There’s a lot of polling information out there these days, and it’s hard to wade through it all, even if you’re interested in just one issue. Moreover, the task of making sense of the public mind on a given issue is made more daunting by the constant din of the conventional wisdom, which continually insists that this or that is off the public’s agenda and just not worth thinking about. The assumption seems to be that, if some issue isn’t moving politically, that must mean the public doesn’t care, is opposed to change, or is happy with what it’s got.
In this section we will provide a series of in-depth considerations of public opinion on issues like Social Security, education, and health care that put this conventional wisdom to the test. Click on the issue you’re interested in below and you may be surprised at how much is off the political agenda but is definitely on the public agenda.