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Polls on Patriotism and Military Service: AEI Public Opinion Study, April 2010

Polls on Patriotism and Military Service: AEI Public Opinion Study, April 2010

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This study, a compilation of public opinion data on patriotism, examines what it means to be a patriot and what people think about military service and the draft. A special section looks at young people's attitudes on these topics. The study includes all of the latest polling data as well as important historical trends for comparative purposes.



The content of this study includes:

*

Between 1987 and 2009 survey organizations have asked Americans how proud they are to be Americans more than a dozen times. The responses have barely changed. In 1987, in a Gallup question, 87 percent said they were extremely or very proud. In 2009, 86 percent in an identical Pew question gave that response. 9/11 produced more overt displays of patriotism.
*

Americans rank extremely high on measures of self-professed patriotism. They are more likely than people in most other countries to say they are very proud of their country, that they would prefer to live here than elsewhere, and that the fundamentals of the American system are strong.
*

American Patriotism is not unreflective or blind. We show in our latest Political Report and our study on opinions toward the federal government that Americans retain a healthy dose of skepticism about government and also that they are very critical of current performance.
*

Substantial majorities of Americans think serving in the military is a sign of patriotism. The military is also one of the most positively viewed institutions in the country. In Gallup's June 2009 survey, 82 percent had a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the military. Solid majorities oppose returning to the draft.
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In five questions asked between 1981 and 1995 by Gallup, around seven in ten said that they would be willing to fight for our country. About two in ten said they would not. An April 2009 question from Pew finds 53 percent completely or mostly agreeing that we all should be willing to fight for our country "whether it is right or wrong". Twenty-five percent mostly disagreed with the statement and 16 percent completely disagreed with it.
This study, a compilation of public opinion data on patriotism, examines what it means to be a patriot and what people think about military service and the draft. A special section looks at young people's attitudes on these topics. The study includes all of the latest polling data as well as important historical trends for comparative purposes.



The content of this study includes:

*

Between 1987 and 2009 survey organizations have asked Americans how proud they are to be Americans more than a dozen times. The responses have barely changed. In 1987, in a Gallup question, 87 percent said they were extremely or very proud. In 2009, 86 percent in an identical Pew question gave that response. 9/11 produced more overt displays of patriotism.
*

Americans rank extremely high on measures of self-professed patriotism. They are more likely than people in most other countries to say they are very proud of their country, that they would prefer to live here than elsewhere, and that the fundamentals of the American system are strong.
*

American Patriotism is not unreflective or blind. We show in our latest Political Report and our study on opinions toward the federal government that Americans retain a healthy dose of skepticism about government and also that they are very critical of current performance.
*

Substantial majorities of Americans think serving in the military is a sign of patriotism. The military is also one of the most positively viewed institutions in the country. In Gallup's June 2009 survey, 82 percent had a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the military. Solid majorities oppose returning to the draft.
*

In five questions asked between 1981 and 1995 by Gallup, around seven in ten said that they would be willing to fight for our country. About two in ten said they would not. An April 2009 question from Pew finds 53 percent completely or mostly agreeing that we all should be willing to fight for our country "whether it is right or wrong". Twenty-five percent mostly disagreed with the statement and 16 percent completely disagreed with it.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: American Enterprise Institute on Mar 21, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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 1
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POLLS ONPATRIOTISM ANDMILITARY SERVICE
(Updated June 2010)
 
Compiled by Karlyn Bowman, Resident Fellow, AEI and Andrew Rugg, Research Assistant
 
AEI Public OpinionStudies
 
 2
Contents
 
 3
Self-Professed Patriotism
 
How proud are you to be an American...extremely proud, very proud, moderately proud, only a little proud, or not at allproud?Extremely Very Moderately Only a little Not at allproud proud proud proud proudJan. 2001 Gallup 55% 32% 9% 1% 1%Jun. 2002 Gallup/USA Today/CNN 65 25 6 1 2Sep. 2002 Gallup/USA Today/CNN 69 23 5 1 1Jun. 2003
 
Gallup/USA Today/CNN 70 20 6 2 1Jan. 2004
 
Gallup/USA Today/CNN 69 22 5 3 1Jan. 2005 Gallup/USA Today/CNN 61 22 12 3 1Jan. 2006 Gallup 59 26 9 3 1Jun. 2006 Gallup/USA Today 57 25 10 3 3Jan. 2007 Gallup 57 27 14 3 2Jun. 2008 CNN/ORC 61 28 7 2 1Jan. 2009 CNN/ORC 57 26 12 3 1Jan. 2009 Gallup/USA Today 58 24 12 3 2Nov. 2009 PSRA/Pew 48 38 11 4 1
(Percentage who say ―Extremely Proud‖ by party)
Republicans DemocratsJan. 2001 Gallup 62% 52%Jun. 2002 Gallup/USA Today/CNN 77 58Sep. 2002 Gallup/USA Today/CNN 80 61Jun. 2003 Gallup/USA Today/CNN 84 61Jan. 2004 Gallup/USA Today/CNN 82 57Jan. 2005 Gallup/USA Today/CNN 71 54Jun. 2006 Gallup/USA Today 74 47
Before September 11th 2001, substantial majorities consistently told pollsters that they wereproud to be Americans. In a Gallup question from January 2001, for example, 55 percent described 
themselves as “extremely” proud of being an American
,
and 32 percent “very” proud. Just 2 percent said they were “only a little” or “not at all” proud. In
November 2009, when Pew repeated thequestion, 48 percent described themselves as extremely proud and 38 percent very proud. Fivepercent said they were only a little or not at all proud.The events of September 11th produced overt displays of patriotism. People said they flewtheir flags more than in the past, and they sang the Star Spangled Banner. Those activities havereceded, but patriotic sentiment is still strong. According to a June 2006 Fox News/Opinion Dynamicspoll, 56 percent of those surveyed believed that Americans are more patriotic today than they werefive years ago.American patriotism is not blind patriotism. Polls show that Americans find a lot to criticizein their society. But they still love their country, and they are not reluctant to say so.
 

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