The Power of iPOLL
In the Balance: The Public, the Budget and the Deficit
Recent news on the federal budget deficit has been mixed: the deficit is shrinking now, but expected to start to expand again. Some economists on the left argue that the deficit is not a serious threat to the health of the economy, while other experts say that projected increases show that long-term solutions need to be found. What does the public think about this debate?
Public Understanding of the Holocaust, From WWII to Today
Seventy years ago this week, the Soviet army liberated prisoners at the Auschwitz concentration camp. How much did Americans at the time understand about the horrors that were unfolding in Europe, and how much do they know about the Holocaust today?
A Public Divided: Americans' Attitudes about Torture
The release of the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA use of torture in interrogations of suspected terrorists has renewed the debate over what the U.S. should or should not do to its prisoners in the war on terror. Where does the public stand – and have their views changed over time?
Polls of Future Past: A History of Public Expectations for the Future of Science
Science fiction sometimes barely beats out science fact, as technological advancements rapidly transform the world. But the changes that are anticipated aren’t always the ones that arrive. A look back at what the polls tell us the public has expected from scientific progress – and how often they’ve been disappointed.
Ambivalent Attitudes: The Public and Opinion Polls
Pundits have few kind words for politicians who consult public opinion polls when formulating policy. On the other hand, pollsters themselves consider polls no less than the voice of the people. But where does the public stand?
Holiday Shopping in Hard Times
Pay It Back: The Public and the Student Loan System
Among the Americans struggling most in the current economy are recent college grads carrying significant educational debt. As millennials navigate lowered employment prospects with larger student loans than young people of earlier decades, the U.S. system for funding higher education has come under scrutiny. What does the public think about how the country pays for college?
A Hero's Welcome: the American Public and Attitudes about Veterans
Next week, Americans will pay tribute to those who have served in the military. Though the country has long been united in the belief that former soldiers deserve respect and honor, the question of what exactly the government owes its veterans - and whether it is fulfilling those obligations - has been more controversial. A look at public attitudes about veterans' benefits.
When the Wall Came Tumbling Down: The American Public and Berlin
When the Berlin Wall fell twenty-five years ago this week, America rejoiced in what was widely seen as a new opportunity for peace in the world. But in the early years post-World War II, when the partitioning of Germany stood at the center of tensions between the Russians and the Western Allies, the public saw the future of Berlin lying dark under the threat of war. How the American people viewed the division and reunification of Berlin.
Going Too Far: The American Public's Attitudes toward Protest Movements
The photographs out of Ferguson are new, but the scene is all too familiar: signs, bullhorns, protesters, police. The ongoing demonstrations in Missouri are only the most recent in a long history of American protests. Groups across the political spectrum have used rallies, marches, and picket lines to bring their agendas to the attention of the media, government and fellow citizens. But public attitudes about this form of political engagement have historically been mixed at best.
Money, Politics and the American Public
Observers of the American political scene have long denigrated politicians' reliance on money and the donors who provide it. The influence of money in politics in general and campaigns in particular is a staple of op-ed writers, late-night comedians and armchair pundits. As another Federal Election Commission reporting deadline looms, how bad does the public really think the problem is – and what are they willing to do about it?
The Public and Ebola: What the Polls Say
The news stories now follow a familiar pattern: an outbreak of a new and frightening disease on another continent, the first cases found in the U.S., the speculation about the risk to the American population. The public has experienced this before: first SARS, then several waves of H1N1, and now Ebola. What did the public think during these earlier outbreaks, and what are they thinking now?
Love, Marriage and the Vatican: Americans' Attitudes about Marriage and the Catholic Church
Next week, the world's Catholic bishops will descend upon Rome for an Extraordinary General Council of the Synod. This rare meeting of church leaders has been convened by Pope Francis, who has signaled a willingness to change the Church's direction to meet contemporary challenges to family and marriage. In a country where about a quarter of the population identify as Catholic, how does the American public's attitudes about marriage, divorce and cohabitation accord with those of the Catholic Church? And what do American Catholics think?
The Public and Proposed Constitutional Amendments
Politicians have often framed the amendment process as a procedure of last resort, necessary to ensure lasting change on a vital issue. But is the American public convinced by such arguments? What do "we, the people" think about calls to alter the country's governing document?
The Public's Perception of the Obesity Epidemic
Obesity has been called a major health crisis and a national epidemic. Health authorities, including prominent spokespeople like Michelle Obama and the Surgeon General, have sounded the alarm, and the media has responded with a bombardment of stories about the state of the nation's waistline. But does the American public understand the significance of the country's weight issue? Or have people become so accustomed to the "new normal" of excess weight that they don't recognize the problem?
The Public and Labor Unions
On May 14, 1882, unionized workers in New York City held a parade and picnic, and the seeds of the Labor Day holiday were planted. About 50 years later, pollsters began asking Americans to share their opinions on unions. The results highlight how views of the labor movement have -- and haven't -- changed since the 1930s. Some insights from the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research archives.
The American Public's Attitudes about Nixon Post-Watergate
Just a few days before he stepped down, a Gallup poll had shown Nixon's approval rating to be a dismal 24%, down from 67% in January of the previous year. The 37th President left the White House under a dark cloud of public disapprobation. But by his death in 1994, many claimed the man had successfully reinvented himself as a respected elder of American politics.
Malaysian Airlines Flight 17
The tragic crash in eastern Ukraine of Flight MH17, a Boeing 777 carrying 298 people, marks the second catastrophic event this year for Malaysian Airlines. Ukrainian officials report that the plane, carrying 283 passengers and 15 crew members, was shot down by a surface-to-air missile system. While the pro-Russian rebels deny any responsibility, the Ukrainian government maintains that the pro-Russian separatists fighting to join East Ukraine with Russia shot down Flight MH17 with Russian aid.
Public Opinion on Civil Rights: Reflections on the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Likely the most sweeping civil rights legislation since Reconstruction, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ushered in a new era in American civil rights as discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin was outlawed.
D-Day? What's That?
As people all over the world observe the 70th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy – widely considered the turning point of World War II – some commenters have expressed concern that the passing of the generation that fought the war means people are at risk of forgetting the importance of that titanic struggle.
Given the long history of adversarial relations between the United States and Russia/the Soviet Union, it is not surprising that the overall public opinion ratings of Russian leaders have usually been less than favorable.
The Changing Role of Women
U.S. Attitudes toward China Over 25 Years since Start of Tiananmen Protests
In April of 1989, thousands of Chinese citizens began protesting human rights conditions and government reform, which led to one of the most violent attacks of a government against its own people in recent history.
Progress Since the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill?
Monday, March 24, 2014 marked the 25th anniversary of one of the worst environmental disasters in America's history. The oil tanker Exxon Valdez struck a reef in the Prince William Sound off the coast of Alaska, spilling approximately 11 million gallons of oil into the Pacific Ocean.
A Brief History of Public Opinion on the Government's Role in Providing Health Care
Public opinion polls reveal that from the late 20th through the early 21st century, the federal government's role in providing health care services has been highly salient and contentious issue. However, the divisions so starkly evident in 2013 did not always exist. Public opinion data archived at the Roper Center for Public Opinion research provide a rich history of American perspectives on the subject.
John F. Kennedy - His Presidency and the Impact of His Assassination
Martin Luther King Jr.
In the winter of 1995 the Roper Center magazine, Public Perspective, published an article by Sheldon Appleton that looked at the changing public opinion of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the 1960s through the 1990s.
For media inquiries, please contact Kathleen Weldon, Research Manager of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research 860.486.9347.