(Photo: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)
A Gallup Poll released on Thursday, Independence Day, found that there is a major difference between the pride Americans feel for their country, and what they think the signers of the 1776 Declaration of Independence would say about how the country has turned out.
The survey found that 57 percent of those who responded are extremely proud to be American, and another 28 percent are very proud, while only 3 percent are "only a little proud" and 1 percent are not proud at all. At the same time, 71 percent believe the signers of the Declaration would be disappointed with how the country has turned out, while 27 percent believe they would be pleased.
"Americans are now much less likely than they were a decade ago to say the signers of the Declaration of Independence would be pleased with how the country has turned out," the Gallup report stated.
"This is most likely an outgrowth of Americans' current level of negativity toward their government, including the record-low level of confidence Americans have in Congress and the significant percentage of Americans who cite dissatisfaction with government as the third most important problem facing the country today."
The poll was conducted June 1-4 and June 20-24 and surveyed 1,529 and 2,048 adults respectively, and has a maximum margin of sampling error of ±3 percentage points.
In terms of U.S. pride, there were no big differences between age groups, and only small differences between political groups. As many as 93 percent of Republicans say they are extremely or very proud of their country, compared to 85 percent of Democrats and 81 percent of independents.
This national pride is contrasted, however, by how Americans think the signers of the Declaration would see the U.S. in this day and age. In 2001, 54 percent of those surveyed said they believe the signers would be pleased, compared to only 27 percent today.
This time, Republicans are much more likely to say the signers would be disappointed – 86 percent believe they would disapprove of the state of America today. Only 56 percent of Democrats believe the same. Similarly, 83 percent of conservatives think the signers would be disappointed, compared to 54 percent of liberals.
"Still, the signers might feel more gratified if they knew that 237 years after they signed the Declaration of Independence, 85 percent of U.S. residents say they are proud to be an American," Gallup offered.
A poll in June by the Public Religion Research Institute in partnership with Religion News Service found that among religious groups, white evangelicals have the strongest sense of American pride.
Sixty-eight percent of white evangelicals said they were extremely proud to be American, compared to 56 percent of white mainline Protestants, 49 percent of minority Christians, 48 percent of Catholics, and 39 percent of non-religious Americans.