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New Yorkers' Views on Patriotism, Socialism, And Talking Politics In The Age Of Division

ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) - As the United States gets ready to celebrate Independence Day, nearly three-quarters of New Yorkers say they consider themselves patriotic and 80 percent say they are at least somewhat, if not very, proud to be an American.

Those findings are from a survey just released by the Siena College Research Institute (SRI).  SRI director Don Levy says certain New Yorkers are more likely to express patriotic sentiments than others.

"Ninety-one percent, so virtually every single Republican says, 'Yes, I'm patriotic,'" Levy explained. "Democrats are at a little bit lower rate, 71 percent. One group that has a little bit of trouble indicating that they feel patriotic is African Americans; only 49 percent of African Americans say they're patriotic. It's slightly higher among Hispanics at 62 percent."

Other findings from the survey: almost two-thirds of New Yorkers say criticism of the country is free speech, and about that same percentage say they talk politics with their family and friends often or somewhat often.

"Older New Yorkers are a little bit more likely to have those conversations compared to young New Yorkers," said Levy. "Maybe we're starting to get the point where we're afraid or reluctant to even talk about political affairs given this hyper-partisan time that we have."

Another finding from the poll: 62 percent of Republicans and 21 percent of Democrats said anyone who believes in socialism is not a good American.

Siena College conducted the poll by making random telephone calls to 348 New York adults on both landline and cell phones between June 11 and 18, 2019.  The overall results have a margin of error of 3.8 percentage points.