Support for participation trophies is strongly linked to political beliefs, according to an August Reason-Rupe poll. Fifty-seven percent of Americans believe that only winning players should receive trophies, while 40% believe every kid on the team should receive a trophy for participating - but support for participation trophies drops with income, education and age.
Two-thirds (67%) of college graduates think only winners should get trophies, whereas those with high school degrees are evenly divided in their support for participation trophies.
Likewise, 66% of Republicans believe only the kids who win should receive trophies, while Democrats are evenly divided: 48% say all kids should receive a trophy, and 48% say only winners.
The competitive desire for winners to be rewarded correlates with fiscal conservatism. Among those who only think winners should get a trophy, 64 percent have a favorable view of capitalism, 64 percent thinks markets better solve problems than government, and 63 percent favor smaller government providing fewer services. In contrast, among those who think all kids should get a trophy, a plurality (49%) have an unfavorable view of capitalism, 50 percent thinks a strong government better solves problems than the free market, and 54 percent favor larger government providing more services.