WASHINGTON (AP) - A new Pew Research Center poll finds a sizable share of Americans are unsure how Democrats and Republicans line up on some of the country's most divisive issues, suggesting that Barack Obama and Mitt Romney may have considerable leeway in shaping public perceptions of their parties.
Although 71 percent knew the Republican Party was generally more conservative than the Democrats, fewer were able to connect each party with its position on specific issues. Less than 7 in 10 in the poll knew which party favored expanding gay rights, restricting abortion or establishing a "path to citizenship" for illegal immigrants.
About half identified the Republican Party as advocating a slimmed-down federal government. More said Democrats wanted to raise taxes on higher income people, a frequent topic of Obama's recent public appearances.
(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)