News Interest Index: McCain's Image Faltered in Week of Wall Street Woes

News Interest Index: McCain's Image Faltered in Week of Wall Street Woes

Views of John McCain turned somewhat more negative last week, amid record public interest in economic news. In a survey conducted Sept. 19-22, fully half of the public said their opinion of the GOP nominee had changed in the past few days, with 30% saying their opinion has become less favorable and only 20% saying their view has become more favorable. McCain's public image had improved significantly the week he chose Sarah Palin to be his vice presidential running mate and the week of the GOP convention.

While partisan views of McCain have remained relatively stable over this period, the balance of opinion among independents has shifted significantly. In the most recent poll, 30% of independents say their opinion of McCain has become less favorable in recent days, while 18% say their opinion has become more favorable. By comparison, the previous week only 21% of independents said their opinion of McCain had become less favorable and 28% said their view of him had become more favorable.

Views of Obama were more stable last week and have generally fluctuated less than have views of McCain in recent weeks. Overall, 25% of the public say their opinion of Obama has become more favorable in recent days, while 20% say their opinion has become less favorable; 53% say their opinion of the Democratic nominee had not changed recently.

The survey finds considerable public interest in Friday's scheduled presidential debate, which was cast into doubt by McCain's Sept. 24 announcement that he is suspending his presidential campaign. Fully 58% of Americans say they are very likely to watch the debate, while 24% said they are somewhat likely to tune in. More than six-in-ten Democrats (63%) and nearly as many Republicans say they are very likely to watch the debate. While independents are somewhat less likely to tune in, a majority (54%) say they are very likely to watch.

Read the full report McCain's Image Faltered in Week of Wall Street Woes on the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press Web site.

Spotlight on Mental Health

Composite image of modern city network communication concept

Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

Quick View

How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

Pills illustration
Pills illustration

What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

Quick View

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.

Explore Pew’s new and improved
Fiscal 50 interactive

Your state's stats are more accessible than ever with our new and improved Fiscal 50 interactive:

  • Maps, trends, and customizable charts
  • 50-state rankings
  • Analysis of what it all means
  • Shareable graphics and downloadable data
  • Proven fiscal policy strategies

Explore

Welcome to the new Fiscal 50

Key changes include:

  • State pages that help you keep track of trends in your home state and provide national and regional context.
  • Interactive indicator pages with highly customizable and shareable data visualizations.
  • A Budget Threads feature that offers Pew’s read on the latest state fiscal news.

Learn more about the new and improved Fiscal 50.