USConstitution.net 2004 Survey Results – The U.S. Constitution Online – USConstitution.net

USConstitution.net 2004 Survey Results


This site has conducted an unscientific survey on various issues since July
of 1998. The results, while interesting in most cases, are to be taken with a
grain of salt – the results can easily be skewed by an individual or group of
individuals; the sample is, by nature, not representative (because it consists
only of Web users who visit my site and bother to view the survey page and
submit an opinion).

This page includes results from 2004. For results from other years, please
go to the Main Results Page.

Question 77, December 2004 Each election cycle, the voters
vote in November, votes are tallied, and the news media report on the electoral
count for each candidate – and in January a winner is inaugurated as President.
In between, a lot goes on, including the actual electoral vote in December.
Electors have a lot of actual power, even if it has never really been used. Only
in a handful of cases have electors gone against the vote of the people.
Electors, in fact, have a pretty anonymous job, and cast their votes in relative
obscurity. Should we focus more on this important job and find our more about
who the electors are?

Response Count Percentage
The vote of the Electoral College is really just a formality, barely
newsworthy. I don’t care to know more about the electors.
33 11.96
Electors have an important role to play and can, in theory, have a huge
impact on the election – we should know who they are and hear more about the
casting of votes in the Electoral College.
243 88.04
Total 276 100.00

Question 76, November 2004 A quadrennial question: what is
your opinion of the Electoral College?

Response Count Percentage
The Electoral College is an essential part of our constitutional
system, keeping the states involved in the process as states. It should be
left alone.
399 28.54
The Electoral College serves a purpose, but could use some updating,
such as the elimination of faithless electors and the use of electoral
districts such as in Maine and Nebraska.
246 17.60
The Electoral College is an outdated and undemocratic institution that
makes our elections more complicated than they should be – it should be
replaced with direct elections.
753 53.86
Total 1398 100.00

Question 75, October 2004 (Part 2) For whom will you vote
in November 2004?

Note: these results combine September’s and October’s responses. All
duplicate votes were removed before tabulation.

Response Count Percentage
Badnarik/Campagna (Libertarian) 110 2.63
Bush/Cheney (Republican) 1910 45.69
Cobb/LaMarche (Green) 31 0.74
Kerry/Edwards (Democrat) 1936 46.32
Nader/Camejo (Independent/Reform) 86 2.06
Peroutka/Baldwin (Constitution) 107 2.56
Total 4180 100.00

Question 75, September 2004 (Part 1) For whom will you vote
in November 2004?

Response Count Percentage
Badnarik/Campagna (Libertarian) 42 2.60
Bush/Cheney (Republican) 785 48.58
Cobb/LaMarche (Green) 11 0.68
Kerry/Edwards (Democrat) 685 42.39
Nader/Camejo (Independent/Reform) 26 1.61
Peroutka/Baldwin (Constitution) 67 4.15
Total 1616 100.00

Question 74, August 2004 In July 2004, the Democrats held
their national convention, where no one was surprised by John Kerry’s nomination
as the Democratic presidential hopeful. In August 2004, the Republicans held
their national convention, and even less of a surprise, President George Bush
was selected as their nominee for the November elections. Gone are the days
when a convention held some mystery – the result these days is a foregone
conclusion. But even so, the conventions are now being touted as useful to the
electorate, a way to get the candidates in front of the American people, and for
the party to get out its message. Do the conventions still serve a useful

Response Count Percentage
Yes, the conventions still do serve a valid purpose, even if the results
are known before hand.
67 25.38
The conventions would be a waste of time were it not for the publicity
the candidates get – especially for the challenger, it is a good time to be
introduced to the electorate.
54 20.45
The conventions are a waste of time, money, and resources. Some other
way of nominating a candidate should be created.
143 54.17
Total 264 100.00

Question 73, July 2004 A new tradition is being implemented
at USConstitution.net. Each July, this survey will be offered, allowing us to
track, over time, the political persuasion of our visitors. Questions are
asked about party affiliation as well as economic and social ranking on a scale
of 1 to 9 (1 being very conservative and 9 being very liberal).

