Trends in Public Opinion: A Compendium of Survey Data

Synopsis

Polls have not usually proved a reliable indicator of the views of the general public over the long term because they most often reflect temporary fluctuations in public opinion on isolated issues. This work overcomes many of the difficulties associated with the interpretation of polls. Drawing on consistent data sources, the authors make systematic comparisons of survey findings over extended periods on a wide range of social, political, and economic topics of importance to the American people. The questions chosen are meaningful and standardized and have been asked in interviews over a significant period. Survey results are displayed in a highly readable format that facilitates comparisons over time.