Poll: Most Parents Don't Want Their Children to Be Politicians

By Susan Jones | July 5, 2013 | 8:31 AM EDT

Dome of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo) (AP)

(CNSNews.com) – If you had a child/son/daughter, would you like to see him or her go into politics as a life’s work?

That’s how Gallup phrased its questions to a random sample of 2,048 adults, 18 and older, living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The telephone survey on June 20-24 found that by a 2-to-1 margin – 64 percent to 31 percent – the answer was no, Americans would not like their child to go in to politics as a career. Gallup says it asked the question using the words “child,” then “son” and then “daughter,” and the results were the same.

The pollster notes there has been little change in the percentage of Americans who would want a political career for their child over the past two decades.

Gallup found that non-whites were much more likely than whites to want a political career for their offspring. Democrats tended to favor a political career for their sons and daughters more than Republicans do. And men were more likely than women to want to see their son and daughter go into politics.

Gallup says the order in which the question was asked made a difference: Specifically, Americans were significantly more likely to say they would like both their daughter and son to go into politics when they were asked about a daughter first.

“This suggests that Americans may be interpreting the question as one about gender equality when asked about a daughter first, and therefore that makes them more likely to favor a political career for their children of either sex,” Gallup noted.

The implications, according to Gallup: “Most Americans would not prefer their son or daughter to go into politics as a career, and this preference has not changed appreciably over time even as Americans' frustration with the government has grown.

Compared with other possible careers, politics ranks fairly low in Americans' pecking order. A career in politics or government has historically ranked well behind those professions as well as law, business, teaching, and engineering.