Students & Parents | General Education

Nearly 1 in 5 Americans believe AOC created the New Deal

CRAIN'S NEW YORK BUSINESS   |  September 10, 2019 by Will Bredderman

They’re only off by one word—and 86 years.

A new poll by a higher education advocacy group found that 18% of American adults believe Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was behind the New Deal, the package of government interventions President Franklin Delano Roosevelt introduced in 1933.

The freshman congresswoman representing Queens and the Bronx is in fact the primary House sponsor of a resolution called the Green New Deal, named for the original Depression-era legislation. It lays out ways to slash carbon emissions and move the American economy off fossil fuels.

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni, which sponsored the study of 1,002 adults, blamed the lack of basic civic awareness on the education system.

“When American history and government courses are removed, you begin to see disheartening survey responses like these,” Michael Poliakoff, the group’s president, said in a release. 

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The University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center, which conducted the research, found that college graduates were slightly better informed than the populace at large: 12% of those with a degree conflated the Ocasio-Cortez and Roosevelt agendas.

These were not the only disturbing results. More than a quarter of those surveyed believed that Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s controversial Supreme Court appointee, holds the role of chief justice. That position in fact belongs to John Roberts. And almost two-thirds of Americans—and more than half of college graduates—did not know the term lengths of members of the House of Representatives (two years) and U.S. Senate (six).


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