Policymakers | General Education

Poll: More than a third don’t know when Election Day is

WASHINGTON EXAMINER   |  October 27, 2016 by Kelly Cohen

A new nationwide poll says a big chunk of people don’t even know when Election Day is.

The poll from the American Council of Trustees and Alumni and conducted by polling firm GfK said 37 percent of those asked could not correctly identify when Election Day is held. Another 22 percent of college graduates could not either.

The poll also found 31 percent, and 13 percent of college graduates, could not correctly define the Electoral College.

And 29 percent could not correctly identify Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine.

College graduates aged 18 to 34 also fared poorly when asked questions about the government and the economy. For example, 23 percent of recent college graduates did not know when the Great Depression happened, versus 14 percent of college graduates aged 35 and older who could not.

“These results raise serious questions about how well our institutions are preparing citizens to participate in the electoral process, but they are hardly surprising when so few colleges and universities require a course in American history or government,” said Dr. Michael B. Poliakoff, president of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni.

The survey of 1,000 adults nationwide was conducted Oct. 7-9, and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.


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