The Atlantic/Aspen Institute Annual American

Values Survey: One Nation, Divisible

1
Survey Methodology
 Penn Schoen Berland, working with Burson
Marsteller, conducted 2,010 interviews with the
general population of the U.S. from May 29-June
8, 2013 by phone and online.

 The overall margin of error is ± 2.19%

 The data presented in this study are reflective of
U.S. Census Bureau demographic statistics in
terms of gender, age, ethnicity, income,
education, and region.
2
After the Election Cycle, Americans have
a Slightly More Positive Outlook
3
28%
33%
35%
62%
63%
59%
Right direction Wrong direction
Americans are slightly more optimistic since
2012
4
Generally speaking, would you say things in this country
are heading in the right direction or in the wrong direction?
2013
2011
2012
Showing All
2012
2010
2011
29%
26%
32%
38%
60%
66%
66%
59%
12%
8%
2%
3%
Right track Wrong track Don't Know
2013
6 in 10 say economy is on the wrong track,
down from two thirds in 2012
5
In general, is the U.S. economy on the right track or is it
off on the wrong track?
Showing All
52%
6%
6%
4%
5%
34%
8%
7%
6%
6%
Economy and jobs
Deficit and government spending
Health care
Big government / bureaucracy
Moral/ family values
2012
2013
Jobs, economy are the most important
issues facing the country
6
What do you think is the most important issue
facing this country today?
Showing All
The “United” States of America?
7
Nearly three fourths say it is very important
for America to be united
8
73% 23% 3% 1%
Very Somewhat Not very Not at all
Generally speaking, how important is it to you that America be united?
 97% want America to remain united as one country and 73% say this
is very important to them

Showing All
It‟s important to be united, but most think the
US is increasingly divided
9
8% 14% 29% 32%
Much more united Somewhat more united
Somewhat more divided Much more divided
Would you say that America has become more united over the
past 10 years or has it become more divided?
Showing All
And Americans believe we are more divided
today than in the past
 Older Americans (65+) are more likely to think we are more divided today than at other
points in history
10
Showing All
Do you think America is more or less united [today] than it was in
the…?
60
49
51
11
16
19
23
30
24
1940's 1960's 1970's
More divided About the same More united
We feel more divided today than any other
time except the Civil Rights Era
11
31%
39%
33%
25%
38%
43%
36%
38%
39%
44%
The Great
Depression
Civil Rights Era Vietnam War During
Watergate
After 9/11
We are more united today than… We are more divided today than…
Would you say America today is more united or divided when
compared to each of the following times in our history?
Showing All
20% doubt America can remain united as one
country going forward
12
Do you think America will remain united as one country?
78%
20%
YES
NO
Showing All
 More than one quarter of Conservatives, pro-lifers, and gun owners
think we will not remain united.

