The ongoing effort to fight COVID-19 wins broad support, even across partisan divides
In the face of unprecedented measures to limit social contact at work, at school and on the main streets of communities across the nation, Americans give themselves good marks, with 86% saying people in their households are “reacting about right.” Most also say their local school system is reacting about right (86%), and majorities say the same about their local (74%) or state (72%) government. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Partisan gap on dealing with climate change gets even wider
Reflecting a strong U.S. economy, Americans’ policy priorities have changed in recent years. The public now places less priority on economic and job concerns than it did just a few years ago. At the same time, environmental protection and global climate change are rising on the public’s agenda for the president and Congress.
For the first time in Pew Research Center surveys dating back nearly two decades, nearly as many Americans say protecting the environment should be a top policy priority (64%) as say this about strengthening the economy (67%). [Note: contains copyrighted material].
The spread of the new coronavirus in the United States comes at a time of low public trust in key institutions. Only around a third of U.S. adults (35%) have a great deal or a fair amount of confidence in elected officials to act in the public’s best interests, and fewer than half say the same about business leaders (46%) and the news media (47%), according to a January 2019 Pew Research Center survey.
A majority of U.S. adults say medical doctors care about their patients’ interests all or most of the time. Public attitudes are substantially more positive when it comes to another set of participants in the unfolding coronavirus threat: doctors and medical research scientists. In the same survey, 74% of Americans said they had a mostly positive view of medical doctors, while 68% had a mostly favorable view of medical research scientists – defined as those who “conduct research to investigate human diseases and test methods to prevent and treat them.” [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Many Americans think
declining trust in the government and in each other makes it harder to solve
key problems. They have a wealth of ideas about what’s gone wrong and how to
Trust is an essential elixir for public life and neighborly
relations, and when Americans think about trust these days, they worry.
Two-thirds of adults think other Americans have little or no confidence in the
federal government. Majorities believe the public’s confidence in the U.S.
government and in each other is shrinking, and most believe a shortage of trust
in government and in other citizens makes it harder to solve some of the
nation’s key problems.
As a result, many think it is necessary to clean up the
trust environment: 68% say it is very important to repair the public’s level of
confidence in the federal government, and 58% say the same about improving
confidence in fellow Americans. [Note: contains copyrighted
Young adults in many Western European nations are substantially less likely than older people to say that being Christian, being native to their country, or having ancestry there is important to national belonging – that is, to being “truly British,” “truly French,” and so on.
But in Central and Eastern Europe, there often are no such divides between young adults and older people. Indeed, in many countries in this part of Europe, people of different ages are about equally likely to say that Christianity, birthplace and ancestry are important to national identity. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
People in Central and Eastern Europe are less accepting of Muslims and Jews, same-sex marriage, and legal abortion
The Iron Curtain that once divided Europe may be long gone, but the continent today is split by stark differences in public attitudes toward religion, minorities and social issues such as gay marriage and legal abortion. Compared with Western Europeans, fewer Central and Eastern Europeans would welcome Muslims or Jews into their families or neighborhoods, extend the right of marriage to gay or lesbian couples or broaden the definition of national identity to include people born outside their country.
These differences emerge from a series of surveys conducted by Pew Research Center between 2015 and 2017 among nearly 56,000 adults (ages 18 and older) in 34 Western, Central and Eastern European countries, and they continue to divide the continent more than a decade after the European Union began to expand well beyond its Western European roots to include, among others, the Central European countries of Poland and Hungary, and the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. [Note: contains copyrighted material].
Supporters of Republican and Democratic candidates in the upcoming congressional election are deeply divided over the government’s role in ensuring health care, the fairness of the nation’s economic system and views of racial equality in the United States. [Note: contains copyrighted material].