Americans across the political spectrum believe our constitutional rights must be protected and oppose calling a new constitutional convention to change the Constitution, according to new polling conducted last month.
Research by J. Wallin Opinion Research concludes that after the tumultuous year marked by a national election, civil rights demonstrations, and a historic health pandemic, both Republicans and Democrats’ opposition to an Article V convention has only increased since research was last fielded in January 2020.
Key findings from the poll include:
- A plurality of voters oppose using an Article V convention to change the U.S. Constitution, 47%-35%. A majority of Republican voters are also in opposition, 56%-28%.
- When asked to pick what elected officials’ top priorities should be, “protecting our constitutional rights” was the second most picked priority after rebuilding our economy was followed by addressing the COVID-19 pandemic, improving healthcare, and fixing racism and inequality.
- When presented with the fact that there are no rules to govern a convention and that civil rights may be at risk, voters across the political spectrum became more strongly opposed to calling a convention.
Even as Americans are clear they oppose this risky, untested process to change the Constitution, special interest groups are pushing for resolutions in state legislatures across the country to call a new constitutional convention that could have lasting impacts on our civil liberties. Under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, a new convention can be called when two-thirds of the states (34) pass applications to Congress. One campaign for a convention on a balanced budget amendment claims 28 states have active applications for convention, just six states short of the 34 state threshold.
J. Wallin Opinion Research interviewed 1,000 respondents speaking Spanish and English languages and contacting both mobile and landlines (66.7% of this survey was completed on mobile phones). A survey of this size yields a margin of error of +/-3% (95% confidence interval). The sample is stratified, meaning that the demographic composition of the results matches the demographic composition of the region and turnout model that was surveyed.