Poll: Americans Don't Like Negative Political Campaigning

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A recent survey taken by the Knights of Columbus-Marist shows that the majority of the American public has become increasingly disenchanted over negative political campaigning, including personal attacks on opponents in paid television and radio advertisements.

The survey, released this month, revealed that 78 percent of Americans are frustrated by the tone of the political campaigns and that the negative campaigning damages the political process. Nearly 66 percent of those polled believe that candidates spend more time criticizing their opponents than addressing the real issues of the country.

Additionally, 74 percent of those surveyed believe that the problem is becoming worse than it has been in previous election years.

A total of 59 percent of registered voters feel that the tone of political campaigns is “mostly uncivil and disrespectful.”

“The American people want and deserve civility and a conversation on the issues rather than the personal vilification of political opponents,” said Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. “As this current date makes all too clear, the American people want a political discussion that is civil and respectful. As Americans, we understand that we may not agree on every aspect of every issue, but we also understand that how we disagree says a great deal about who we are as a nation.”

Anderson’s 2010 book, Beyond a House Divided, chronicled previous surveys that showed a broad dissatisfaction concerning the political process among the American people, while find that on many issues, there is far more unanimity of opinion among the public than is generally acknowledged.

The telephone survey of 1,010 adults was conducted from July 9 to July 11. It has a margin of error within plus or minus 3.0 percentage points.


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