Americans' recollections of what they heard about Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump this week included many references to the New York and New Jersey bombings. By late in the week, references to Clinton in conjunction with the coming debate were frequent.
Presidential debates aren't always pivotal in campaigns, but they can be -- and they are always high theater. The elements are in place for 2016 to be one of those times the debates really matter.
Record-low percentages of both Republicans and Democrats say there is a candidate running who would make a good president, but Republicans remain significantly more negative than Democrats.
Protestants are more likely to be positive about Trump than Clinton, while the reverse is true of Catholics, but these views differ significantly when these two groups are divided by race and ethnicity.
Despite rabid disagreements on many issues, the recent economic speeches by Trump and Clinton showed areas of agreement on economic policy, including several areas in which both candidates are in sync with American public opinion.
Unable to transform their images with voters, the 2016 presidential candidates will likely focus on vilifying their opponent in an unprecedented race to the bottom that could agitate voters enough to turbo-boost turnout.
Hillary Clinton's favorable rating among 18- to 29-year-olds is well below her favorable rating among those who are older, which is a highly unusual situation for a Democratic political figure.
Americans' view of Donald Trump is now identical to their view of Hillary Clinton, at 37% favorable and 58% unfavorable. Previously, Clinton has always had the more positive image.
The relationship between economic hardship and favorable views of Donald Trump is not as neat as some commentators have suggested. Those who like Trump tend to live in areas far from the Mexican border that are relatively unexposed to trade competition.
Melania Trump's pre-convention favorable rating is the worst of any potential first lady Gallup has measured since 1992, mainly because Democrats tilt strongly against her. Republicans are more positive, though many can't rate her.
In the U.S., one in four view Trump and Clinton unfavorably, much higher than the percentage who disliked both candidates in 2012 or 2008. But this doesn't mean turnout will be low or a third-party candidate will be successful.
A review of Gallup data on Americans' attitudes toward police, race and criminal justice provides a public opinion context for the events of the last several days.
In dueling speeches this week, both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton talked about several of the key issues the public has identified as most important to them -- including the economy and jobs, infrastructure and the failure of the "system" to work as it should.
Most Americans would support new laws requiring universal background checks for gun purchases in the U.S. A majority also believe that more Americans owning and carrying guns would be effective in preventing situations like the Orlando mass shooting.
Before the Orlando shootings, Americans indicated that military actions against the Islamic State would be among the most effective ways to fight terrorism and that restrictions on Muslims would be among the least effective.
Americans are clearly focused on the economy, jobs and dysfunctional government as major problems facing the nation today. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump can do well to provide specifics on how they would address these issues.
As Bernie Sanders finds himself under increased pressure from major Democratic figures to quit the presidential primary, he remains more popular among national Democrats than does Hillary Clinton.
Americans are significantly dissatisfied with the U.S. system of government, yet don't rate this as a high priority for the next president to address. Without addressing this major issue, however, the new president will have major problems executing his or her promised agenda.
Race, ethnicity, gender and marital status are among the most powerful demographic differentiators in views of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.
The American public has not formed firm opinions on the issue of policies or laws surrounding transgender individuals' use of bathroom facilities, and the polling evidence that does exist at this point is mixed.