National Poll - We’re in a Funk, Two-Thirds Blame Politicians

News Story:

Other findings were upbeat: 

  •      Overwhelmingly Proud to Be Americans
  •      Proud of Legal Immigrants
  •      Americans Are Rooting for Success in Iraq

A national Poll of 1,000 Americans released by the Sacred Heart University Polling Institute shows 62.5% agreeing that “most Americans seem to be in a funk.”

And, two-thirds (66.6%) agreed that “politicians who constantly gripe are bringing us down.”

According to Gary Rose, Ph.D., professor and chair of SHU’s Department of Government and Politics, “The polling data reflect a growing weariness among the American people with the intense polarization that has beset our nation’s politics. When national debate reflects the views of ideological factions, rather than the perspective of the general citizenry, it should come as no surprise that a vast majority of Americans view the political establishment with disdain. The good news, however, is that voter disillusionment is confined to those who practice politics, rather than the values and institutions of American democracy.”

“The Poll was designed for introspection and an assessment of America as well as ourselves as Americans,” according to SHU Polling Institute Director, Jerry C. Lindsley.

He added, “Despite the constant media and political drumbeat of negative news, it’s commendable that Americans are maintaining such a positive outlook.”

The Poll shows strong majorities…

  •     Are proud of the men and women in our military (97.5%)
  •     Agree that our freedoms are worth fighting for (96.9%)
  •     Are proud to be Americans (96.4%)
  •     Believe religion is a force for good in the world today (80.8%)
  •     Believe the U.S. is the most caring and giving nation in the world (80.7%)
  •     Are rooting for our success in Iraq (80.7%)
  •     Are proud of our status as an immigrant nation (78.8%)

The Poll did find that fewer than half…

  •      Believe the nation is prepared for a major natural disaster (46.8%)
  •      Believe the U.S. provides its residents with the best health and medical care in the world (46.4%)
  •      Believe a new, major terrorist attack will occur in the next few years (44.3%)
  •      Believe the “surge” in Iraq seems to be working and things are turning around (38.6%)

Nearly two-thirds…

  • Agree that race relations in the nation are improving (67.6%)

Lindsley found more optimism in race relations. “While 67.6% overall agreed that race relations in America are improving, the percent was even higher among Hispanics (73.4%), and nearly half of African-Americans agreed (49.4%).”

While 84.5% of Americans surveyed agreed that they are proud of America’s legal immigrants over our history and 66.4% agreed that legal immigration over the past 25 years has had a positive impact in America, over half (57.9%) agreed that a fence should be built along the full length of the Mexican-U.S. border to slow illegal immigration.

Just over half of all those surveyed, 50.4%, agreed that guest worker passes should be issued to qualified illegal immigrants.  And, just under half, 46.9%, agreed that the U.S.-born children of illegal immigrants should be allowed U.S. Citizenship.

Only 17.6% agreed that illegal immigrants should be provided healthcare benefits.

EXPERTS AVAILABLE FOR COMMENT

  • Gary Rose, Ph.D., professor and chair in the Department of Government and Politics at Sacred Heart University
  • Jerry Lindsley, director, Sacred Heart University Polling Institute

To speak with these experts, please contact Funda Alp at 203-396-8241 or alpf@sacredheart.edu.

How the Poll Was Conducted
The Sacred Heart University Polling Institute completed 1,000 interviews with residents nationwide between August 27 - September 8, 2007. The sample was generated proportional to population contribution in all 50 states. Statistically, a sample of 1,000 completed telephone interviews represents a margin for error of +/-3.0% at a 95% confidence level.