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Ipsos/ Reuters Poll: March 2011

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Washington, DC - These are findings from an Ipsos poll conducted for Reuters from March 3-6, 2011. For the survey, a nationally representative, randomly selected sample of exactly 1,040 adults aged 18 and older across the United States was interviewed by Ipsos via live telephone interviewing on landlines and cell phones.

Some key findings:

  • By a margin of almost two to one, Americans prefer to cut existing programs (59%) rather than raise taxes (30%). When presented with the three options in our questions (defense spending, Medicare / Medicaid and Social Security), the majority (51%) choose defense spending, compared to Medicare/Medicaid (28%), and Social Security (18%).
  • The public are equally divided when it comes to the Republicans' proposed budget cuts: 45% believe that the cuts are essential to balance the budget, while 48% feel the cuts of this size could cause job losses.
  • A majority of the American public (58%) believe that a government shutdown would affect them 'some' or 'a lot', with over a third (36%) saying 'a lot'. Those most likely to think they will be affected are younger, less wealthy, more likely to be minorities, and more likely to be Democrats.
  • The leader ratings show that all of these potential Republican candidates have work to do in terms of raising their profiles with the American public: Newt Gingrich has the best name recognition, with just 26% saying they 'don't know' when asked about him -- while Tim Pawlenty has the biggest challenge, with 59% saying they 'don't know' what they think of him (and that figure is 57% among Republicans!). Of this selection, the candidate with the most favorable rating is Mitt Romney at 36%.
  • Obama's favorability ratings remain unchanged since the question was last asked in December, with 55% favorable and 42% unfavorable.
  • The proportion of Americans believing that things are on the 'right track' has dropped 7 points since last month to 31%; 64% think things are off on the wrong track (up 7 points).
  • Obama's job approval ratings have dropped 2 points from last month, but remain fairly steady overall and still represent an improvement on late-2010's ratings (49% approve / 47% disapprove). His approval rating among Independent voters, however, has dropped by 10 points, from 47% to 37%.

For more information on this news release please contact:

Clifford Young
Managing Director, Public Sector Practice
Ipsos Public Affairs


Julia Clark
Ipsos Public Affairs

About Ipsos

Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals. Ipsos helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and responses of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world.

Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media. They measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos member companies offer expertise in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting. Ipsos has a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies. The company was founded in 1975 and has been publicly traded since 1999.

In 2009, Ipsos generated global revenues of €943.7 million ($1.31 billion U.S.).

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Ipsos/ Reuters Poll: March 2011

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CliffordYoung Clifford Young
President, US Public Affairs
Ipsos Public Affairs

JuliaClark Julia Clark
Senior Vice President
Ipsos Public Affairs