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Candidates and Tax Returns

Donald Trump has refused to release his tax returns, a decision that Hillary Clinton has denounced with ads that imply these documents hide secrets that would be devastating to her opponent’s campaign. Will this message resonate with voters? The polling seems to indicate that while the public does want to see returns, they may not consider the issue an important one. […]

Mandating Better Work-Life Balance: FMLA and Public Opinion

This Labor Day, America’s labor movement will point to many proud achievements: overtime pay, workplace safety regulations, and more than two decades of family and medical leave. Polls have found the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA), which ensured that most American workers could take unpaid leave for personal illness or to care for a sick family member, to have deep and longstanding support from the public. But the U.S. still provides fewer […]

Convention Resources

Conventional Wisdom: Delegates, Conventions and Nominations
The 2016 party conventions mark the end of a long and difficult primary season, one which has brought nomination process questions to the forefront of the national dialogue. Americans have been faced with the complexities of the roles of delegates and conventions in choosing the parties’ nominees. Such controversies have arisen in earlier elections, and the public has shown some perhaps surprising views of how the process should work.  A historical review of public opinion on the nomination process… […]

Conventional Wisdom: Delegates, Conventions and Nominations

The 2016 party conventions mark the end of a long and difficult primary season, one which has brought nomination process questions to the forefront of the national dialogue. Americans have been faced with the complexities of the roles of delegates and conventions in choosing the parties’ nominees. Such controversies have arisen in earlier elections, and the public has shown some perhaps surprising views of how the process should work. A historical review of public opinion on the nomination process: […]

The Whole World Was Watching: Public Opinion in 1968

As a divided Republican Party prepares to meet in Cleveland to confirm Donald Trump as its 2016 nominee, it is appropriate to look back at public reaction to one of the most divided US political gatherings in recent history, the Chicago Democratic convention in 1968. […]

The Public and its Right to Know

Fifty years since the Freedom of Information Act was first passed, the country is still debating how much transparency in government is appropriate. While the public has widely supported greater openness for decades, some concerns remain. […]

Two Thumbs Down: 2016 Presidential Candidates’ Favorability

Are Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton the least-liked presidential candidates in recent history? There’s evidence they may be. Trump’s unfavorability ratings have been declining over the last few weeks, but the most recent Gallup poll still placed his unfavorables at 60%, with Clinton’s a lower but still dismal 54%. Other polls have found higher negatives still. Just how bad are these numbers? […]

See America First: Public Opinion and National Parks

The National Parks Service is 100 this year. To celebrate, go camping – or take a look back at over sixty years of polling about our national parks.

Vacation plans

The earliest question in the Roper Center archives about the national park system came in 1955. Gallup asked Americans about their intention to visit a national park; only 15% planned to that year. The same survey found that several parks had been visited by roughly a tenth […]

Incarceration Nation

Interview with Peter Enns, Executive Director of the Roper Center and author of Incarceration Nation: How the United States Became the Most Punitive Democracy in the World

Peter K. Enns, Associate Professor in the Department of Government at Cornell University and Executive Director of the Roper Center for Public Opinion Research, is the author of the new book Incarceration Nation, which describes how shifting public opinion on issues of crime and punishment led to the rise of mass incarceration in the United States. […]