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Majority of Democrats say US is not world’s greatest country: poll

A majority of Democrats said they believe America is not the best country in the world, a new survey released Wednesday reveals. 

The NY Times/Siena College national poll finds that only 37% of Democrats agree with the statement that “America is the greatest country in the world.”

Instead, 55% of Democrats endorsed the statement that “America is a great country but not the greatest.” Another 7% said the US is “not a great country” with the remainder having no opinion.

By comparison, 69% of Republicans said the US was the greatest. Another 24% said it’s great but not the greatest. Only 5% of GOP respondents said America is not a great country with the remaining 2% having no opinion.

Meanwhile, 47% of registered independents — not affiliated with a party — said America is the greatest country while 45% said it’s great, but not the greatest.

Veteran pollster Doug Schoen, who worked for former Democratic President Bill Clinton and ex-three-term Mayor Mike Bloomberg, said he wasn’t surprised.

Over half of Democrats agreed with the statement that "America is a great country but not the greatest."
Over half of Democrats polled agreed with the statement that “America is a great country but not the greatest.”
Photo by BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP via Getty Images

“There used to be a bipartisan consensus that America was a unique, special, exceptional nation. That’s gone,” Schoen said.

“Republicans do believe in American exceptionalism. The Democrats do not accept American exceptionalism.”

There were disparities by race, region, age and education.

For example, 54% of white respondents said America is the greatest country compared to 33% of black voters, who heavily identify as Democrats.

A majority of Midwesterners [56%] and Southerners [53%] said America was the greatest, compared with 38% of Northeasterners and 47% of Westerners.

Two-thirds of voters ages 65 and over were the most patriotic, with two-thirds saying America was the greatest compared to just 30% of voters ages 18 to 29.

The least educated Americans were the most jingoistic — 59% of voters with a high school degree or less said the US was the greatest, compared to just 42% of college graduates.

As for governing, more Dems had a favorable view of socialism (53%) than capitalism (44%).

By comparison, 66% of Republicans had a favorable view of capitalism while 86% of them opposed socialism.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is on about the hot topic issue of sex education and LGBT issues.
The poll showed voters agree with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ stance of avoiding sex education and LGBT issues in schools.

The same Siena poll showed Americans divided entering the midterm congressional elections, with 46% saying they support Democrats and 44% Republicans.

A potential rematch between President Biden and former President Donald Trump could be another nail-biter — 45% favor Biden and 42% Trump with the remainder undecided.

As for issues, voters struggling with record inflation eating at their pocketbooks favor Republicans over Democrats on the economy 52% to 38%.

“Republicans may also be buoyed by voters saying 49-31% that economic issues
are more important in determining their vote for Congress this year than are
social issues,” said Siena polling director Don Levy said.

“While a plurality of Democrats say social issues are more important, a majority of Republicans and independents say they’ll focus on economic issues.”

On the hot button issue of teaching about sex education and LGBT issues, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is on to something.

A potential rematch between President Biden and former President Donald Trump could be tense, according to the poll.
A potential rematch between President Biden and former President Donald Trump could be tight, according to the poll.
REUTERS/Gaelen Morse

The survey found that 70% of voters oppose teaching sex ed. and LGBT issues in elementary school, while 54% oppose teaching about sex and gender issues in middle school.

In high school, 56% of voters said teaching about sex and LGBT orientation was appropriate.

DeSantis, a Republican running for re-election and considered a potential White House aspirant in 2024, enraged LGBT activists for approving a law earlier this year that bans the discussion of gender identity and sexual orientation for kids in kindergarten through third grade, the elementary school grades.

Elsewhere on social issues, voters oppose the recent Supreme Court ruling overturning the 1973 Roe v Wade abortion decision 62% to 30%. Similarly, 62% of respondents say abortion should be always or mostly legal while 31% say it should be mostly or always illegal.

This New York Times/Siena College survey of 1,399 registered voters nationwide was conducted in English and Spanish on landlines and mobile phones from September 6-14, 2022. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.

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