Posts tagged poll

Americans hold negative views on morality

Keeping on the topic of surveys gauging American views on morality, a new Gallup poll shows that 43 percent of Americans believe moral values in the United States are in poor shape, and a whopping 73 percent believe they are getting worse.

On what do respondents blame this decline? Here you go:

You can read more on the survey here.

Most give lawmakers poor ethics rating

A record 64 percent of Americans consider the honesty and ethical standards of members of Congress “low” or “very low,” according to a new survey from Gallup. The result matches the poll’s record “low”/”very low” rating, received by lobbyists in 2008. Gallup has measured the public’s perception of ethical standards in various profession since 1976.

To help put this finding into context with other professions, take a look at this chart:

And to help put the lawmakers’ rating in historical perspective, take a look at this:

2011 American Values survey

The nonprofit research organization Public Religion Research Institute yesterday released the 2011 American Values Survey, the newest edition of its extensive annual survey that gauges Americans’ beliefs on important issues at the intersection of religion, values, and politics. Here are a couple of the most interesting findings:

  • A strong majority (60 percent) of Americans agree that the country would be better off if the distribution of wealth was more equal, while 39 percent disagree.
  • Seven-in-ten (70 percent) Americans favor “the Buffett rule,” a proposal to increase the tax rate on Americans earning more than $1 million per year, compared to only 27 percent who oppose it.
  • A majority (53 percent) of Americans believe that one of the biggest problems in the country is that everyone does not have an equal chance in life. Four-in-ten Americans say that it is not really that big a problem if some people have more of a chance than others.
  • Two-thirds of voters say that it is very important (39 percent) or somewhat important (28 percent) for a presidential candidate to have strong religious beliefs. However, roughly 1-in-5 (19 percent) voters say they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who had strong religious beliefs if those beliefs were very different from their own.
  • A majority of voters (53 percent) report that they would be somewhat or very comfortable with a Mormon serving as President, although 42 percent say that a Mormon president would make them somewhat or very uncomfortable.

You can read the full report here.

Support for death penalty at 39-year low

Support for use of the death penalty on persons convicted of murder has hit a 39-year low in the U.S. after dropping from 64 to 61 percent, according to a new Gallup survey. Thirty-five percent of Americans said they disapprove of the death penalty, while four percent had no opinion.

Gallup carried out the survey on the heels of two controversial cases: the execution of Troy Davis and the Supreme Court ruling on Cory Maples.

Support for capital punishment was at its highest in 1994 (80 percent) and lowest in 1966 (42 percent). It has dropped 19 points in the last 17 years. Here is the relevant historical graph:

In another interesting finding from the survey, seventy three percent of Republicans support the death penalty, compared to only 46 percent of Democrats.

Again, you can read the full report here.

Don’t worry: God’s got the economy

From the Washington Post:

About one in five Americans combine a view of God as actively engaged in daily workings of the world with an economic conservative view that opposes government regulation and champions the free market as a matter of faith.

“They say the invisible hand of the free market is really God at work,” said sociologist Paul Froese, co-author of the Baylor Religion Survey, released Sept. 20 by Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

“They think the economy works because God wants it to work. It’s a new religious economic idealism,” with politicians “invoking God while chanting ‘less government.’”

If you believe in an omniscient and omnipotent God, it makes sense to also think God would take care of things like the economy. Of course, questions concerning the existence of God, and his potential political views, are different matters.

Fortunately, there is some good news for liberal-minded people:

At the opposite pole, another one in five Americans don’t see God stepping in to their daily lives and favor reducing wealth and inequality through taxation.

“So they’re less likely to see God controlling the economy. Liberal economic perspectives are synonymous with the belief that there is no one ‘ultimate truth,’” Froese said.

The battle for the other 60 percent does not one bode well for liberals, who are tasked with articulating a complex view of worldly affairs to Americans human beings who are not often ready to accept that truth is a complicated issue.

Gallup gauges American morality

A recent Gallup poll measured American moral approval and disapproval for 17 different activities, ranging from abortion and gay marriage to gambling and pornography. The most divisive issue: doctor-assisted suicide. The least divisive issue: having an extramarital affair. Here’s a look at the full survey.

You can find further breakdowns — by age and political affiliation — on the Gallup web site.