Evaluating vice presidents, the Supreme Court, patriotism, and current events


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  • A vice president's ratings normally mirror a president's ratings @AEIPol

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  • 85 percent of Americans are either "extremely proud" or "very proud" to be an American @AEIPol

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  • Around 37 percent of Americans think the Obama administration was right to exchange Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for 5 Taliban prisoners @AEIPol

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The Bergdahl prisoner exchange and the Veterans’ Affairs scandal are hot topics in the news today. But what do Americans think? The June issue of AEI’s Political Report examines public opinion on these issues and many more, including how Americans view government officials like the Supreme Court and vice presidents. Also featured: As we approach the July 4 holiday, just how patriotic—or how divided—are we? And do families eat dinner together anymore?

•    John Adams once called the vice presidency “the most insignificant office that ever the invention of man contrived or his imagination conceived.” Many Americans might agree with him, since a large percentage of Americans cannot name sitting vice presidents. In a 2010 Pew survey, only 59 percent were able to name Joe Biden as the vice president of the United States.

•    A June 2013 Gallup poll found that 85 percent are either extremely or very proud to be an American. A nearly identical 87 percent gave those responses in January 2001. We’re more likely to say that the term “a patriotic person” describes us than “an environmentalist,” “a religious person,” or “a supporter of gay rights.”

•    Eighty-two percent say the falsification of records about long wait times at some military veteran hospitals is a serious issue, according to a new ABC News/Washington Post poll. In the same poll, 6 in 10 say that President Obama is not personally responsible for problems at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

•    Speaking of President Obama, 45 percent told NBC News/Wall Street Journal pollsters last July that he is unifying the country in a bipartisan way. Forty-eight percent said he is emphasizing a partisan approach in a way that does not unify the country.

•    Polls show that the family dinner is still alive and well. This past April, 58 percent reported that their family eats dinner together at least five times per week. In 1999, 60 percent gave that response.

•    A new Pew poll finds that one-quarter of Americans believe the Supreme Court is conservative. That’s down from 36 percent in July 2007.

•    Three new polls show that more people oppose than support the exchange of five Taliban prisoners for US Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

Political Report June 2014 by American Enterprise Institute

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Jennifer K.

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