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79% See Political Correctness As Serious Problem in America

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Hank Williams Jr. won’t be singing the opening song for ESPN’s “Monday Night Football” anymore as a result of a comment he made about President Obama. Some consider him the latest prominent victim of political correctness.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 79% of American Adults think political correctness is a serious problem in America today, up five points from a year ago.  Just 16% feel it’s not a problem for the country. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Sizable majorities across all demographic categories share the belief that political correctness is a serious problem these days.

Fifty-eight percent (58%) of all adults believe America has become too politically correct. Only 18% think the country isn’t politically correct enough and 15% feel the level of political correctness in the country is about right.

There’s sharp partisan disagreement on this question, however. While 74% of Republicans and 66% of those not affiliated with either of the major political parties think the United States is now too politically correct, just 35% of Democrats agree.

It’s important to note that the questions did not describe political correctness in any way. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines political correctness as “conforming to a belief that language and practices which could offend political sensibilities (as in matters of sex or race) should be eliminated,” and it has come to be understood by many as prohibiting critical comments about politically sensitive topics and groups.

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The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on October 29-30, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.


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