Market Overview

New Survey Shows How Americans View Responsibility in Politics


A national survey released today by Liberty Mutual Insurance's Responsibility Project sheds light on how responsibility impacts the way a voter will behave at the polls. Notable among the findings was that two in three people believe politicians campaign less responsibly today than in the past. The number one change people would make: eliminating negative or untruthful campaign ads and media coverage.

The Responsibility Project surveyed more than 1,000 Americans revealing what citizens consider to be responsible voting. Key highlights from the survey include:

  • Only two in five people believe voters casting their ballots along “party lines” is responsible
  • Three in four people believe a person should invest several hours in learning about the candidates and issues before casting their vote in a presidential election
  • Four in five people say media is their biggest source of information about candidates, yet less than half say media impacts their personal political views
  • Women are more likely than men to say friends and family are a source of information about candidates (43% versus 35%) while men are more likely than women to report getting information about candidates from online media (46% men versus 30% women)
  • People say friends and family are the greatest influence on their personal political views (33%), followed by education (26%) and the media (18%)

“These findings show voters believe they are responsible to educate themselves on issues and candidates before casting their ballot; however, they may not be completely aware of factors that can influence their decision in the voting booth,” said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics and Professor of Politics at the University. “We hope these results will start a larger conversation about being aware of unexpected factors that could influence a decision.”

With an upcoming presidential election expected to break the 2008 record of campaign advertising spending, this survey offers timely insights into voters' thoughts on responsibility and politics. The survey is part of The Responsibility Project, created by Liberty Mutual to provide compelling content as a catalyst for examining the decisions that confront people trying to “do the right thing.”

An infographic on the results is also available.

About the Survey

Ketchum Global Research and Analytics designed and analyzed this phone survey, fielded by Braun Research from July 25-31, 2012. The survey reached 1,546 voters nationwide and has a margin of error of+/- 3.1 percent.

About The Responsibility Project

The Responsibility Project (, created by Liberty Mutual in 2008, uses entertaining content to create a forum for people to discuss personal acts of responsibility. Through short films and online content, The Responsibility Project is a catalyst for examining the decisions that confront people trying to “do the right thing.”

About Liberty Mutual Insurance

“Helping people live safer, more secure lives” since 1912, Boston-based Liberty Mutual Insurance is a diversified global insurer and the third largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on 2011 direct premiums written as reported by the National Association Of Insurance Commissioners.

Liberty Mutual Insurance also ranks 84th on the Fortune 100 list of largest corporations in the U.S. based on 2011 revenue. As of December 31, 2011, Liberty Mutual Insurance had $117.1 billion in consolidated assets, $99.3 billion in consolidated liabilities, and $34.7 billion in annual consolidated revenue.

Liberty Mutual Insurance offers a wide range of insurance products and services, including personal automobile, homeowners, workers compensation, property, commercial automobile, general liability, global specialty, group disability, reinsurance and surety. Liberty Mutual Insurance ( employs over 45,000 people in more than 900 offices throughout the world.

Ketchum for Liberty Mutual
Caitlin Tridle, 415-984-6258

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