Few ideas are more divisive among the public than whether American culture and way of life have changed for worse (51 percent) or better (48 percent) since the 1950s.
"This election has become a referendum on competing visions of America's future," said PRRI CEO Robert P. Jones. "Donald Trump supporters are nostalgic for the 1950s, an era when white Christians in particular had more political and cultural power in the country, while Hillary Clinton supporters are leaning into—and even celebrating—the big cultural transformations the country has experienced over the last few decades."
Fewer than half (43 percent) of the public say they have a great deal of confidence their vote will be counted accurately. Roughly four in ten (38 percent) Americans report having only some confidence, while close to one in five (17 percent) say they have hardly any confidence their vote will be accurately counted. There are stark differences among likely voters, with 70 percent of Clinton supporters but only 41 percent of Trump supporters, reporting a great deal of confidence their votes will be counted accurately.
More Americans today say their views are not well represented by either major political party. Sixty-one percent say they feel that neither party represents their views, compared to fewer than half (48 percent) who expressed this view in 1990.
Nearly six in ten (57 percent) say it is important to speak frankly about sensitive issues and problems facing the country even if certain people are offended, while about four in ten (39 percent) say it is important to avoid using language that is hurtful and offensive to some people when discussing sensitive issues. White men (69 percent) are particularly likely to emphasize the importance of speaking frankly about sensitive topics even at the risk of offending others.
The 2016 American Values Survey vote preference question was fielded in two waves. The first wave, with a field period of September 1-27, found Hillary Clinton leading Donald Trump by eight percentage points among likely voters (49 percent vs. 41 percent, respectively). The second wave, with a field period of October 12-17, found Clinton increasing her lead over Trump into double digits among likely voters (51 percent vs. 36 percent, respectively).
The topline questionnaire, full methodology, and additional findings and analysis can be found here: http://www.prri.org/research/divide-americas-future-1950-2050/
PRRI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, nonpartisan organization specializing in research at the intersection of religion, values, and public life.
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