- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 26, 2016

Many voters reveal they have a gnawing fear that the America they know and revere is slipping away, along with civility and civic engagement. Part of the reason for that fear can be found in a new Gallup poll.

“Americans remain far more likely to say the state of moral values in the U.S. is getting worse (73 percent) than to say it is getting better (20 percent). Over a 15-year trend, solid majorities have consistently viewed the direction of the country’s values negatively,” writes Justin McCarthy, a Gallup analyst.

Currently, 84 percent of Republicans and 61 percent of Democrats agree that moral standards are in decline.

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“Platform issues on moral values are frequently espoused by Republican candidates for office at all levels of U.S. government, so it may come as little surprise that those who identify as or lean Republican have a heightened sensitivity to the state of the nation’s moral fabric. But a majority of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents, too, say the state of moral values is declining,” Mr. McCarthy noted.

“While Americans point to many ways in which they see the country’s morals getting worse, they are most likely to say they see a decline in U.S. standards and a lack of respect for one another, as well as poor values instilled by parents and reflected among government officials,” he added.

Mr. McCarthy predicts that the “pessimism” will continue.

The poll of 1,025 U.S. adults was conducted May 4-8.

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