Informing the Public

Negative political views

For the first time since surveys began in 1992, most voters in each party had very unfavorable views of the opposing party as they prepared to vote in the presidential election. © Katye Martens

Negative political views soar

In June, as the 2016 presidential campaign was unfolding amid intense division and animosity, the Pew Research Center found that partisans’ views of the opposing party were more negative than at any point in nearly a quarter-century. For the first time since surveys began in 1992, majorities in both parties expressed not just unfavorable but very unfavorable views of the other party. Sizable shares of Democrats and Republicans each said the other party stirred feelings not only of frustration, but also fear and anger. More than half of Democrats (55 percent) said the Republican Party made them “afraid,” while 49 percent of Republicans said the same about the Democratic Party. Among those highly engaged in politics—those who said they vote regularly and either volunteered for or donated to campaigns—70 percent of Democrats and 62 percent of Republicans said they were afraid of the other party.

Beyond Brexit, Euroskepticism still strong

Ahead of the June 23 U.K. referendum on whether to remain in the European Union, the Pew Research Center released a report finding Euroskepticism on the rise across Europe. Some two-thirds of Britons and Greeks, along with significant minorities in other key nations, want some powers returned from the EU to national governments. The report’s findings received major attention in domestic and international media, including the BBC, The Independent, The Telegraph, Agence France-Presse, Reuters, the Financial Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Handelsblatt, Die Welt, and El Mundo.


Before the Brexit vote in June, two thirds of Britons said they wanted powers returned from the EU to their government. © Michael Tubi/Getty Images

How religious Americans differ from nonreligious

Highly religious Americans are happier and more involved with family but are no more likely to exercise, recycle, or make socially conscious consumer choices, according to an April Pew Research Center report. Nearly half of highly religious Americans—defined as those who say they pray every day and attend religious services each week—gather with extended family at least once or twice a month. By comparison, just 3 in 10 Americans who are less religious claim the same frequency. However, in several other areas of day-to-day life, highly religious Americans appear to be very similar to those who are not as religious. For instance, highly religious people are about as likely as other Americans to say they lost their temper recently, and they are only marginally less likely to say they told a white lie in the past week.

Israel’s religiously divided society uncovered

A Pew Research Center survey released in March found deep divisions in Israeli society—not only between Israeli Jews and the country’s Arab minority, but also among the religious subgroups that make up Israeli Jewry. The report received significant attention from Israeli media and elite stakeholders. During a briefing hosted at his residence, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin commented, “This survey must be placed before the decision-makers in Israel, before the government of Israel. Your survey and its significant findings must serve as a wake-up call for Israeli society to bring about some soul-searching
and moral reflection.”