More Americans Recognizing Bill of Rights’ Freedoms as Essential

A growing percentage of Americans identify the core freedoms confirmed in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights as “absolutely essential.”

A new national survey by found that 81% of voters now say Freedom of Speech is absolutely essential, up from 69% last summer. It remains the right that more voters ranked as absolutely essential than any other choice.

More voters in every key demographic group ranked Freedom of Speech as the most important right compared to the other seven choices. But among Republicans, Freedom of Speech only beat out the Right to Bear Arms for the top stop by six percentage points (see question wording and crosstab results).

When asked to compare the core freedoms in the Bill of Rights, Freedom of Speech again came out on top. Forty-three percent (43%) of voters named Freedom of Speech as the most important right. Freedom of Religion came in a distant second, selected by 17% of voters saying it is the most important right. In August, the Right to Bear Arms, which had been ranked second in August.

Compared to last summer, a larger number of voters saw all eight specific rights as absolutely essential. The gains could be the result of a number of factors. But the rise in voters considering Freedom of Speech absolutely essential may be connected to growing attention to censorship and banning by leading social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Another explanation for the gains across the board could be the many midterm election campaigns across the country that heightened attention to many constitutional rights and political issues overall.

Among all voters, more Americans (31%) ranked the Right to Bear Arms as the least important freedom than any of the other seven choices. That is unchanged from last summer. releases new public opinion data every day relating to topics in the news and other items of interest. Please sign up to receive the latest data and insights each day via email. 

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The national survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted January 24-25, 2019 by 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 has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).

Posted in Poll Results

Posted in Poll Results

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