Response Count Percentage Avg Econ Avg Soc
Other Parties 15 1.52
No Party 6 0.60
Communist Party 4 0.40 6.50 8.50
Constitution Party 38 3.83 2.21 2.18
Democratic Party 266 26.79 6.37 7.57
Green Party 32 3.22 6.59 7.81
Independent 159 16.01 4.36 5.58
Libertarian 95 9.57 2.59 6.06
Republican Party 366 36.86 2.24 2.43
Socialist Party 12 1.21 7.75 7.92
Total 993 100.00 3.98 4.94

Economics ranking:

Response Count Percentage
1 = Very Conservative 216 21.75
2 151 15.21
3 142 14.30
4 68 6.85
5 = Moderate 136 13.70
6 59 5.94
7 122 12.29
8 46 4.63
9 = Very Liberal 53 5.34

Social ranking:

Response Count Percentage
1 = Very Conservative 250 25.18
2 99 9.97
3 68 6.85
4 31 3.12
5 = Moderate 78 7.85
6 44 4.43
7 103 10.37
8 121 12.19
9 = Very Liberal 199 20.04

Question 72, June 2004 Recently, photographs of American
service members acting as guards in Iraq’s Abu Ghraib prison have emerged,
depicting the soldiers placing Iraqi prisoners in sexually explicit and
degrading positions. Opponents of the President are calling for the resignation
of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in response, citing a failure of leadership
in the Department. What would you do if you were President?

Response Count Percentage
Secretary Rumsfeld did nothing wrong, and his expertise is needed in the
Department – I would keep him.
344 48.59
Though he did not direct these acts, as head of the department, he is
ultimately responsible – he should issue an apology, but stay on.
123 17.37
Rumsfeld is hurting my administration – he must be fired. 241 34.04
Total 708 100.00

Question 71, May 2004 In 2002, the Supreme Court ruled that
judges cannot make an imposition of a death sentence – only juries can. There
are currently over 100 people in death row in the United States, sent there by
judges. A new case is now before the Court, seeking to apply the 2002 ruling
retroactively to the sentences of these 100 inmates. The Court heard arguments
in April and expected to rule in July. How should the Court rule?

Response Count Percentage
The courts played by the rules in place at the
time – the victims should not be punished because the rules have changed. The
current sentences should remain in place.
136 32.61
With something as important and final as the death penalty, all
consideration should be given. The death sentences should all be commuted to
life in prison.
34 8.15
With something as important and final as the death penalty, all
consideration should be given. The death sentences should all be reviewed by
104 24.94
The death penalty is wrong, and the Court should use this
opportunity to abolish it.
143 34.29
Total 417 100.00

Question 70, April 2004 In March 2004, the 9/11 Commission
asked that National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice testify in public. The
White House refused to let her do so for quite some time, but finally agreed to
her testimony. The White House’s argument was that Rice’s testimony would be an
infringement upon the separation of powers. What do you think of that?

Response Count Percentage
Rice should not testify – the President’s sitting advisors should be
immune from any such hearings.
108 26.73
While I would normally agree that she should not testify, the work of
the commission is so important to the nation, some traditions must be bent –
she should testify.
91 22.52
I don’t agree with the concept of executive privilege – there should be
no debate of the matter, she should have testified with no argument.
205 50.74
Total 404 100.00

Question 69, March 2004 Recent events in Massachusetts, San
Francisco, and New Paltz, New York have brought the issue of gay marriage to
the front page. The President and many members of Congress have called for a
constitutional amendment to define marriage as being between a man and a woman.
Is this necessary?

Response Count Percentage
Yes, marriage must be constitutionally defined as a union between a man
and a woman.
583 28.29
No, though marriage should only be between a man and a woman, amending
the Constitution is the wrong way to go.
278 13.49
No, there is no reason to deny gay people the ability to marry at all,
let alone through a constitutional
1200 58.22
Total 2061 100.00

Question 68, February 2004 The Supreme Court has agreed to
hear the case of Christopher Simmons, who was 17 years old when he brutally
killed a woman in 1993. Though sentenced to death, the Missouri Supreme Court
found the sentence violated the Constitution’s ban on “cruel and unusual
punishment,” considering Simmons’s age at the time of the crime. The U.S.
Supreme Court has upheld death sentences for minor offenders before, lastly in
1989. Should the Court overturn itself this time?

Response Count Percentage
Yes, the Court should overturn – if the person is not an adult in the
eyes of the law, the person is of some diminished capacity. Minor offenders
should never be executed.
228 40.57
No, the Court should leave its prior ruling stand – each act and each
offender must be looked at on a case-by-case basis, and those deserving
execution should get execution.
193 34.34
No. There is no reason why minor children, capable of killing, should be
let off easy. These offenders must be treated the same as any
141 25.09
Total 562 100.00

Question 67, January 2004 The Supreme Court will soon be
hearing the case of Office of Independent Counsel v Favish, where Allan
Favish is suing to gain access to Vince Foster’s autopsy photos (Foster was a
Clinton counsel who committed suicide in 1993). The government wants to keep
the photos private, but Favish claims a right to see them under the Freedom of
Information Act. What do you think?