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Americans Still Agree With Ideals Set Forth in the Declaration of Independence

Friday, July 01, 2011

The upcoming Fourth of July holiday marks the 235th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence's adoption by the Continental Congress, and most Americans still agree with the central tenets of the document that declared the nation's independence from Great Britain. Whether the United States meets those lofty goals is subject to debate.

The Declaration of Independence, written primarily by Thomas Jefferson, asserts that “governments derive their only just powers from the consent of the governed.” A new Rasmussen Reports national survey finds that 66% of American Adults agree with that statement, up 10 points from three years ago. Sixteen percent (16%) disagree. Another 18% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

But just 23% of Likely U.S. Voters think the government currently has the consent of the governed. Sixty-nine percent (69%) are at least somewhat angry with the current policies of the federal government, including 38% who are Very Angry.

Forty-five percent (45%) of voters agree with the following statement: The gap between Americans who want to govern themselves and politicians who want to rule over them is now as big as the gap between the American colonies and England during the 18th  Century.

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The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on June 23-24, 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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