Poll Finds Americans United in Seeing an Uncivil Nation; Divided About Causes and Civility of Presidential Candidates

Mon, 2017-01-23

NEW YORK | PRNewswire

In the aftermath of a divisive presidential election, the American people are united in their belief that the campaign was – and our culture is – uncivil, according to the seventh annual Civility in America poll conducted by Weber Shandwick and Powell Tate with KRC Research. This unified outlook on the state of civility in America, not surprisingly, divides along partisan lines in terms of who is responsible, how uncivil the presidential candidates were and the likelihood that our national civility "crisis" will ease anytime soon.

A record high 69 percent of Americans believe that the U.S. has a major civility problem, a view shared equally by people who voted for Donald Trump or former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Seventy-five percent say incivility has risen to crisis levels, with Clinton voters more likely to have that view than those who voted for Trump (81 vs. 72 percent, respectively).

Among the nearly six in 10 Americans (56 percent) who expect civility to get worse in the next few years, nearly 9 in 10 Clinton voters (89 percent) named politicians as the group most responsible for the decline in civility, followed by the Internet/social media (69 percent) and news media (51 percent). Trump voters blamed the news media (77 percent), demonstrators/protestors (76 percent) and the Internet/social media (75 percent). Only 28 percent of Clinton voters saw demonstrators or protesters as a leading reason for the erosion of civility in the years ahead. Only 53 percent of Trump voters cited politicians.