Last week, I was called for jury duty. After two days at the court house, I left feeling like I had done my patriotic duty -- and it turns out most Americans agree.
The latest Fox News national poll finds 83 percent of voters consider serving on a jury an “act of patriotism.”
While that’s a large majority, other actions rank even higher: 94 percent say flying an American flag shows patriotism, 93 percent say voting in elections counts, and 90 percent consider joining the military an act of patriotism.
About eight voters in 10 believe staying informed on the news (79 percent) and paying taxes (78 percent) are ways to show national loyalty.
There’s less consensus about some other activities: 70 percent of voters consider volunteering on a political campaign to be patriotic, 61 percent say the same about participating in a political protest and 50 percent say owning a gun is an act of patriotism.
Some of the biggest differences between groups are on the issue of participating in a political protest. Women are more likely than men (66 percent vs. 56 percent respectively) and voters under age 45 are more inclined than those ages 45 and over to see protesting as patriotic (65 percent vs. 59 percent). Voters who are part of the Tea Party movement (74 percent) are more likely than Democrats (63 percent) and Republicans (59 percent) to see protesting as an act of patriotism.
Yet the most significant differences are on the act of owning a gun. Some 79 percent of Tea Party activists consider owning a gun an act of patriotism, as do 69 percent of Republicans. Democrats (35 percent) and independents (40 percent) are much less likely to feel that way. Men (60 percent) say being a gun owner shows patriotism, while over half of women feel it does not (56 percent).
Owning a gun is significantly more likely to be seen as patriotic in rural America (65 percent) than in suburban (46 percent) and urban areas of the country (36 percent).
Perhaps surprisingly, there is agreement across party lines on the patriotic merits of paying taxes: 80 percent of Democrats, Republicans and Tea Partiers say paying taxes shows patriotism. Slightly fewer independents agree (73 percent).
Meanwhile, fully 96 percent of veterans think joining the military is patriotic, while just 70 percent of those living in a gun-owning household feel that way about owning a gun.
The Fox News poll is based on landline and cell phone interviews with 1,018 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from June 21-23, 2014. The full poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points.