The 2013 Atlantic/Aspen Institute Annual American Values Survey: One Nation, Divisible
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The 2013 Atlantic/Aspen Institute Annual American Values Survey: One Nation, Divisible

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With July 4th approaching, more than 60 percent of Americans say the nation is more divided as a country now than it was 10 years ago, with even higher percentages saying America is at least as ...

With July 4th approaching, more than 60 percent of Americans say the nation is more divided as a country now than it was 10 years ago, with even higher percentages saying America is at least as fragmented now as it was during the Great Depression, Vietnam, and Watergate. And perhaps most strikingly, one in five Americans doubts that America will remain united as one country. These are some of the findings of the 2013 The Atlantic/Aspen Institute American Values Survey, conducted by research firm Penn Schoen Berland (PSB) in partnership with global public relations and strategic communications firm Burson-Marsteller.

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  • Democrats more likely than Republicans to say we’re heading in the right direction
  • Republicans are three times as likely as Democrats to say the economy is on the wrong track
  • Americans are more likely in 2013 to say the following are the most important issues facing the country: education (5%), immigration (3%), terrorism (3%), gap between the rich and the poor (3%), declining middle class (2%), taxes (2%), other (17%). Among “other”, they said debt, war, God, Obama.
  • 97% want America to remain united as one country27% say it’s not very important for the US to be united23% of republicans, 26% of gun owners, 25% of pro-life supporters say we won’t remain united as one country
  • 23% of republicans, 26% of gun owners, 25% of pro-life supporters say we won’t remain united as one country
  • Americans over 65 are three times as likely as younger Americans to say the country should be united around religious values
  • Democrats much more likely that Republicans to say reducing income inequality is very important
  • http://www.gallup.com/poll/147887/Americans-Continue-Believe-God.aspx 12% of Democrats and 14% of Independents say they do not believe in God, compared to just 5% of Republicans
  • But 9 in 10 say it’s possible for Americans to remain united and still have different religions beliefs

The 2013 Atlantic/Aspen Institute Annual American Values Survey: One Nation, Divisible The 2013 Atlantic/Aspen Institute Annual American Values Survey: One Nation, Divisible Presentation Transcript

