Aspen ideas poll 7 9-10
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Aspen ideas poll 7 9-10

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The American people are solidly behind the basic principles of the Constitution. But they are deeply divided as to how it should be interpreted, and they're frustrated with its current implementation. ...

The American people are solidly behind the basic principles of the Constitution. But they are deeply divided as to how it should be interpreted, and they're frustrated with its current implementation. This poll of 1000 Americans (from June 2010) addresses their attitudes toward the past and future of the Constitution - as well as the changes they want to give people more power.

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  • The poll summary says that Americans are 'open to granting states with larger populations more representation in the US Senate' (pg 25), but the actual figures are 50 to 40 OPPOSED, i.e., maintain the current system. (pg 30)
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Aspen ideas poll 7 9-10 Aspen ideas poll 7 9-10 Presentation Transcript

  • Aspen Ideas Festival“Does the US Constitution Still Work for 21st Century America?”
    July 9, 2010
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
  • Methodology
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
    1
    Between June 18 and June 22, 2010, PSB conducted 1000 online interviews with GP Americans.
    Between June 30 and July 5, PSB conducted an additional 500 online interviews with GP Americans to gain insight on supplemental questions.
    • The following audiences are shown throughout this report:
    • Gender
    • Male (M)
    • Female (F)
    • Region
    • Northeast (NE)
    • Midwest (MW)
    • South (S)
    • West (W)
    • Political Affiliation
    • Democrat (Strong or weak) (D)
    • Republican (Strong or weak) (R)
    • Independent (I)
    • Income
    • Less than $75k annual household income (<$75k)
    • More than $75k annual household income (>$75k)
    • The margin of error is +/-3.1% for the first fielding, +/-4.4 for the re-field.
    CONFIDENTIAL
  • Table of contents
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
    2
    This presentation outlines America’s attitudes towards the following:
    1
    2
    3
    4
  • Four Clear Trends To Watch
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
    3
    1
    The American people are solidly behind the basic principles of the Constitution
    2
    But they are divided on its interpretation
    3
    Are deeply frustrated with its current implementation
    4
    And want changes that give the people more power
  • Fundamental Attitudes about the Constitution
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
    4
    Americans say that the Constitution is a timeless document and should be changed minimally.
    Most say the Constitution is still effective today, more than 200 years after it was written, but are split as to whether the Constitution should be interpreted broadly or literally.
  • The constitution is still effective and should be changed minimally
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
    5
    The Constitution…
    Is timeless and should be changed minimally
    Is still effective today
    Is no longer as effective as it was when it was written
    Needs significant updates
    Although, approximately one-third say the Constitution needs significant updates and is no longer as effective as it was when it was written.
  • Americans are open to broad interpretation of the constitution
    Women and Democrats are more likely to be open to broad interpretations while men and Republicans more likely to be strict constructionists.
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
    6
    Which of the following is closest to your view?
  • Most Americans say that the system of checks and balances works well
    Across all subgroups, a majority of Americans support the system of checks and balances among the branches of government and say it is effective in preventing any single branch from having too much power.
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
    7
    Which of the following is closest to your view?
    Checks and balances works well(because it prevents any one branch from having too much power )
    Checks and balances does not work well(because it inhibits too much the government’s ability to get anything done)
  • Only one quarter of Americans say the press has too much freedom
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
    8
    Do you think there is too much or too little freedom of the press?
  • Attitudes about constitutional rights
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
    9
    Rights for All
    Rights for Some
  • Americans say Freedom of Speech is the most important right the constitution guarantees
    You will now see the rights that are currently protected by the Constitution. Using your mouse, please arrange the individual rights from right to left in terms of which is most important.
    Right to trial by jury
    Right to “plead the 5th”
    Right to vote
    Freedom of speech
    (85)
    Freedom of assembly
    No unauthorized arrests
    (55)
    Freedom of religion
    Right to bear arms
    Least important right
    Most important right
    0
    100
    No cruel or unusual punishment
    Freedom of the press
    10
  • Majority agree Constitution should protect more rights
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
    11
    Which of the following is closest to your view?
    The Constitution should protect more rights
    The Constitution should protect fewer rights
  • Americans’ attitudes on rights that should be guaranteed
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
    12
    Which of the following rights do you think the U.S. Constitution should guarantee, if any?
    multiple responses permitted
  • Americans are Split over whether the Constitution protects everyone equally
    Men and Republicans are more likely to say that the Constitution protects everyone, while women and Democrats are more likely to say that it protects some more than others.
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
    13
    Which of the following is closest to your view?
  • Americans divided over civil liberties vs. national security
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
    14
    Which of the following is closest to your view?
    Protecting national security is more important than civil liberties
    44%
    Civil liberties are more important than protecting national security.
    39%
  • More than half see circumstances where the police could violate civil liberties to protect national security
