Bright Line Watch survey questions, July 2018

How well do the following state­ments describe the United States as of today?

  • The U.S. does not meet this standard
  • The U.S. partly meets this standard
  • The U.S. mostly meets this standard
  • The U.S fully meets this standard

1.  Elections are conducted, ballots counted, and winners deter­mined without pervasive fraud or manipulation
2.  All adult citizens have equal oppor­tu­ni­ty to vote
3.  Voter par­tic­i­pa­tion in elections is generally high
4.  Elections are free from foreign influence
5.  The geo­graph­ic bound­aries of electoral districts do not sys­tem­at­i­cal­ly advantage any par­tic­u­lar political party
6.  All votes have equal impact on election outcomes
7.  Parties and can­di­dates are not barred due to their political beliefs and ideologies
8.  All adult citizens enjoy the same legal and political rights
9.  Government does not interfere with jour­nal­ists or news organizations
10.  Government effec­tive­ly prevents private actors from engaging in polit­i­cal­ly-motivated violence or intimidation
11.  Government protects indi­vid­u­als’ right to engage in unpopular speech or expression
12.  Government protects indi­vid­u­als’ right to engage in peaceful protest
13.  Government officials are legally sanc­tioned for misconduct
14.  Government officials do not use public office for private gain
15.  Government agencies are not used to monitor, attack, or punish political opponents
16.  Even when there are dis­agree­ments about ideology or policy, political leaders generally share a common under­stand­ing of relevant facts
17.  Executive authority cannot be expanded beyond con­sti­tu­tion­al limits
18.  The leg­is­la­ture is able to effec­tive­ly limit executive power
19.  The judiciary is able to effec­tive­ly limit executive power
20.  The elected branches respect judicial independence
21.  Elected officials seek com­pro­mise with political opponents
22.  Political com­pe­ti­tion occurs without criticism of opponents’ loyalty or patriotism
23.  Information about the sources of campaign funding is available to the public
24.  Public policy is not deter­mined by large campaign contributions
25.  Citizens can make their opinions heard in open debate about policies that are under consideration
26.  Citizens have access to infor­ma­tion about can­di­dates that is relevant to how they would govern
27.  Law enforce­ment inves­ti­ga­tions of public officials or their asso­ciates are free from political influence or interference

These questions about topical issues and events build on a similar survey conducted by the New York Times Upshot blog in 2017, on which we collaborated.

Is this normal or abnormal?

  • Normal
  • Mostly normal
  • Borderline normal
  • Mostly abnormal
  • Abnormal

Is this unim­por­tant or important?

  • Unimportant
  • Mostly unim­por­tant
  • Semi-important
  • Mostly important
  • Important

1. President Trump holding a face-to-face summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un
2. President Trump describ­ing members of the MS-13 gang as “animals”
3. The Department of Homeland Security sep­a­rat­ing children from parents who enter the United States illegally
4. President Trump crit­i­ciz­ing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as “dishonest and weak”
5. Congress passing tax legislation
6. President Trump pardoning Dinesh D’Souza for making illegal campaign contributions
7. President Trump repeat­ed­ly calling the press an “enemy of the people”
8. The Trump admin­is­tra­tion reversing Obama-era envi­ron­men­tal and financial regulations
9. President Trump calling for sus­pend­ing due process rights for suspected illegal immigrants
10. President Trump profiting from political fundrais­ers and events held by foreign dig­ni­taries at hotels and resorts owned by his family business
11. President Trump calling for the Department of Justice to inves­ti­gate Hillary Clinton
12. President Trump publicly crit­i­ciz­ing the inves­ti­ga­tion led by special counsel Robert Mueller
13. President Trump nom­i­nat­ing Brett Kavanaugh to replace Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy
14. The United States with­draw­ing from the United Nations Human Rights Council
15. President Trump con­grat­u­lat­ing Vladimir Putin on his election victory
16. President Trump demanding greater defense spending from NATO allies
17. President Trump threat­en­ing American busi­ness­es such as Amazon and Harley-Davidson
18. The Trump Administration imposing tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese imports
19. The Trump admin­is­tra­tion imposing tariffs on steel and aluminum from Canada, Mexico, and the E.U.
20. President Trump publicly crit­i­ciz­ing the F.B.I.

These two questions were added during fielding:
21.  President Trump ques­tion­ing the con­clu­sions of U.S. intel­li­gence about alle­ga­tions of Russian election meddling during a press con­fer­ence alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin.
22.  President Trump publicly crit­i­ciz­ing the leaders of the United Kingdom and Germany at a time when both are polit­i­cal­ly vul­ner­a­ble at home.