July 6, 2013
Despite their widespread national pride, Americans evince a much more negative response when asked if the signers of the Declaration of Independence would be pleased or disappointed by the way the United States has turned out. Seventy-one percent of Americans say the signers would be disappointed, while 27% say they would be pleased.
Americans have become significantly less positive in response to this question, down from a high of 54% who said the signers would be pleased in 2001.
Older Americans, those living in the Midwest, conservatives, and Republicans are relatively less likely to say the signers would be pleased than their counterparts. Conservatives and Republicans also were less likely to say the signers would have been pleased in 2001 — when George W. Bush was president — but the partisan and ideological differences are larger today. This indicates that Republicans’ and conservatives’ growing disenchantment with a Democratic president could be one of the underlying factors in the decline in the percentage of Americans who say the signers would be pleased.