Just a third of Americans can pass a multiple choice “U.S. Citizenship Test,” fumbling over such simple questions as the cause of the Cold War or naming just one thing Benjamin Franklin is famous for.
And of Americans 45 and younger, the passing rate is a tiny 19 percent, according to a survey done for the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.
Worse: The actual test only requires that 60 percent of the answers be correct. In the survey, just 36 percent passed.
Among the embarrassing errors uncovered in the survey of questions taken from the U.S. Citizenship Test and conducted by Lincoln Park Stragtegies:
- 72 percent of respondents either incorrectly identified or were unsure of which states were part of the 13 original states.
- 24 percent could correctly identify one thing Benjamin Franklin was famous for, with 37 percent believing he invented the lightbulb.
- 12 percent incorrectly thought WWII General Dwight Eisenhower led troops in the Civil War.
- 2 percent said the Cold War was caused by climate change.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Less than five weeks before elections that will determine control of the U.S. Congress for the next two years, about a third of registered voters do not know the name of their party’s candidate for office, a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll found.
Name recognition is critical in motivating voters, is the reason candidates spend millions of dollars on TV ads and is a major factor in incumbents’ advantage in fending off challengers.
But it may be slightly less critical on Nov. 6 as many voters may view their choices as referendums on a man whose name will not be on the ballot: Republican President Donald Trump.
“With the current party polarization, voters increasingly vote based on party (read: like or dislike Trump) rather than the local candidates,” Robert Erikson, a professor of political science at Columbia University in New York City, wrote in an email.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday found that 34 percent of Republican registered voters and 32.5 percent of Democratic registered voters said they did not know the names of their party’s congressional candidates in their districts.