In a recent comment to my of my postings, a reader claimed membership in “The silent majority.” It got me thinking about majorities in the USA and around here. Everything seems so split these days, Congress, the Presidential election and public opinion on just about every issue. It made me wonder if there was any kind of majority left in America, does anyone belong to the majority?
I took a look at some polls and census data in a hunt for subjects and ideas for which Americans had a consensus of opinion. I tried to find out who is the majority in the USA. It wasn’t easy.
Spoiler alert - I’m not in the majority
As it turns out most Americans are under the age of 45, so I’m out right there. However, since I graduated high school I belong to the proud 57% who also managed that goal. Does anyone else find that number dismal? The majority of Americans identify as “Christian”, but the fastest growing religious group is “Nothing in particular.” Most Americans believe Abortion should be legal in some or all cases but it’s far from a majority. Most Americans are optimistic about their economic situation in the coming years, that was just 3% short of a majority. Most Americans who have declared a political party affiliation or no particular affiliation are either Democrats or Independents. There are more Democrats, including those who lean to one side or another ("Leaners"), but that puts me out of the “Majority” club again, darn. Good thing I’m not a “Joiner.”
I’m a white guy so I get to jump back in for a minute as a member of the racial majority and I get to hang around because I believe there is solid evidence for Global Warming, just like a clear 68% of other Americans do (Only 38% believe it’s a serious problem like me though). Most Americans firmly believe the statement that “The rich get richer and the poor get poorer” which actually seems kind of sad in the land of equal opportunity. I see it everyday though. However, I’m out again because 63% of citizens disagree that “Hard work is not a guarantee of success.” Sorry, I think success is much more difficult than just working hard.
A lot of us believe that raising taxes on those who make more than 250 grand a year would help the economy and make the tax system more fair, but it’s no majority by any means. I might get a “bye,” or at least hang around a little longer for declaring I’m not a member of the “lower” classes, like 68% of other Americans have. In trying to firm up my membership, I could bring up that I support the use of medical marijuana and I think the space program is crucial. However, adding that I also support same sex marriage just puts me in the plurality.
Not every one believes polls, or census data for that matter. It’s only smart to keep some healthy skepticism. Fox news just called their own Presidential poll into question when it showed Romney down by 6 points. That was Wednesday, I wonder where he is now? Still, in the interest of contrary opinions about just who is the majority around here I’ve included some of the data I gathered and links to the sources. Happy majority’ing!
(US CENSUS) age
60% under 45
26.4% 45 to 64 - darned whipper-snappers!
13% 65 and over
(US CENSUS) Sex
Men 49.2 - on a loosing streak here......
(US CENSUS) Education
42% never graduated high school - Oh good, let’s let some more teachers go (Sheesh!)
30.4% graduated high school
27% have a bachelors or higher
78% identify as "Christian"
51% are Protestant
4.7% other (jewish, buddhist, muslim)
16% identify as unaffiliated (12.1% as “nothing in particular”), the fastest growing segment of the population. - how many said “What’s it to ya?”
45% illegal in most/all cases
47% legal in most/all cases - Just made the cut
(PEW) Better or worse off?
63% said their financial situation will improve in the next year - Ya, me too
72% of democrats
56% of Republicans
60% of independents
(PEW) Party affiliation including "leaners"
43% Republican - darn, you can’t win them all
28% Republican - and loosing ground
(PEW) Approval for medicare as credit toward private insurance
49% oppose - Yep, bad idea
(US CENSUS) population
75% white alone or in combination - Hey white is good for something!
63% white alone
(PEW) Global warming
63% believe there is solid evidence - Finally,
38% believe this is a serious problem - really serious
27% somewhat serious
(PEW) Class warfare
"rich just get richer and poor get poorer" - so far anyway
73% college graduates and people with some college agree
79% HS grad or less agree
"Hard work offers little guarantee of success"
35% agree - ‘fraid so
"raising taxes on the rich (250k+)would help economy"
44% help - a little
24% no change
"Raising taxes on rich (250k+) would make taxes more fair"
44% more fair - depends how much
21% less fair
25% no difference
68% said they were middle or upper classes - that’s me, for now...
32% said they were in the lower classes
(PEW) Space program
58% say it's essential - Space is where it’s happening!
38% not essential
(PEW) support for same sex marriage
47% for - what business is it of mine who people marry?
(PEW) support the use of medical Marijuana
73% yes - seen it in action, it’s a good thing
(PEW) support legalization of Marijuana
41% yes - well, at least decriminalize it