The Public Assesses the State of Democracy
In assessing the state of U.S. democracy, Americans continue to give their country negative ratings for living up to several key democratic ideals and principles. And in some cases, these assessments have turned less positive since 2018
.Notably, the share of Americans who say the phrase “people are free to peacefully protest” describes the United States very or somewhat well has fallen from 73% t0 60%, with the decline coming almost entirely among Democrats.
As was the case in Pew Research Center’s 2018 study of U.S. democracy, large majorities of Americans agree on the importance of a number of democratic principles – including that the rights and freedoms of all people are respected, that elected officials face serious consequences for misconduct and that everyone has an equal opportunity to succeed.
However, there continue to be sizable gaps between the shares of Americans who say these principles are very important and the shares saying the U.S. is doing well in living up to them. And fewer Americans see some principles as very important – notably, including the freedom to peaceful protest – than did so two years ago.