many laws, split on Snowden, Facebook trusted less than the IRS on privacy, and no bailout for Detroit. With the federal government expected to hit its debt limit in mid-October, 70 percent of Americans oppose raising the debt ceiling, the latest Reason-Rupe poll finds. In fact, 55 percent of Americans say they do not support raising the debt ceiling even if it causes the U.S. to default on its debt. If equal spending cuts accompany an increase in the debt ceiling, 45 percent say they'd support raising it and 46 percent would oppose. Thirty-five percent favor raising the debt ceiling in exchange for cutting off funding to the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, with 56 percent opposed. Nearly two-thirds, 63 percent, of Americans feel members of Congress are out of touch with their constituents when it comes to federal spending.  Seventy-six percent of Americans believe the federal government spends too much money, 11 percent say it spends the right amount, and 7 percent say it spends too little. In response to open-ended questions, Americans told Reason-Rupe the government wastes 60 cents out of every dollar they pay in federal taxes and they'd cut federal spending by 30 percent across the board. Rep. Paul Ryan's (R-WI) 2013 budget plan aims to balance the federal budget over 10 years, but Reason-Rupe finds the public wants it done sooner than that. In fact, 40 percent of Americans say Congress should balance the budget immediately, 32 percent say the budget should be balanced over five years, 16 percent feel it should be balanced over 10 years, and 7 percent say Congress should not worry about balancing the budget. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted September 4-8, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,013 adults age 18 or older, including 509 cell phone interviews.

Americans Oppose Syria Strike, but Won't Punish Lawmakers for Supporting It    Thursday, September 12, 2013
Lawmakers have hemmed and hawed this month about whether to support a military strike against Syria, anxious to avoid the political repercussions of either decision. But it turns out most voters wouldn't care enough either way to throw their representative out of office. Fifty-five percent of Americans say if their member of Congress voted for a proposed strike, it would not affect whether they would support the lawmaker's reelection, according to the latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll. That's a testament to the issue's overhyped political implications, despite this month's fervent public debate over its merits. In any case, President Obama's decision Tuesday night to delay the vote while he seeks a diplomatic solution to Syria's use of chemical weapons might make the point moot. Despite the public's apathy, many lawmakers had already declared they would not support the resolution, and it looked to face long odds in the House. More adults did say supporting the strike would make them less likely to back their incumbent. Just 13 percent of men and women said backing it would make them more likely to support the lawmaker; double that number, 26 percent, said they'd be less likely. Five percent of respondents said they didn't know how to answer or refused to do so. If there's any risk with taking a stance on Syria, it comes from Republican primary voters. Thirty-five percent of GOP members said they would be less inclined to back their lawmaker, while only 13 percent said they'd be more likely to support their reelection. Their antipathy helps explain the rush of many Republicans in office to publicly declare their opposition to the strike. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted September 5-8, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,002 adults age 18 or older, including 502 cell phone interviews.

Americans Reject World Police Role, Fear Being Drawn Into War    Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Americans are far more worried that military strikes against Syria will drag the nation further into that country's civil war than the possibility that staying away will embolden despots in other nations to deploy weapons of mass destruction. That's the finding of the latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, which also found that fewer than two in five Americans believe the United States has an obligation to punish foreign governments that deploy weapons of mass destruction to kill civilians. Taken together, the results show a nation wary of further entanglements 12 years removed from the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and after the prolonged military conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The survey also shows that Republicans, long the nation's more hawkish party, are now among those most skittish of further interventions abroad. That can be partly explained away by the fact that President Obama, a Democrat, is leading the current call for strikes against Syria. But it is also evidence that the libertarian, noninterventionist wing within the GOP is growing at the grassroots level. It is tension likely to play out in the 2016 Republican presidential primary. The poll, which was conducted before Obama's national address Tuesday and his blitz of network interviews Monday, found that a 50 percent majority said they are more concerned about being "drawn more deeply" into war in Syria. Only 32 percent said they are more concerned that not taking military action would embolden other nations to use mass-destruction weapons.The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted September 5-8, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,002 adults age 18 or older, including 502 cell phone interviews.

