Friday, August 2, 2019

Only 9% of Americans Can Name a Think Tank

A new poll from UK-based consultancy We Are Flint that was conducted online by YouGov shows that only 9 percent of Americans can name a think think, and 36% don't know what a think tank is.

Of the half of the population (55%) who claim to know what a think tank is but cannot name one:
  • Close to half associate think tanks with lobbying (46%).
  • Over one third believe think tanks are manipulative (34%).
  • One quarter claim they do backroom deals and are corrupt (28% and 22%).
  • Just 21% say think tanks are innovative.

The Heritage Foundation (5.7%) is the only think tank that more than 5% of the population could name, followed by Brookings Institution (3.9%), Cato Institute (3.0%), RAND Corporation (2.2%), American Enterprise Institute (1.4%), Center for American Progress (1.2%), Hoover Institution (1.1%), and Council on Foreign Relations (0.6%).

Another recent We Are Flint poll found that less than 4% of the UK public can name a think tank.

Watch this video of Americans being asked to try to explain what a think tank is.

Think Tank Watch analysis: 9 percent sounds quite high, and we wonder what the figure would have been if the poll was actually conducted in person rather than online.