Seventy-three percent (73%) of American voters believe that freedom is more important than democracy. A ScottRasmussen.com national survey found that 27% take the opposite view and believe that democracy is more important.
This belief is consistent with the view held by most voters that Americans have more power as consumers than voters.
Seventy-nine percent (79%) of men believe freedom is more important along with 66% of women (see question wording and crosstab results).
Voters recognize that there’s more to governing society than government. In fact, 77% agree with the following statement: “For America to succeed, we need an all-hands-on-board approach that unleashes the creativity and resources of individual Americans, families, community groups, churches, entrepreneurs, small businesses, local governments, and more.” Only 3% disagree.
That quote and theme came from Scott Rasmussen’s book, The Sun Is Still Rising: Politics Has Failed But America Will Not.
Data released earlier showed that 71% believe that Steve Jobs and Bill Gates have had a bigger impact on the world we live in than the combined legacy of eight presidents who have served since those entrepreneurs founded Apple and Microsoft. That list includes Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump.
Scott Rasmussen’s book makes the case that the ability to walk away is more powerful than the right to vote. That’s one reason people are more satisfied with state and local governments than with the federal government. Few people vote in local elections, but their decision to stay or leave places significant constraints on the actions of political leaders.
The power to walk away also played a key role in the women’s suffrage movement as various states competed for residents by offering more political rights to women. And, of course, the United States was founded by people who chose to walk away from an unresponsive king in England.
In practical terms, voters have the most power when they can both vote and walk away.
Last August, 64% expressed a belief that freedom mattered more than democracy.
We also provide daily updates on the president’s job approval and the generic congressional ballot. It’s all part of our mission to enhance the public dialogue through data-driven analysis that explores the underlying currents of public opinion (read About Us).
The national survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted January 24-25, 2019 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology). It has a +/- 3.1 percentage point Margin of Error with a 95% level of confidence.
Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).