Americans Overwhelmingly Oppose Syria Strike, Want Obama to Back Down    Tuesday, September 10, 2013
President Obama continues to face broad public opposition to military intervention in Syria and an overwhelming consensus that he should not launch attacks if Congress denies him authorization, the latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll has found. As the president prepares to make his case in a nationally televised address, the survey found that opposition to intervention in Syria largely transcends the partisan, racial, age, and regional boundaries that fracture the public on almost all other major issues. Not only do solid majorities of Republicans and independents oppose the use of force against Syria but so does a strong plurality of Democrats, according to the poll. Only a meager 13 percent of those polled--including just one-fifth of Democrats--say Obama should strike Syria anyway if Congress does not approve. On the broadest question, the survey noted that "the Obama administration has concluded that the government of Syria used chemical weapons, including nerve gas, to kill over 1,400 civilians last month" and asked respondents how the U.S. should respond. A solid 55 percent majority said the U.S. should "do nothing and stay out of the Syrian civil war." Just 21 percent endorsed the option Obama prefers: launching "a limited military strike, using only air power, to punish the Syrian government for using chemical weapons." Few preferred more-aggressive options, with 6 percent saying the U.S. should mount a sustained air campaign "to help rebels overthrow the Syrian government" and 6 percent more saying the U.S. should pursue regime change with both air power and ground troops. The final 12 percent said they didn't know what the U.S. should do. The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted September 5-8, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,002 adults age 18 or older, including 502 cell phone interviews.

Pew/USA Today Poll: Opposition to Syrian Airstrikes Surges    Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Over just the past week, the share of Americans who oppose U.S. airstrikes in Syria has surged 15 points, from 48% to 63%, as many who were undecided about the issue have turned against military action. By contrast, the share of Americans who support airstrikes remains virtually unchanged: Just 28% favor U.S. military airstrikes against Syria in response to reports that its government used chemical weapons. The new survey by the Pew Research Center and USA TODAY, conducted Sept. 4-8, 2013 among 1,506 adults nationwide, finds that this growing opposition to Syrian airstrikes is intense: 45% say they oppose airstrikes very strongly. That is roughly three-times the percentage (16%) that strongly favors airstrikes. Republicans, in particular, have turned against Syrian airstrikes. A week ago, Republicans were divided about evenly: 35% favored and 40% opposed military airstrikes in response to the government’s alleged use of chemical weapons. Today, Republicans oppose airstrikes by an overwhelming 70% to 21% margin, with 51% saying they are strongly opposed. Opposition has grown among independents as well, with two-thirds (66%) now opposed, up from half (50%) last weekend. Today, 50% of independents strongly oppose airstrikes, compared with just 15% who are strongly in favor. Despite Obama’s efforts to raise support for military action, Democrats continue to oppose airstrikes. Currently, 53% of Democrats oppose military airstrikes against Syria while 35% support them; the margin is little changed from a week ago (29% favored, 48% opposed). The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted September 4-8, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,506 adults age 18 or older, including 755 cell phone interviews.

Pew Poll: Public Opinion Runs Against Syrian Airstrikes    Tuesday, September 03, 2013
President Obama faces an uphill battle in making the case for U.S. military action in Syria. By a 48% to 29% margin, more Americans oppose than support conducting military airstrikes against Syria in response to reports that the Syrian government used chemical weapons. The new national survey by the Pew Research Center finds that Obama has significant ground to make up in his own party. Just 29% of Democrats favor conducting airstrikes against Syria while 48% are opposed. Opinion among independents is similar (29% favor, 50% oppose). Republicans are more divided, with 35% favoring airstrikes and 40% opposed. The public has long been skeptical of U.S. involvement in Syria, but an April survey found more support than opposition to the idea of a U.S.-led military response if the use of chemical weapons was confirmed. The new survey finds both broad concern over the possible consequences of military action in Syria and little optimism it will be effective. Three-quarters (74%) believe that U.S. airstrikes in Syria are likely to create a backlash against the United States and its allies in the region and 61% think it would be likely to lead to a long-term U.S. military commitment there. Meanwhile, just 33% believe airstrikes are likely to be effective in discouraging the use of chemical weapons; roughly half (51%) think they are not likely to achieve this goal. However, most believe Assad is guilty of using chemical weapons; 53% say there is clear evidence that the Syrian government used them against civilians there while just 23% say there is no clear evidence of a chemical attack. While those who think the evidence is clear offer modestly more support for airstrikes, even here as many oppose as support U.S. military involvement (41% each). The results are based on data collected from telephone interviews conducted August 29 - September 1, 2013 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among a national sample of 1,000 adults age 18 or older, including 500 cell phone interviews.


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