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Americans Say Founding Fathers Would See U.S. Today as a Failure

Abraham Lincoln famously declared at Gettysburg that the Founding Fathers "brought forth on this continent a new nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal," but a new Rasmussen Reports poll shows half of Americans think the Founding Fathers would view the nation they created as a failure today.

The poll found 34 percent of Americans believe if the Founding Fathers came back today, they'd view America as a success. Forty-nine percent, however, say the founders would view the present-day U.S. as a failure. Seventeen percent said they weren't sure.

One of the key foundational concepts in the Declaration of Independence which Lincoln referred to as "four score and seven years ago" is thatgovernments derive their only just powers from the consent of the governed.Just 17 percent believe the federal government has that consent.

A partisan divide is evident in the poll -- 51 percent of Democrats believe the Founding Fathers would view the present-day U.S. as a failure, while a higher percentage -- 62 percent -- of Republicans felt the same way. Fifty-five percent of those not affiliated with any major party believe the Founding Fathers would view America as a failure.

The national survey of 1,000 adults was conducted Sept. 29-30. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.

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