Rasmussen: Most Americans Don't Think Voters Are Informed Enough

Thursday, 22 May 2014 12:51 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Most Americans think voters have a responsibility to know about major policy issues, but don't believe their fellow countrymen are informed enough, a new Rasmussen Reports poll shows.

A national survey of 1,000 likely voters showed that 90 percent of the respondents said voters in democratically elected governments should be informed on issues, with just 5 percent disagreeing and the other 5 percent undecided, according to the survey taken earlier this month.

Meanwhile, only 9 percent feel Americans are informed voters, and 83 percent said most people are not informed.

The poll numbers are down slightly from last fall, when 12 percent believed their fellow citizens to be informed voters, while and 73 percent said they believe most people vote chiefly based on emotions.

Meanwhile, in the current poll, 62 percent of respondents believe this country's voters do not have enough say when choosing their leaders; 5 percent believe people have too much say; and 27 percent believe the choice level is just right.

Half of the respondents said they believe the United States is more democratic than other nations, while 20 percent feel it is less democratic.

But when it comes to voting, 62 percent of the respondents believe their vote matters, down from a high of 86 percent in October 2008. Meanwhile, 29 percent of those responding did not agree that their vote matters.

Democrats were more likely than Republicans to believe Americans are informed, while people unaffiliated with either party felt more strongly that voters do not have enough say when it comes to choosing their leaders.

But the older the voter, the more likely they were to believe their vote matters, the poll showed. People under age 40 were more likely to believe Americans are uninformed, but less likely to believe the United States is the more democratic among nations.

Among the respondents, 78 percent of black voters believe their vote matters, as compared to 60 percent of whites and 61 percent of other minorities.

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