Welcome!

News Feed Item

Nine in Ten U.S. Adults Feel Rivalries are Keeping Politicians from Addressing the Interests of Americans Like Them

Majorities also feel each party is more interested in "beating" the opposition than in what's good for the country

NEW YORK, March 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Hot tempers and heated words have always been part of the U.S. political scene. In fact, Aaron Burr challenged Alexander Hamilton to a duel in the early days of the United States. But how bad do Americans think it's gotten? A new Harris Poll addresses the issue of incivility in politics and public life, and whether it's seen as getting in the way of the actual work our political leaders are meant to be doing on our collective behalf. While politicians may not be dueling, findings indicate that roughly nine in ten U.S. adults (89%) believe that political discussions today are angry and bad tempered, and roughly seven in ten (69%) believe that today's political climate is more angry and bad tempered than it was in the past.

Harris Poll Logo

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,266 adults surveyed online between February 12 and 17, 2014. (Full results, including data tables, available here)

Angry – and getting angrier?
When given four possible responses, most Americans say that political discussion today is either "much too angry and bad tempered" (40%) or "somewhat angry and bad tempered" (48%).

  • Democrats and Independents (43% each) are more likely than Republicans (35%) to say "much too angry."
  • Matures (ages 68+; 48%) and Baby Boomers (ages 49-67; 45%) are more likely than Gen Xers (ages 37-48; 37%) and Echo Boomers (ages 18-36; 34%) to think that political discourse is "much too angry and bad tempered" today.

Seven in ten U.S. adults (69%) believe that the political climate today is more bad tempered than in the past, while only 5% think it's less angry and bad tempered today. 

  • The older Americans get (and therefore the longer their memories), the more likely they are to believe political discourse is more angry and bad tempered today (87% Matures, 76% Baby Boomers, 66% Gen Xers, 57% Echo Boomers).

Seven in ten Americans (71%) also believe that "how American politicians treat one another influences how American citizens treat one another," with 26% indicating "very much" believing this.

  • Liberals (79%) are more likely than Moderates (71%) to believe this, with Moderates in turn more likely than Conservatives (63%) to feel this is true.

Strong majorities of U.S. adults believe that in public discourse it's inappropriate for politicians, political commentators or citizens to use language referring to war or fighting when discussing political differences (74%, with 40% specifying that it's not at all appropriate), referencing opponents as "enemies" (83% and 54%, respectively), or making reference or allusion to causing physical harm to opponents (90% and 72%, respectively).

The blame game
Looking at recent partisan bickering in Washington, three in ten Americans (29%) say Republicans deserve the most blame, down a bit from 34% last October, in the wake of the government shutdown, while the percentage blaming Democrats most holds steady at 17%. But nearly half (47%, up from 42% in October) say both parties are equally deserving of blame.

  • Democrats are most likely to lay the most blame on Republicans (56%), while Republicans (51%) and Independents (55%) are most likely to lay the lion's share of the blame on both parties equally.
  • Women are more likely than men to blame both parties equally (50% women, 43% men), while men are more likely to blame, well, anyone – as they are more likely than women both to say that Republicans (32% men, 26% women) and Democrats (19% and 15%, respectively) deserve the most blame.

What about us?
The rivalry between Democrats and Republicans (as well as the one between mainstream and "Tea Party" Republicans) has been widely credited in the media with grinding our government to a halt, with obstructionism trumping taking care of business. Americans appear to concur, with nine in ten (89%) agreeing – more than six in ten (62%) strongly so – that party rivalries are keeping politicians from addressing the interests of "Americans like me."

Looking individually at the Republicans and Democrats, majorities also agree – albeit more strongly when talking about Republicans – that each party is more interested in "beating" the other than they are in what's good for the country; 77% believe this is true of Republicans, while 64% say it holds true for Democrats.

To see other recent Harris Polls, please visit the Harris Poll News Room.

Want Harris Polls delivered direct to your inbox? Click here!

Methodology
This Harris Poll was conducted online within the United States between February 12 and 17, 2014 among 2,266 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.

All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, The Harris Poll avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.

Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.

These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.

The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of The Harris Poll.

Product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

The Harris Poll® #24, March 11, 2014
By Larry Shannon-Missal, Harris Poll Research Manager

About Nielsen & The Harris Poll
On February 3, 2014, Nielsen acquired Harris Interactive and The Harris Poll.  Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence and mobile measurement. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, visit www.nielsen.com.

Press Contact:
Corporate Communications
The Harris Poll
212-539-9600
[email protected]

Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20100517/NY06256LOGO

SOURCE The Harris Poll

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
"Infoblox does DNS, DHCP and IP address management for not only enterprise networks but cloud networks as well. Customers are looking for a single platform that can extend not only in their private enterprise environment but private cloud, public cloud, tracking all the IP space and everything that is going on in that environment," explained Steve Salo, Principal Systems Engineer at Infoblox, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventio...
Data scientists must access high-performance computing resources across a wide-area network. To achieve cloud-based HPC visualization, researchers must transfer datasets and visualization results efficiently. HPC clusters now compute GPU-accelerated visualization in the cloud cluster. To efficiently display results remotely, a high-performance, low-latency protocol transfers the display from the cluster to a remote desktop. Further, tools to easily mount remote datasets and efficiently transfer...
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, James Henry, Co-CEO/CTO of Calgary Scientific Inc., introduced you to the challenges, solutions and benefits of training AI systems to solve visual problems with an emphasis on improving AIs with continuous training in the field. He explored applications in several industries and discussed technologies that allow the deployment of advanced visualization solutions to the cloud.
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"NetApp is known as a data management leader but we do a lot more than just data management on-prem with the data centers of our customers. We're also big in the hybrid cloud," explained Wes Talbert, Principal Architect at NetApp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"We work around really protecting the confidentiality of information, and by doing so we've developed implementations of encryption through a patented process that is known as superencipherment," explained Richard Blech, CEO of Secure Channels Inc., in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
High-velocity engineering teams are applying not only continuous delivery processes, but also lessons in experimentation from established leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Facebook. These companies have made experimentation a foundation for their release processes, allowing them to try out major feature releases and redesigns within smaller groups before making them broadly available. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Brian Lucas, Senior Staff Engineer at Optimizely, discussed how by using ne...
Agile has finally jumped the technology shark, expanding outside the software world. Enterprises are now increasingly adopting Agile practices across their organizations in order to successfully navigate the disruptive waters that threaten to drown them. In our quest for establishing change as a core competency in our organizations, this business-centric notion of Agile is an essential component of Agile Digital Transformation. In the years since the publication of the Agile Manifesto, the conn...
While some developers care passionately about how data centers and clouds are architected, for most, it is only the end result that matters. To the majority of companies, technology exists to solve a business problem, and only delivers value when it is solving that problem. 2017 brings the mainstream adoption of containers for production workloads. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ben McCormack, VP of Operations at Evernote, discussed how data centers of the future will be managed, how the p...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...