Equal opportunity, freedom of speech are
most unifying American principles
13
Which of the following do you think help make America united?
Please indicate all that apply.
59%
59%
54%
54%
53%
52%
Equal opportunity
Freedom of speech
Freedom of religion
Common values
Patriotism
Democracy
Showing Top 6, Among All
59%
45%
45%
40%
39%
39%
Money in politics
Congressional gridlock
Wealth inequality
Extremism
Racial differences
Power of Wall Street and big
corporations
Special interest, beltway gridlock and wealth
inequality divide America
14
Which of the following do you think contribute to America being
divided? Please indicate all that apply
Showing Top 6, Among All
27%
22%
22%
20%
19%
18%
Hold politicians more accountable
Cooperation by Republicans and
Democrats in congress
Limit the power of the federal
government
Limit the influence of money in politics
Hold our politicians to a higher
standard
More economic equality
Holding government accountable, partisan
cooperation will unite America
15
What do you think America could do to become more united?
Please select up to 3 responses.
Showing Top 6, Among All
Reducing bureaucracy and increasing
collaboration would make us more united
16
What steps could elected officials take to make America more
united?
20%
20%
13%
10%
10%
Encourage meetings between parties
Reduce bureaucracy
Increase transparency
Easing partisan rhetoric
Campaign finance reform
21%
6%
4%
4%
4%
Barack Obama
Oprah Winfrey
Bill Clinton
Bill Gates
Chris Christie
Obama is both the most unifying figure and
the most divisive
17
Who do you think is the most
unifying figure in America today?
Showing Top 5, Among All
Who do you think is the most
divisive figure in America today?
33%
10%
3%
3%
3%
Barack Obama
Rush Limbaugh
Bill Clinton
Donald Trump
Mitt Romney
Lincoln, Reagan, JFK embody unity
historically
18
Which of the following political leaders best embodies unity in
America historically?
21%
19%
17%
10%
10%
9%
3%
Abraham Lincoln
Ronald Reagan
John F. Kennedy
George Washington
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
Showing Top 7, Among All
„One Nation‟ applies most to America
19
58%
48%
45%
53%
49%
47%
one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
What parts of the Pledge of Allegiance do you think apply to
America today?
Showing All
Issues that Unify and Divide Us
20
69%
67%
31%
29%
24%
Moral values Family values Religious
values
Ethnic or
cultural values
Political values
Moral and Family values are the most
important for Americans to unite around
21
Showing All
Which values are most important for Americans to unite around?
55%
45%
37%
29%
20%
18%
Religion Politics Beauty and
Art
Ethnic or
cultural
values
Family
values
Moral
values
Religious and political values are okay to be
divided on
22
Showing All
Which values is it okay for Americans to be divided on?
Abortion, gay marriage are considered most
divisive social issues
23
How united or divided do you think America is on the following
social issues?
22%
19%
17%
16%
14%
78%
81%
80%
81%
85%
Immigration Gun control Homosexuality Gay marriage Abortion
Total United Total Divided
Showing All
Americans are most united on their feelings
about divorce, prostitution
24
How united or divided do you think America is on the following
social issues?
44%
39% 39%
35%
34%
53%
54%
55%
61%
65%
Divorce Prostitution Having a child
out of wedlock
Climate change Drugs
Total United Total Divided
Showing All
Contraception, interracial marriage among
most acceptable behaviors today
25 Showing All
Please indicate whether each of the following is morally
acceptable or morally objectionable.
37%
57%
60%
69%
83%
35%
60%
60%
75%
83%
Interracial
marriage
An unmarried
couple living
together
Pre-marital sex
Having a child
out of wedlock
Physician-
assisted suicide
60%
40%
39%
30%
15%
61%
38%
37%
24%
15%
Objectionable (2012)
Objectionable (2013)
Acceptable (2012)
Acceptable (2013)
Abortion among most objectionable
behaviors
26 Showing All
Please indicate whether each of the following is morally
acceptable or morally objectionable.
41%
41%
53%
69%
78%
37%
47%
52%
69%
79% Sex-ed in
schools
Divorce
Homo-
sexuality
Smoking
marijuana
Abortion
57%
56%
45%
29%
21%
60%
51%
46%
28%
20%
Objectionable (2012)
Objectionable (2013)
Acceptable (2012)
Acceptable (2013)
The Role of the American Economy
27
More than half say the free-market unites us
and helps achieve the American Dream
28
How important is America’s free-market economy in helping
individuals reach the American Dream?
56% 38% 4% 1%
Very Somewhat Not very Not at all
68% 25%
Unite Us Divide Us
Does the free enterprise system do more to unite us or divide us
as a country?
Showing All
Majority say reducing the gap between rich
and poor is important
29
How important is reducing the gap between the rich and the poor to
American unity?
46% 35% 13% 6%
Very Somewhat Not very Not at all
Showing All
The Shifting Role of Religion in America
30
Fewer Americans are embracing religion
31
Do you believe in God?
96%
98%
89%
89%
1%
1%
11%
10%
Yes No
2012
1967; Gallup
1944; Gallup
2013
Showing All
61% believe religion unites Americans
32
61% 36%
Unites
Americans
Divides
Americans
Do you think religion does more to unite Americans or divide
them?
Showing All
Nearly half of Americans believe in intelligent
design
33
20%
48%
29%
I believe in evolution
only
I believe in a
combination of
evolution and
creationism
I believe in creationism
only
Which of the following is closer to your view?
Showing All

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