Published September 01, 2011
Most American voters think the U.S. political system is broken, and more than half think major political uprisings like those recently seen elsewhere around the world are likely to happen in the United States in the next decade.
These are some of the findings from a Fox News poll released Thursday.
Less than a quarter of voters (22 percent) think the U.S. political system is working the way it is supposed to work with different sides fighting hard for what they believe. Most -- 74 percent -- say the system is broken and gridlocked.
Democrats (82 percent), independents (71 percent) and Republicans (67 percent) alike say the political system is broken.
This unhappiness with the system leads 51 percent of voters to think it is at least somewhat likely there will be “major political uprisings” in the United States in the next 10 years. That includes 22 percent who think they are “very likely.”
Those most likely to foresee such uprisings include white evangelicals, voters without a college degree, those who are part of the Tea Party movement, lower-income voters, and those living in rural areas of the country.
Yet despite dissatisfaction with the U.S. political system, and concerns about where it may lead, just 10 percent say they want “revolutionary” change in the nation’s government. That’s about the same number as the 8 percent who want “small” change. Another 21 percent want “modest” change. Over half describe the change they want to see in the government as either “substantial” (34 percent) or “dramatic” (23 percent).
One change voters want to see is less gridlock. If they were in Congress and working on an important but divisive issue, a 61 percent majority says they would give in and try to find compromise. Three voters in ten would stick to their principles and vote their conscience (30 percent).
Voters who are part of the Tea Party movement are the only subgroup with a majority (51 percent) saying they would stick to their principles instead of compromising.
The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 911 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from August 29 to August 31. For the total sample, it has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.