November 29, 2008

Rasmussen reports

Rasmussen on The Pledge:

1) Should school children say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning at school?

77% Yes
13% No
9% Not sure

2) Should children be able to opt out of saying the Pledge of Allegiance every morning at school?

44% Yes
47% No
9% Not sure

3) Is the United States truly a land of liberty and justice for all?

46% Yes
42% No
13% Not sure

4) Should the words “Under God” be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance?

14% Yes
82% No
4% Not sure

5) Are people too worried about being politically correct these days?

72% Yes
19% No
9% Not sure

Seventy-seven percent (77%) of U.S. voters say school children should say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning at school, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.

Just 13% say they should not, and nine percent (9%) are undecided.

Eighty-two percent (82%) say the words "under God" should remain in the Pledge as well. Fourteen percent (14%) think the phrase should be dropped from the Pledge, and just four percent (4%) have no opinion.

Voters are closely divided over whether students should be able to opt out of saying the Pledge of Allegiance every morning. Forty-four percent (44%) say they should be allowed to do so, but 47% disagree. Nine percent (9%) are not sure.

Support for saying the Pledge is slightly higher than in a survey for July 4 this year in which 75% of voters said they were proud of American history and nearly as many said the world would be a better place if more countries were like ours.

Men and women are in near agreement on saying the Pledge every day. Eighty-four percent (84%) of African-American voters think school children should say the Pledge daily, compared to 77% of whites.

While 91% of Republicans and 75% of unaffiliated voters say students should say the Pledge every morning, just 67% of Democrats agree. Half of Democrats (50%) say children should be able to opt out of saying the Pledge, but 58% of GOP voters say they should not be able to do so.* Unaffiliateds oppose opting out by a six-point margin.

The phrase "under God" which was added to the Pledge in 1954 has been challenged in the courts in recent years, prompting Congress to consider legislation making use of the phrase mandatory under law. The legal challenges have been unsuccessful to date.

Ninety-three percent (93%) of Republicans, 80% of unaffiliated voters and 74% of Democrats say "under God" should not be removed from the Pledge of Allegiance.

Even those who characterize themselves as politically liberal support the phrase by a two-to-one margin.

Again, support is stronger among African-Americans (92%) than among whites (82%).

Seventy-two percent (72%) of voters also say people are too worried about being politically correct these days. Only 19% disagree, with nine percent (9%) undecided.

Eighty-one percent (81%) of conservatives and 73% of moderates say there is too much concern about political correctness, but just 56% of liberals agree. Seventy-six percent (76%) of white voters share this view, compared to 59% of African-Americans.

Forty-six percent (46%) of voters say the United States is truly the land of liberty and justice for all, but 42% disagree. Thirteen percent (13%) are not sure. These findings are virtually identical to those in July.

Most men believe America is a land of liberty and justice for all, but a plurality of women (45%) disagree.

While 62% of Republicans say the country is fair to all, 53% of Democrats say it is not. Unaffiliated voters are closely divided on the question, giving a slight edge to the more positive view.

Whites by a 49% to 40% margin say the United States is a country with liberty and justice for all. But just 20% of black voters agree. Sixty percent (60%) of blacks say America is not fair to all.

Two days after Barack Obama became the first African-American to be voted into the White House, the percentage of black voters who viewed American society as fair and decent jumped 18 points to 42%. Just a month earlier, only 24% of black voters viewed U.S. society as fair and decent.

* "Opting out" of saying the Pledge of Allegiance is a settled matter of First Amendment rights. The issue was resolved 65 years ago in the SCOTUS West Virginia State Board of Education v. Barnette case. Some Jehovah's Witnesses had brought the case, and the Barnette decision had overturned a SCOTUS ruling from a mere three years prior which held that compelling students to recite the Pledge was constitutional.

Posted by Hube at November 29, 2008 09:39 AM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Interesting post, Hube. #1, 4 and 5 I'd go with 'yes'; 3 and 4, 'no' and 2...I guess 'not sure'...would be interested in knowing why children would want to opt out (or why the voters, while pretty much well divided in their responses to the other questions cut a close line on this one.

Posted by: Nancy Cleveland at November 29, 2008 11:15 AM

Ooops...correction..4 IS a yes.

Posted by: Nancy Cleveland at November 29, 2008 11:17 AM

Would #2 would have gotten a different response if it had been phrased as a parents' rights issue? I'd think most people could appreciate that there are legitimate religious reasons for not reciting the Pledge.

I've been an atheist all my life despite reciting the Pledge every day when I was in school. It never did me any harm, never caused me to believe in God. How weak does your mind have to be that it can't withstand a once-a-day "under God"?

Posted by: Nels at November 29, 2008 12:48 PM

I opt out. We didn't say the pledge at all where I went to school (private school), so I find the whole business of reciting a nursery rhyme every morning rather silly. It doesn't inspire any feelings of patriotism in me - speaking to my Grandfather or my Father-in-law when they were still alive inspired me more. I require my students to stand and face the flag in the mornings, but I don't recite the pledge for/with them.

And, as long as I can opt out of saying it, I don't mind the "under God" in there.

Posted by: Bronwen at November 29, 2008 09:14 PM

Your answers to #2 and #3 should be the same, or else you have a different concept of "liberty..for all" than I do.

Posted by: Joe R. at November 30, 2008 04:23 AM

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