  • The Atlantic/Aspen Institute Annual American Values Survey: One Nation, Divisible 1
  • Survey Methodology  Penn Schoen Berland, working with Burson Marsteller, conducted 2,010 interviews with the general population of the U.S. from May 29-June 8, 2013 by phone and online.  The overall margin of error is 2.19%  The data presented in this study are reflective of U.S. Census Bureau demographic statistics in terms of gender, age, ethnicity, income, education, and region. 2
  • After the Election Cycle, Americans have a Slightly More Positive Outlook 3
  • 28% 33% 35% 62% 63% 59% Right direction Wrong direction Americans are slightly more optimistic since 2012 4 Generally speaking, would you say things in this country are heading in the right direction or in the wrong direction? 2013 2011 2012 Showing All
  • 2012 2010 2011 29% 26% 32% 38% 60% 66% 66% 59% 12% 8% 2% 3% Right track Wrong track Don't Know 2013 6 in 10 say economy is on the wrong track, down from two thirds in 2012 5 In general, is the U.S. economy on the right track or is it off on the wrong track? Showing All
  • 52% 6% 6% 4% 5% 34% 8% 7% 6% 6% Economy and jobs Deficit and government spending Health care Big government / bureaucracy Moral/ family values 2012 2013 Jobs, economy are the most important issues facing the country 6 What do you think is the most important issue facing this country today? Showing All
  • The “United” States of America? 7
  • Nearly three fourths say it is very important for America to be united 8 73% 23% 3% 1% Very Somewhat Not very Not at all Generally speaking, how important is it to you that America be united?  97% want America to remain united as one country and 73% say this is very important to them Showing All
  • It‟s important to be united, but most think the US is increasingly divided 9 8% 14% 29% 32% Much more united Somewhat more united Somewhat more divided Much more divided Would you say that America has become more united over the past 10 years or has it become more divided? Showing All
  • And Americans believe we are more divided today than in the past  Older Americans (65+) are more likely to think we are more divided today than at other points in history 10 Showing All Do you think America is more or less united [today] than it was in the…? 60 49 51 11 16 19 23 30 24 1940's 1960's 1970's More divided About the same More united
  • We feel more divided today than any other time except the Civil Rights Era 11 31% 39% 33% 25% 38% 43% 36% 38% 39% 44% he Great DepressionCivil Rights Era Vietnam WarDuring Watergate After 9/11 We are more united today than… We are more divided today than… Would you say America today is more united or divided when compared to each of the following times in our history? Showing All
  • 20% doubt America can remain united as one country going forward 12 Do you think America will remain united as one country? 78% 20% YES NO Showing All  More than one quarter of Conservatives, pro-lifers, and gun owners think we will not remain united.
  • Equal opportunity, freedom of speech are most unifying American principles 13 Which of the following do you think help make America united? Please indicate all that apply. 59% 59% 54% 54% 53% 52% Equal opportunity Freedom of speech Freedom of religion Common values Patriotism Democracy Showing Top 6, Among All
  • 59% 45% 45% 40% 39% 39% Money in politics Congressional gridlock Wealth inequality Extremism Racial differences Power of Wall Street and big corporations Special interest, beltway gridlock and wealth inequality divide America 14 Which of the following do you think contribute to America being divided? Please indicate all that apply Showing Top 6, Among All
  • 27% 22% 22% 20% 19% 18% Hold politicians more accountable Cooperation by Republicans and Democrats in congress Limit the power of the federal government Limit the influence of money in politics Hold our politicians to a higher standard More economic equality Holding government accountable, partisan cooperation will unite America 15 What do you think America could do to become more united? Please select up to 3 responses. Showing Top 6, Among All
  • Reducing bureaucracy and increasing collaboration would make us more united 16 What steps could elected officials take to make America more united? 20% 20% 13% 10% 10% Encourage meetings between parties Reduce bureaucracy Increase transparency Easing partisan rhetoric Campaign finance reform
  • 21% 6% 4% 4% 4% Barack Obama Oprah Winfrey Bill Clinton Bill Gates Chris Christie Obama is both the most unifying figure and the most divisive 17 Who do you think is the most unifying figure in America today? Showing Top 5, Among All Who do you think is the most divisive figure in America today? 33% 10% 3% 3% 3% Barack Obama Rush Limbaugh Bill Clinton Donald Trump Mitt Romney
  • Lincoln, Reagan, JFK embody unity historically 18 Which of the following political leaders best embodies unity in America historically? 21% 19% 17% 10% 10% 9% 3% Abraham Lincoln Ronald Reagan John F. Kennedy George Washington Franklin D. Roosevelt Bill Clinton George W. Bush Showing Top 7, Among All
  • „One Nation‟ applies most to America 19 58% 48% 45% 53% 49% 47% one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. What parts of the Pledge of Allegiance do you think apply to America today? Showing All
  • Issues that Unify and Divide Us 20
  • 69% 67% 31% 29% 24% Moral values Family values Religious values Ethnic or cultural values Political values Moral and Family values are the most important for Americans to unite around 21 Showing All Which values are most important for Americans to unite around?
  • 55% 45% 37% 29% 20% 18% Religion Politics Beauty and ArtEthnic or cultural valuesFamily valuesMoral values Religious and political values are okay to be divided on 22 Showing All Which values is it okay for Americans to be divided on?
  • Abortion, gay marriage are considered most divisive social issues 23 How united or divided do you think America is on the following social issues? 22% 19% 17% 16% 14% 78% 81% 80% 81% 85% Immigration Gun control Homosexuality Gay marriage Abortion Total United Total Divided Showing All
  • Americans are most united on their feelings about divorce, prostitution 24 How united or divided do you think America is on the following social issues? 44% 39% 39% 35% 34% 53% 54% 55% 61% 65% Divorce Prostitution Having a child out of wedlock Climate change Drugs Total United Total Divided Showing All
  • Contraception, interracial marriage among most acceptable behaviors today 25 Showing All Please indicate whether each of the following is morally acceptable or morally objectionable. 37% 57% 60% 69% 83% 35% 60% 60% 75% 83%Interracial marriage An unmarried couple living together Pre-marital sex Having a child out of wedlock Physician- assisted suicide60% 40% 39% 30% 15% 61% 38% 37% 24% 15% Objectionable (2012) Objectionable (2013) Acceptable (2012) Acceptable (2013)
  • Abortion among most objectionable behaviors 26 Showing All Please indicate whether each of the following is morally acceptable or morally objectionable. 41% 41% 53% 69% 78% 37% 47% 52% 69% 79%Sex-ed in schools Divorce Homo- sexuality Smoking marijuana Abortion 57% 56% 45% 29% 21% 60% 51% 46% 28% 20% Objectionable (2012) Objectionable (2013) Acceptable (2012) Acceptable (2013)
  • The Role of the American Economy 27
  • More than half say the free-market unites us and helps achieve the American Dream 28 How important is America’s free-market economy in helping individuals reach the American Dream? 56% 38% 4% 1% Very Somewhat Not very Not at all 68% 25%Unite Us Divide Us Does the free enterprise system do more to unite us or divide us as a country? Showing All
  • Majority say reducing the gap between rich and poor is important 29 How important is reducing the gap between the rich and the poor to American unity? 46% 35% 13% 6% Very Somewhat Not very Not at all Showing All
  • The Shifting Role of Religion in America 30
  • Fewer Americans are embracing religion 31 Do you believe in God? 96% 98% 89% 89% 1% 1% 11% 10% Yes No 2012 1967; Gallup 1944; Gallup 2013 Showing All
  • 61% believe religion unites Americans 32 61% 36%Unites Americans Divides Americans Do you think religion does more to unite Americans or divide them? Showing All
  • Nearly half of Americans believe in intelligent design 33 20% 48% 29% I believe in evolution onlyI believe in a combination of evolution and creationismI believe in creationism only Which of the following is closer to your view? Showing All