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Can you believe the findings in this Poll?:Elected officials know less about the Constitution than the public

The survey asks 33 basic civics questions, many taken from other nationally recognized instruments like the U.S. Citizenship Exam. It also asks 10 questions related to the U.S. Constitution.

So what did we find? Well, to put it simply, the results are not pretty.

Elected officials at many levels of government, not just the federal government, swear an oath to “uphold and protect” the U.S. Constitution.

But those elected officials who took the test scored an average 5 percentage points lower than the national average (49 percent vs. 54 percent), with ordinary citizens outscoring these elected officials on each constitutional question. Examples:

  • Only 49 percent of elected officials could name all three branches of government, compared with 50 percent of the general public.
  • Only 46 percent knew that Congress, not the president, has the power to declare war — 54 percent of the general public knows that.
  • Just 15 percent answered correctly that the phrase “wall of separation” appears in Thomas Jefferson’s letters — not in the U.S. Constitution — compared with 19 percent of the general public.
  • And only 57 percent of those who’ve held elective office know what the Electoral College does, while 66 percent of the public got that answer right. (Of elected officials, 20 percent thought the Electoral College was a school for “training those aspiring for higher political office.”)

Answer Question
 
grlygrlz2

Asked by grlygrlz2 at 5:41 PM on Jan. 14, 2011 in Politics & Current Events

Level 39 (106,530 Credits)
Answers (21)
  • Yes I do agree with it.
    mommy_of_two388

    Answer by mommy_of_two388 at 5:42 PM on Jan. 14, 2011

  • Yea.. mommy... me too..
    grlygrlz2

    Comment by grlygrlz2 (original poster) at 5:42 PM on Jan. 14, 2011

  • Well, I'm glad they read it on the House floor. It is kind of what I do for a lesson in math. It is called focus and review. They reviewed the Constitution and focused their purpose. (I hope!)
    jesse123456

    Answer by jesse123456 at 5:46 PM on Jan. 14, 2011

  • Wow..WOW! Is it really any wonder why they try to do such stupid things? Good grief..proof that the idea of reading the Constitution on the floor is a GOOD one! Also shows that it really is of high importance for us all to know the document and hold them accountable.
    tnmomofive

    Answer by tnmomofive at 5:47 PM on Jan. 14, 2011

  • Yeah, sadly I believe it.

    It's clear by so many things many of our elected officials ***say*** much less actually do ( because let's face it.. how many of the actually ***do*** anything worthwhile) that they are clueless about quite a few things.
    pixie_trix

    Answer by pixie_trix at 5:55 PM on Jan. 14, 2011

  • Not surprised. The nonsense spouted by some elected officials is testimony to their ignorance
    janet116

    Answer by janet116 at 6:05 PM on Jan. 14, 2011

  • This is what happens when the Constitution isn't studied in depth in our schools. Perhaps it is time to toss out the useless stuff and actually start EDUCATING our kids!

    yourspecialkid

    Answer by yourspecialkid at 6:20 PM on Jan. 14, 2011

  • I'd like to see how our President and Vice President would score on these questions....
    grlygrlz2

    Comment by grlygrlz2 (original poster) at 6:31 PM on Jan. 14, 2011

  •  

    This is what happens when the Constitution isn't studied in depth in our schools. Perhaps it is time to toss out the useless stuff and actually start EDUCATING our kids!

    clapping

    tnmomofive

    Answer by tnmomofive at 7:04 PM on Jan. 14, 2011

  • Who's REALLY surprised by this? I mean, come on! Look at all the bullshit that goes on in politics. It's painfully obvious they don't have a CLUE!

    And the worst part is ... WE put them office!!
    SpiritedWitch

    Answer by SpiritedWitch at 7:42 PM on Jan. 14, 2011

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