America on July 4th – a country divided

America on July 4th – a country divided

July 4, 2014 – As Americans gather at backyard barbeques and block parties to celebrate their nation’s birthday, they do so largely as citizens divided along political and demographic lines. Those are some of the results of an Angus Reid Global (ARG) online survey asking American adults how they feel about their country, and its institutions. More than half – 62 per cent say they think the US is on the wrong track. This sentiment is more pronounced among older Americans (67% who are older than 55 years) than among young Americans (55% aged 18 – 34). Just 15 per of American adults surveyed say they believe the country is on the right track and are optimistic about its future. Of these respondents, 26 per cent voted for US President Barack Obama in the 2012 election, while 6 per cent voted for Mitt Romney.

What is America doing well?

Asked to rank the US in several areas, respondents rated their country’s democratic freedoms highest. Just under half (45%) said these freedoms were either “world class” or “above average”. Less than one-third (30%) said the same about Americans’ quality of life. When it comes to quality of government, fewer than one-fifth (17%) ranked this as either “world class” or “above average”. Institutions: Respondents were also asked how they view US institutions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) were most favorably ranked: 78 per cent of respondents offering a favorable impression, followed closely by NASA at 77 per cent, and the Defense Department at 66 per cent. Perceptions of these institutions were least divided between past-Obama and past-Romney voters. The same cannot be said about other government institutions and departments listed in the tables on the following pages.

Click here for detailed results, charts, tables and methodology

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Country AttitudesInstitutionsUnited States