Poll shows 41 percent of Americans can’t name U.S. vice president

Forty-one percent of Americans do not know the name of the vice president of the United States, according to a recent poll released by The Pew Research Center.

The purpose of Pew’s U.S. Religious Knowledge Survey was to gauge how well Americans could adequately identify important aspects of major religions and their roles in public life.

In addition to the 32 questions regarding various aspects of religion, the survey asked nine focusing on nonreligious topics, such as politics, science and history. These general knowledge questions provided an alternative set of issues also pertinent to public life, with which to compare the results of the religious questions.

Asking respondents to name the vice president – Joe Biden – was one such example. Of 3,412 individuals surveyed, 59 percent correctly answered the open-ended question.

Similar questions asked respondents to state the political party currently holding a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives (Democrats) and to whom the theory of evolution by natural selection could be credited (Charles Darwin).

The average respondent correctly answered 50 percent of the religious questions, compared to 60 percent of respondents who got over half of the general knowledge questions right.

Those who identified as atheist/agnostic or Jewish showed the highest performance on general knowledge questions.

Results show that those who scored poorly on religion likewise scored poorly on the general knowledge