Saint Leo University Polling Institute recently asked Americans how patriotic they are. One thing that a majority of them agreed on when it came to patriotism is over how the National Football League plans to handle players who kneel on the field during the national anthem.
60 percent of respondents said they somewhat or strongly agree with the new NFL policy to fine players who kneel, which NFL owners approved last month.
Frank Orlando, director of the polling institute, said even though most Democrats, liberals and African Americans don't support the policy, a significant number of them still agree with it.
“Even those groups' approved of the policy, according to our poll, by about 40 percent,” Orlando said.
He said the issue exposes a Democratic divide - while more progressive members of the party are speaking out against the policy, party officials like House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi are hesitant to condemn it.
When it comes to their own patriotism, a majority of those polled said they are very patriotic (45.8 percent) or somewhat patriotic (39.7 percent).
The poll also asked respondents about what acts they consider patriotic.
While 66 percent said voting on a regular basis is patriotic - the best response rate on the list - Orlando pointed out actual voter turnout is often low. He said most elections are lucky to see even 40 percent of voters go to the polls.
“It isn't necessarily surprising, it's just a bit ironic that that was the number one thing people agreed on, Republicans, Democrats, everyone. Yet all of them pretty much fall short in getting to that mark,” Orlando said.
Thanking veterans for their service was the second most popular act of patriotism among a majority of respondents at 58 percent.
Orlando said the poll also found Republicans and Democrats differ on what they say make them proud Americans. He said the finding shows Americans are living in "parallel societies" along political party lines.
Saint Leo polled one thousand adults nationwide online late last month.