On Tuesday, Public Religion Research Institute released our 2014 American Values Survey. Findings point both to the economic anxiety Americans are experiencing—personally and systemically—and to Americans’ plummeting confidence in the criminal justice system’s treatment of blacks and other minorities.
Journalists at many national media outlets are reporting on the incisive data, including PBS NewsHour’s Simon Pathe, who leads her article by noting a high majority (72 percent) of Americans think the economy is still in a recession. Pathe connects this pessimism to PRRI’s Economic Insecurity Index, which indicates that more than 4-in-10 (41 percent) Americans have experienced high to moderate economic insecurity in the past year.
William Galston’s column in the Wall Street Journal picks up on the same thread. In fact, the Brookings senior fellow asserts that the current American economy just isn’t working for average families—and it hasn’t for over a decade. In the same vein, Politico focuses on Americans’ gloomy outlook when it comes to their personal financial situations.
Meanwhile, the Washington Post mines different data from the 2014 American Values Survey. Michelle Boorstein covers the stark divide between Americans on the issue of religious liberty, while The Fix features PRRI’s Venn diagram demonstrating the relationship between the Tea Party, the GOP, and the Christian Right. Finally, numbers from AVS 2014 land in two Wonkblog stories: one zooms in on data showing decreased support for the legalization of marijuana over the past year; the other focuses on our country’s skepticism of equal treatment based on race within the criminal justice system.
Vox comments on how PRRI polling shows a sharp increase after the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. in the number of in young adults (age 18-29) who disagree that blacks and other minorities receive treatment equal to whites in the criminal justice system. Pulling no punches, Buzzfeed characteristically concludes that the criminal justice system is racist.
Be sure to check out @publicreligion for up-to-the-minute ongoing #AVS2014 media coverage.