As Independence Day arrives, it’s a divisive time in the U.S. Siena College is out with the results of a survey asking New Yorkers about patriotism.
Most of us pause to celebrate on the 4th of July. 71 percent of respondents told Siena pollsters they consider themselves to be patriotic, men a little bit stronger on patriotism than women, and older New Yorkers more patriotic than younger New Yorkers.
Don Levy is director of the Siena College Research Institute: "80 percent of New Yorkers say that they're proud to be an American. We see interestingly that both in terms of patriotism and in terms of being proud to be an American, the older you are here in the state of New York, you're more patriotic, you describe yourself as being more patriotic and more proud to be an American than younger New Yorkers, and Republicans tend to describe themselves as being more patriotic and prouder to be an American than the Democrats."
Levy says many folks opt to dress in patriotic colors on Independence Day. "Over half of us, 55 percent say that they plan to wear red white and blue for the holiday, but virtually all of us, 77 percent, say you know what? I'm going to pause to celebrate our country on the 4th, and three-quarters of us say that hearing the Star-Spangled Banner fills us with pride."
When it comes to behaviors and attitudes associated with patriotism, the poll finds 52% of New Yorkers say that they vote in all or nearly all elections. "We don't see a great deal of variation by Democrats and Republicans, but Independents only say that they vote at the rate of 44 percent. Young people between 18 and 34, they vote at the lowest rate. In fact 35 percent of the people we spoke to 18to 34 say that they either never vote or only vote once a while. How about volunteering? 32 percent of us say that they volunteer very often to help others in their community. And about the same amount 32 percent, one-third, say that they very often talk about politics or local affairs with their friends and family. Again, older New Yorkers more inclined to both volunteer and to discuss politics with friends and family. "
What about forms of non-violent protest that have garnered headlines in recent years? "We asked people does it make you feel angry to see someone not stand for the Star-Spangled Banner or the Pledge of Allegiance? There we see a split amongst New Yorkers. 52 percent say 'yes absolutely it bothers me.' But 45 percent say it does not make them angry. Again, Republicans, at the rate of 80% or upset when someone doesn't stand. Democrats, 63% of Democrats are not bothered by that behavior."
The survey also touched on freedom of speech and flag burning:
Siena conducted the poll June 11-18 by random phone calls to 348 New York adults via landline and cell phones and 456 responses drawn from a proprietary online panel of New Yorkers. The sample has an overall margin of error of +/- 3.8 percentage points.