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Commentary – Pew Research Center for the People and the Press

U.S. Politics & Policy

Last Build Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2018 18:28:42 +0000


Did Newtown really change public opinion about gun control?

Mon, 09 Dec 2013 15:36:39 +0000

In the year since the Newtown, Conn. school shootings, President Obama and other gun control advocates have repeatedly pointed to polls showing that substantial majorities support expanded background checks on private gun sales. As Obama put it in March, “How often do 90 percent of Americans agree on anything?” Obama was right – some surveys […]

Race and Voting

Sun, 19 May 2013 21:43:51 +0000

In the next several weeks the Supreme Court is expected to rule on the constitutionality of the requirement that several states, mostly in the South, get “pre-clearance” from the Justice Department before they make any changes to their election laws. The requirement was part of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which was an emergency […]

The GOP’s Staunch Conservative Problem

Fri, 22 Mar 2013 21:40:22 +0000

The outsize influence of hard-line elements in the party base is doing to the GOP what supporters of Gene McCarthy and George McGovern did to the Democratic Party in the late 1960s and early 1970s — radicalizing its image and standing in the way of its revitalization. Read the commentary on The Washington Post site.

As Hagel Fight Begins, Wide Partisan Differences in Support for Israel

Tue, 08 Jan 2013 20:45:35 +0000

For decades, the public has sympathized more with Israel than the Palestinians in the Middle East conflict. However, the partisan gap in sympathies, while little changed in recent years, is as large as it has been in more than three decades of polling. Discussion of the U.S.-Israeli relationship is likely to come to the fore […]

Election, Tragedies Dominate Top Stories of 2012

Thu, 20 Dec 2012 20:50:34 +0000

The public’s news interests were very much focused on domestic developments this year, with the election outcome, last week’s horrific school shooting and Hurricane Sandy leading the list of the top stories of 2012. With the exception of the attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya in September, which became a bitterly debated campaign issue, […]

Public Attitudes Toward Gun Control

Fri, 14 Dec 2012 22:21:15 +0000

The Pew Research Center has been tracking attitudes about gun control for nearly 20 years. Our question asks whether it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns, or to control gun ownership. Our most recent survey on the issue, conducted July 26-29, 2012, shortly after a gunman killed 12 people […]

Young Voters Supported Obama Less, But May Have Mattered More

Mon, 26 Nov 2012 11:20:49 +0000

In winning reelection, Barack Obama won 60% of the vote among those younger than 30. That was down somewhat from 2008, when Obama won nearly two-thirds (66%) of the votes of young people. However, Obama’s youth support may have been an even more important factor in his victory this year than it was in 2008. […]

Lessons from the 2012 Election

Wed, 14 Nov 2012 02:08:55 +0000

By Andrew Kohut, Pew Research Center President November 14, 2012 Postelection talk of “lessons learned” is ­often exaggerated and misleading, and so it is in 2012. A week after President Obama won re-election, two themes are dominant. First, that Mr. Obama kept his job because key elements of his base—notably young people, African-Americans, Latinos and Asian-Americans—turned […]

Behind Gay Marriage Momentum, Regional Gaps Persist

Fri, 09 Nov 2012 16:52:31 +0000

Supporters of same-sex marriage won key victories in several states Tuesday, including the first instances in which laws allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally were approved by voters. This comes at a time when support for same-sex marriage has been on the rise. Across four Pew Research Center surveys this year, 48% of Americans […]

Changing Face of America Helps Assure Obama Victory

Wed, 07 Nov 2012 17:02:34 +0000

Barack Obama retained enough support from key elements of his base to win reelection, even as he lost ground nationally since 2008. In particular, Obama maintained wide advantages among young people, women, minorities, and both the less affluent and the well-educated. Overall, Obama benefited from relatively strong turnout – both nationally and in key battleground […]