America fails government test — in spectacular fashion

SHARE America fails government test — in spectacular fashion

Even if it was graded on a curve, it wouldn’t have helped. Simply put, Americans are completely clueless about how their government works, a national survey shows.

A new survey from the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania has some shocking — and rather disappointing — numbers.

The survey, which included 1,416 adults who apparently never paid attention in their U.S. government classes, showed the following:

  • Only 36 percent of people could name all three branches of U.S. government. Thirty-five percent couldn’t even name one.
  • It takes two-thirds of a vote in the House and Senate to override a presidential veto. Of those surveyed, only 27 percent knew that.
  • Twenty-one percent of Americans think a 5-4 Supreme Court decision is sent back to Congress.

“Although surveys reflect disapproval of the way Congress, the President and the Supreme Court are conducting their affairs, the Annenberg survey demonstrates that many know surprisingly little about these branches of government,” said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC). “This survey offers dramatic evidence of the need for more and better civics education.”

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