A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 74% of American Adults say the Fourth of July celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Nine percent (9%) feel Independence Day celebrates the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, but another 17% are not sure.
While most Americans agree with the statement “we are all endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights,” just 45% accurately recognize these words come from the Declaration of Independence. Nearly as many (42%) believe that passage is found in the Constitution, and 13% more are undecided.
An overwhelming number of Americans also agree with the Declaration’s statements that “governments derive their only just powers from the consent of the governed” and “all men are created equal.”
The national survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on June 30-July 1, 2012 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
Fifty-one percent (51%) of both Republicans and adults not affiliated with either major political party correctly identify “we are all endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights” as coming from the Declaration of Independence. Democrats by a 47% to 33% margin think it comes from the Constitution.
Women are more likely than men to know the Fourth of July is the day the nation adopted the Declaration of Independence, but men are more likely that the statement comes from that document.
Adults over the age of 40 are more inclined to recognize July Fourth as a celebration of the Declaration of Independence and accurately identify the source of “we are all endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights” compared to younger Americans. Whites are also more likely than blacks and adults of all other races to know the reasoning behind Independence Day and to accurately name the document the above statement came from.
One of the central tenets of the Declaration of Independence is that governments derive “their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Only 22% of the nation’s likely voters believe the government today has such consent.