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Issue Pulse

In this age of ever-available, often distressing and polarizing information, what do Americans truly care about—and how does that change as new issues make headlines?

The Ad Council Research Institute (ACRI), the newly launched research arm of the Ad Council, wants to better understand how today’s news-filled environment affects Americans: The issues they care about, their values, their attitudes and behaviors relating to these issues, their views on America and American life—and if or how they change over time.

With the pace of news cycles and ever-available (and often polarizing) stories and information today, ACRI, together with decision intelligence company Morning Consult, will field and report on this information on a quarterly, ongoing basis, identifying trends seen among the general population as well as through key demographic and psychographic segments such as generation, race, political ideology, and more.

The issues Americans care about don’t fit into neat, separate boxes—we don’t experience news in a vacuum, and our knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors toward various issues are interconnected. Thus, each edition of this quarterly report will also take a deeper look at the key issues affecting Americans, and how various issues have a “ripple” effect on these perspectives.

This fourth edition and year in review of Issue Pulse provides an overview of the key issues U.S. adults say they’re most concerned with, and if/how those concerns change based on major moments, movement instigations and overall media influence. In addition, this report provides a profile of those who are more inclined to take action on behalf of the issues they care about. And overall, this report identifies trends and consistencies in Americans’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviors across the four major social issues we examined throughout the year, including:

  • race/inequality
  • voting
  • guns/firearms
  • climate change/environment


Discover which topics matter most right now.

Issue Pulse - Winter

Previous Report - Winter 2023

Our third Issue Pulse study, fielded in January 2023, dives into the issues Americans care about, their willingness to take action on those issues plus takes a deeper look at insights specific to guns and gun violence.