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Most Americans Give Constitution High Marks, Say Don't Change It

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Most Americans still believe the U.S. Constitution has a positive impact on American life and think it should be left as is. But a sizable number also feels the document does not put enough restrictions on government.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 71% of Adults rate the Constitution as good or excellent in terms of how it impacts life in the United States. Only nine percent (9%) give the Constitution a poor rating. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

The “living document” has garnered similar reviews since 2008.

Sixty-three percent (63%) of Americans believe the Constitution should be left alone, showing virtually no change from last year. Twenty-eight percent (28%) say minor changes are needed, while six percent (6%) believe the foundational document requires major changes. Just two percent (2%) say America should scrap the Constitution and start over.

But 39% of adults think the Constitution does not put enough restrictions on government. The same number (39%) says the document places about the right amount of restrictions on government, up five points from last year. Only 13% say the Constitution restricts government too much.

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The national 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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