New Survey Shows Most Parents Rarely Talk to Their Kids about Politics

National Survey by The Responsibility Project Provides Opportunity for Parents to Educate Kids About Responsible Voting

BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- A national survey released today by Liberty Mutual Insurance’s Responsibility Project reveals that 94 percent of respondents believe parents are responsible for educating their children about politics, yet only one in five parents say they always talk to their kids about politics.

The Responsibility Project surveyed more than 1,000 voters, shedding light on parental factors that might influence children’s political views. Key highlights from the survey include:

  • More than half of voters say it is important their children agree with their political views, yet only two in five voters say their own parents impacted their personal political views
  • Moms are more likely than dads to talk to their children about politics (62 percent moms vs. 49 percent dads)
  • Moms are more likely than dads to bring their children with them when they vote (72 percent of moms vs. 50 percent dads always or sometimes bring their child with them to vote)

“This survey highlights the discrepancy between what is important to parents regarding politics and children, and the parents’ actions,” said Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics and Professor of Politics at the university. “Voting is a learned, social behavior. If we expect young people to learn to vote, and view voting as an essential responsibility of citizenship, then these skills must be taught. Parents, teachers and other adults who interact with children and are respected by them, must be role models about political involvement. This is a critical way to teach civic engagement.”

Liberty Mutual conducted this survey to initiate a dialogue about responsible voting among citizens. Key insights also include:

  • One in three voters say family and friends are the greatest influence on their personal political views
  • Three in five voters believe it is important for their partner to agree with their political views
  • Unmarried voters are 44 percent more likely than married voters to believe it is important for their partner to agree with their political views

"Civics education is a vital responsibility for everyone: parents, schools and the entire community," Sabato said. "Young people need to see – and sense – a culture that values civic education. These findings show that parents and communities have multiple opportunities to further engage children by talking more with them about politics and voting."

The upcoming presidential election as well as many state and local elections provide opportune moments for families to connect and discuss what it means to be a responsible voter. The survey is part of The Responsibility Project, created by Liberty Mutual to provide compelling content as a catalyst for examining the decisions that confront people trying to “do the right thing.”

An infographic on the results is also available.

About the Survey

Ketchum Global Research and Analytics designed and analyzed this phone survey, fielded by Braun Research from July 25-31, 2012. The survey reached 1,546 voters nationwide and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.

About The Responsibility Project

The Responsibility Project (, created by Liberty Mutual in 2008, uses entertaining content to create a forum for people to discuss personal acts of responsibility. Through short films and online content, The Responsibility Project is a catalyst for examining the decisions that confront people trying to “do the right thing.”

About Liberty Mutual Insurance

“Helping people live safer, more secure lives” since 1912, Boston-based Liberty Mutual Insurance is a diversified global insurer and the third largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on 2011 direct premiums written as reported by the National Association Of Insurance Commissioners.

Liberty Mutual Insurance also ranks 84th on the Fortune 100 list of largest corporations in the U.S. based on 2011 revenue. As of December 31, 2011, Liberty Mutual Insurance had $117.1 billion in consolidated assets, $99.3 billion in consolidated liabilities, and $34.7 billion in annual consolidated revenue.

Liberty Mutual Insurance offers a wide range of insurance products and services, including personal automobile, homeowners, workers compensation, property, commercial automobile, general liability, global specialty, group disability, reinsurance and surety. Liberty Mutual Insurance ( employs over 45,000 people in more than 900 offices throughout the world.

Ketchum for Liberty Mutual
Laura Sutphen, 415-984-6221

Source: Liberty Mutual Insurance