64% Say Freedom More Important Than Democracy

Sixty-four percent (64%) of American voters believe that freedom is more important than democracy. A ScottRasmussen.com national survey found that 36% take the opposite view and believe that democracy is more important (see question wording and topline results).

The differences among most demographic groups were modest. For example, 68% of voters under 50 said freedom was more important. Among voters 50 and up, that figure was 59%. On a regional basis, voters in the South and West were somewhat more likely to choose freedom compared to voters in the Northeast and Midwest (see crosstabs).

There was, however, a significant ideological divide. The most liberal voters were evenly divided when asked to choose between freedom (48%) and democracy (52%). The most conservative voters preferred freedom by a 3-to-1 margin (76% to 24%).

Seventy percent (70%) of Republicans and 68% of Independents said freedom is more important. Democrats are evenly divided (53% say freedom, 47% democracy). A majority of white Democrats (58%) say democracy is more important while most Black and Hispanic Democrats (65%) say freedom matters more.

This national survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted August 6-7, 2018 for ScottRasmussen.com by HarrisX, a leading research company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology and the Demographic profile of our sample). The Margin of Error is +/- 3.1 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

A pair of related survey questions also highlighted the importance of freedom to most Americans. Asked to choose between freedom, equality, and self-governance, 59% said freedom was the most important and only 8% said it was the least important of the three ideals. Thirty-three percent (33%) said equality was the most important while 24% considered it the least important. Self-governance was seen as most important by 9% and least important by 68%.

Given that three-way choice, 65% of white voters say freedom is the most important ideal while 67% of black voters name equality. Hispanic voters are evenly divided.

Scott Rasmussen wrote a column earlier this year exploring the tensions between freedom and democracy. A column released yesterday showed that the midterm elections may be determined by a group of voters that neither political party can comprehend: the 26% who don’t think things would be much different today if Hillary Clinton had won the 2016 presidential election.

The mission of ScottRasmussen.com is to enhance the public dialogue through data-driven analysis that explores the underlying currents of public opinion (read About Us). We release new polling data four to eight times each day. Sign up HERE to receive the latest numbers in our daily email update. You can also follow our work on Twitter and Facebook.

Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).

Posted in Poll Results

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