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Poll: Americans Know Little About Their Government

Poll: Americans Know Little About Their Government

A new survey released on Constitution Day revealed that Americans don’t know much about politics or government.

The poll found that nearly two thirds of respondents could not name all three branches of the federal government, with 35 percent not even being able to name a single one of the three.

Also, few seem to understand how Congress overrides a presidential veto, nor do they understand how the Supreme Court works.

Annenberg noted that even as Americans seem unhappy with the Supreme Court, Congress, and the president, few seem to know how any of these branches carry out their jobs.

“This survey offers dramatic evidence of the need for more and better civics education,” said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center.

Further, few of those who responded to the survey knew much about current political events. Only 38 percent knew that the Republicans were the majority in the House of Representatives. Similarly, the same low percentage knew that the Democrats controlled the U.S. Senate.

The release of the poll was used to push the launch of the Civics Renewal Network, a new civics education program sponsored by Annenberg and 25 other organizations consisting of several government offices and organizations focused on civic educational efforts.

The poll of 1,416 adults was conducted by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.

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