- (Photo: Reuters)
A new poll shows that Americans are growing increasingly frustrated with the way political leaders are campaigning against each other, seeing it as doing more harm than good in the political sphere.
"The American people want and deserve civility and a conversation on the issues rather than the personal vilification of political opponents," Knights of Columbus Supreme Knight Carl Anderson said in a news release.
The survey results, released by the Knights of Columbus and The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion, showed that as many as 78 percent of respondents, or nearly 8 in 10 Americans, expressed frustration with the way political campaigns have become too negative. What is more, 74 percent believe that current political campaigns are more negative than in previous years – although the poll was focused not only on the battle for the presidency between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, but on political races in general.
The statistics also showed that 66 percent of Americans find candidates are spending most of their time actually criticizing their rivals rather than talking about the real issues – which prompted another 64 percent to say they feel such negativity harms the entire political process.
Respondents to the poll further shared that they found the tone candidates use to be "mostly uncivil and disrespectful" – 56 percent agreed with this sentiment, while only 37 percent disagreed.
"As this current data 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 added.
A total of 1,010 adults were surveyed between July 9 and July 11 for the study.
The Knights of Columbus is a fraternal benefit society, established in 1882 by Father Michael J. McGivney. It provides financial aid to members and their families and develops social programs to help the poor and needy.