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
    15
    Which of the following is closest to your view?
  • Americans question extending citizens’ rights to corporations, criminals, and terrorists
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
    16
    How much do you agree with the following statement: “____ should have the same rights as citizens guaranteed by the Constitution.”
    Corporations
    Should the judicial system treat terrorists differently than criminals?
  • Despite satisfaction with the Constitution, only 25% of Americans are satisfied with the way the government functions today
    Nearly 70% of Americans say that the Government today is functioning WORSE than intended.
    Attitudes about the current system of government
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
    17
    By 2 to 1, Americans agree that the system works best when the Executive and Legislative branches are controlled by different parties, and the majority of Americans would like to see more bipartisanship (58%).
  • Only 25% of Americans satisfied with the way government functions today
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
    18
    25%
    71%
    Dissatisfied with the way the federal government functions
    How satisfied are you with the way the federal government functions today?
    Satisfied with the way the federal government functions
  • Majority say that government today does not work as well as the framers intended
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
    19
    Do you think that the U.S. government today is working better than, worse than, or as well as the framers of the constitution intended?
  • By 2 to 1, Americans prefer divided government
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
    20
    Which of the following is closest to your view?
    72% of Republicans prefer different parties
    44% of Democrats prefer one-party controlling both branches
  • Americans would like to see more bi-partisanship and collaboration
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
    21
    Do you think there is too much or too little collaboration between political parties?
  • Majority say all branches of government should be equal
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
    22
    Thinking of the three branches of government, which branch do you feel should have the most power?
    They should all be equal
  • legislative branch is perceived to have biggest impact on daily life
    Across all subgroups, a plurality of Americans say that Congress has the biggest impact on their daily lives, while close to 1 in 5 say they don’t know.
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
    23
    Which branch of the government has the largest impact on your daily life?
    Don’t know
  • What Americans are open to changing
    To fix the current governmental system, Americans are open to some changes in the Constitution, particularly in the judicial branch.
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
    24
    The Executive Branch
    The Legislative Branch
    The Judicial Branch
    State Representation
    Americans are open to electing the President through a direct vote and imposing a mandatory retirement age, but do not want to change citizenship requirements.
    Americans are open to extending term lengths, but will not change age requirements or impose a mandatory retirement age.
    Americans would like to elect Supreme Court Justices directly, impose a mandatory retirement age, and limit the amount of time that justices can serve.
    Americans are open to granting equal representation to the District of Columbia and to granting states with larger populations MORE representation in the U.S. Senate.
  • Americans Are somewhat open to changes in the executive branch
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
    25
    Open to Changing
    Not Open to Changing
    Change the current system
    Maintain the current system
    *Re-field data collected between June 30-July 5, 2010
  • Americans are open to some changes for the Legislative Branch
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
    26
    Open to Changing
    Not Open to Changing
    Change the current system
    Maintain the current system
    *Re-field data collected between June 30-July 5, 2010
  • Americans are most open to changing the judicial branch
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
    27
    Open to Changing
    Change the current system
    Maintain the current system
    *Re-field data collected between June 30-July 5, 2010
  • Majority says justices should be elected
    Men are split on this issue while women strongly favor electing judges over having them appointed.
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
    28
    Do you believe that Supreme Court justices should be...?*
    *Re-field data collected between June 30-July 5, 2010
  • Americans are open to making changes in the system of representation
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
    29
    Open to Changing
    Not Open to Changing
    Change the current system
    Maintain the current system
  • Americans support constitutional changes by popular referenda
    Democrats are more likely than Republicans to favor utilizing popular referenda to amend the Constitution.
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
    30
    Would you favor or oppose being able to change the Constitution by popular referenda, where citizens can propose changes and then the entire country would vote on the issue by popular vote?
    49
    41
  • Roadmap of Constitutional changes
    Americans are open to making at least a few changes to all branches of government
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
    31
    Limit justices’ term in office (66%)*
    Most willing to change
    States with a larger pop. should have more reps (40%)
    Mandatory retirement age for the Congress (66%)
    Extend house terms to four years (40%)*
    DC should have representation (49%)
    Mandatory retirement age for the President (51%)
    Mandatory retirement age for justices (69%)*
    Supreme Court Justices should be elected (51%)
    Abolish the electoral college (74%)*
    Do away with the filibuster (53%)*
    Allow President to serve a 3rdnon-consecutive term (42%)*
    Least willing to change
    *Re-field data collected between June 30-July 5, 2010
  • In Sum, Four Clear Trends To Watch
    ©Penn, schoen & berland associates, llc.
    32
    1
    The American people are solidly behind the basic principles of the Constitution
    2
    But they are divided on its interpretation
    3
    Are deeply frustrated with its current implementation
    4
    And want changes that give the people more power