State Policy Network
Polling Spotlight: How do Americans Feel About Independence Day? 

Erin Norman is the Lee Family Fellow and Senior Director of Communications Strategies at State Policy Network

Holidays give pollsters the opportunity to be more creative with the questions they ask. Instead of heavy questions like how many Democrats want Joe Biden to step aside (41%) or how many Americans believe the Supreme Court is predominantly motivated by ideology (7 in 10), there is a moment to focus on more unique measures of public opinion.    

Key Takeaways:  

In More Detail:  

The National Retail Federation’s Annual Independence Day Survey finds that 87% of Americans are planning to celebrate on the 4th of July. Two-thirds of Americans will attend a cookout or picnic and the average person will spend just over $90 on food and beverages.. 

On a more philosophical note, a national Scott Rasmussen poll found that 85% of Americans continue to believe a key part of the Declaration of Independence, that all people “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” 

YouGov contrasted these two components of the holiday, refielding a question from 1983 that asked if Americans believe fun and relaxation or history and our freedoms are a more important part of Independence Day. Forty years ago, 82% believed the holiday is a time for fun and relaxation compared to just 60% today. The difference shifted to saying Independence Day is about both having fun and thinking about the nation’s history and the freedoms it provides. 

But in an election year, there is bound to be a political hook to everything. Gallup released updated trend data on how proud you are to be an American ahead of Independence Day.  

Today, 67% of people are extremely or very proud to be American. 

The most recent high-water mark for all political party affiliations was back in 2003, when 90% of Americans were proud to be American. 

Between then and 2019, Republicans dropped just 10 points on American pride, with some of the drop coming from a post-9/11 high wearing off and some from the Obama era. After 2020 and the election of Joe Biden, feeling of pride in the nation dropped further among Republicans but remains high.  

For Democrats, after the post-9/11 high, feelings of pride dropped sharply during the George W. Bush years, only modestly recovered during Obama’s presidency and then bottomed out with the election of Donald Trump. President Biden’s tenure in office has brough pride up some but Democrats are still roughly half as likely to feel pride in America than their Republican counterparts. 

Despite differences between partisans, most adults in the US share key beliefs about what it means to be an American. Nearly all Americans agree that the ideals of equal protection under the law, the right to vote, freedom of speech and the right to privacy are critical to our identity. It is easy to get caught up in the political news cycle and the divisiveness it breeds, but as we celebrate Independence Day this year, let’s remember the things that unify us today, as they did nearly 250 years ago. 

Organization: State Policy Network