ACU Releases National Survey on Privacy and Free Speech

Washington, D.C. — The American Conservative Union (ACU) released today the results of a recent survey they commissioned on privacy and free speech issues. The results of the poll show that a clear majority of respondents see free speech and privacy as fundamental freedoms that are linked at the core. The poll was conducted from April 2nd to April 4th, 2013, and consisted of 600 likely voters in the 2014 general election. Those polled were representative of national ideological and partisan demographics, with more Democrats than Republicans participating and combined more moderate and liberals than conservatives.

Respondents voiced their opinion on what they see as a chilling effect on free speech as a result of intrusive government invasions to privacy and the ability to contribute to causes anonymously. ACU Chairman Al Cardenas shared his concern about threats to First Amendment freedoms that were expressed in the poll:

“Americans see free speech and privacy as fundamental freedoms and they clearly believe that the Obama administration has shown a pattern of attempting to limit free speech. The survey clearly indicates that voters are suspicious of political leaders who would try or threaten reprisals on those who finance their opposition on important issues. What is troubling is that many Americans see Washington as more of a threat than a protector of their right to free speech and privacy. Just as we cast our ballots from the privacy of a voting booth, discuss personal matters with our priest or rabbi with absolute confidentiality, Americans also believe that the ability to support causes that are important to them without fear of retribution is also a sacrosanct right and need to be protected.”

Key findings:

  • 92% agree that “private American citizens should have the right to free speech to support any independent group that they want on an issue they want, for example groups that support or oppose gun control, support or oppose a woman's right to choose, protecting the environment, promoting business development and growth, etc.” 68% strongly agreed. Only 6% disagreed.
  • 89% approve and 62% strongly approve of “protecting the rights of privacy of American citizens to speak out on issues without fear of reprisal or retribution from anyone, including those in government, the media, their employers or opposing issue advocacy groups.” Only 7% disapproved.
  • 86% agreed that “private American citizens have a right to privacy when they support any issue-advocacy groups.” 58% strongly agreed and only 9% disagreed.
  • 86% agree that “American citizens have a right to privacy when they support independent issue groups.” 58% strongly agreed and only 11% disagreed.

All of the key findings and a full power point of those findings can be found can be found here.

Founded in 1964, the American Conservative Union (ACU) is the oldest and largest grassroots conservative organization in the nation. For almost fifty years, ACU has served as an umbrella organization harnessing the collective strength of conservative organizations fighting for Americans who are concerned with liberty, personal responsibility, traditional values, and strong national defense. ACU defines conservatism, grows conservatism, and wins for conservatism.