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Survey: Most Americans Can’t Name All Three Branches of Government

A new poll by the Annenberg Public Policy Center revealed that most of you failed civics class in elementary school: Only 36% of Americans could name all three branches of the federal government, while 35% “could not name a single one”.

The poll, which surveyed 1,416 adults in honor of yesterday’s Constitution Day, revealed that most Americans forgot that the government is divided into executive, legislative, and judicial branches. In addition, over half of Americans don’t know which parties control the House and Senate, and only 27% know that Congress can override a presidential veto with a two-thirds vote. In addition, 21% of Americans think that a 5-4 Supreme Court decision can be reconsidered by Congress, which is actually not true.

Interestingly, 54% of Americans would oppose a law that allowed the federal government to bar the media from reporting on national security issues without government approval.

“Although surveys reflect disapproval of the way Congress, the President and the Supreme Court are conducting their affairs, the Annenberg survey demonstrates that many know surprisingly little about these branches of government,” Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, said in a statement.

Did you somehow read this and not retain any of the information we just told you? Fine. Here you go.

[Correction: This post has been updated to more accurately reflect the numbers in the survey. (h/t APCCPenn)]

[The Washington Post]
[Image via ABC/screenshot]

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