January 29, 2016

The American Perceptions Initiative (API)— a project of The Heritage Foundation—conducts market research among adult Americans on a variety of issues and policy priorities to provide support for strategy and messaging. Market research is designed to explore the relevancy, credibility and support for the policies, concepts, messages and language used as well as the impact they have to create movement and action to support these policies and vision for America.

All of API’s market research is conducted in partnership with Vision Critical and Heart+Mind Strategies. Vision Critical is a well-respected research firm based on North America with research specialist that cover subjects including public opinion, health, technology, consumer goods, media and travel. They work with household brands, government bodies, not-for-profit organizations and the media to help them better understand their customers and stakeholders. Heart+Mind Strategies is an experienced and award winning consulting firm specializing in winning the hearts and minds of the people that matter most to their client’s success.

January 29, 2016 | Market Research on Rule of Law

The Will of the People and the Constitution: American Attitudes and Support

Messaging Priorities

  • The law of the land: Characterize unconstitutional actions as illegal and lawless.
  • By the people: Emphasize the power granted to elected leaders by the people.
  • Build a vision: The benefits of representative government are manifold—liberty, opportunity for economic prosperity, flourishing civil society, and the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens.

77% of Voters Think Government Is Broken

Recent research conducted under the American Perceptions Initiative found that 77% think government in the U.S. is broken. The finding is unsurprising considering the gap Americans see between the exceptionally high level of importance they place on government following the principles in the U.S. Constitution and government’s ability to follow through.

When considered by branch, Congress does especially poorly, with half as many, only 21%, saying they do an excellent or good job at following the principles of the Constitution as rate the judicial (45%) and executive (41%) branches highly.

Leadership in Word and Deed

In the face of increasing dissatisfaction and uncertainty with the role of government, it is important for government leaders to lead by reaffirming the naturally understood importance of following the principles of the Constitution—both in word and deed.


Source: Recommendations based off an online survey using a national representative sample of 1,020 U.S. voters conducted January 6-13, 2016 with a margin of error of ±3.1%.

American Perceptions Initiative is a project of The Heritage Foundation’s communications team.

About the Author

Mark Schreiber Director, Strategic Marketing
Strategic Marketing

Elizabeth Fender Market Research Associate
Strategic Marketing

Related Issues: Rule of Law