STUDY: Kindness, Stability, Freedom of Choice Among Voters' Priorities for American Leaders, Government
Barna: Americans prioritizing kindness, compassion and a return to traditional values and basic democracy this election season
Glendale, AZ — With the midterm election merely weeks away and early voting already having begun in some states, new research—conducted by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University and commissioned by AmericasOne founder Marc Nuttle—is offering some insight into the kind of government and types of elected leaders that Americans desire. The results indicate that not only are Americans tired of the nastiness and fighting, they’re strongly opposed to calls for radical change to a system that most (71%) don’t feel is broken.

Results from the America's Values Study indicate that the leaders Americans are looking for will model kindness and understanding—even with those with whom they disagree (75%)—and are just, forward-thinking people with measurable integrity, who are more interested in stabilizing our institutions and applying Constitutional principles than changing the system. More than three out of every four adults (76%) also said they want leaders who are in politics to serve the people rather than themselves, and who believe success is determined by acting in the best interests of the nation.

The government that garnered the most support (76%) was one that affords individuals the freedom to make their own decisions, without government interference. Healthcare was the most prominent example, as 73% expressed a belief that the broken healthcare system can be fixed by removing government from the process. Opposition to a government looking to redefine the character and goals of America, and that spends recklessly, also rated highly.

A consistent, substantial majority of between two-thirds to three-quarters of adults registered their views about what their ideal government would look like. Among those traits were:

  • Protective of religious freedom for all Americans, regardless of which religion they embrace (75%)
  • Strengthening the economy by lowering taxes, creating desirable jobs, and helping small businesses grow (77%)
  • Maintaining a strong global presence by bolstering the military, clearly defining what America stands for, and protecting freedom wherever it is threatened (69%)
  • Preventing big tech companies from ignoring the law by censoring free speech, distorting information, and canceling law-abiding citizens (67%)
  • Having the courage and commitment to the law to deport violent criminals who are not U.S. citizens (66%)
  • Investing government resources in facilitating the personal growth of Americans (65%)

Overall, however, most contend that neither political party appears to understand the public’s real desires, preferring instead to move ahead with plans and policies that are neither in the people’s best interests nor building on the existing common ground that would unite, rather than divide, the population.
“The America’s Values Study is unique in its breadth and insight into the American character. The results will certainly be relevant through the 2024 election, and can serve as a benchmark for measuring how well we are identifying leaders who really understand the heart of the people," explained AmericasOne founder, Marc Nuttal, who commissioned the study. "Regardless of who wins the midterms, many of the issues on Americans’ minds today will be the same issues that must be addressed in the next Presidential cycle. And these research findings provide a pathway forward. Citizens must now, more than ever, stand up to protect the values in which they believe if they want America to lead the world. The authority to lead their own families as they see fit is at stake.”

George Barna, who directed the research for the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University, agreed. “To restore the heart of the nation according to the values of the people will take a willingness to get more deeply involved and to reject the unpalatable vision that the major parties and most powerful political leaders are foisting upon the people.”

The kind of nation the results indicate that Americans want, Barna says, is not so much a “cutting edge, push-the-envelope” version that implements radical transformation of its vision, systems, institutions, and policies, but rather one that returns to an emphasis and reliance upon a more conventional sense of personal character, traditional values, and basic democracy.

“The people hunger for leaders and systems to serve the people rather than the leaders themselves,” he commented. “The policy prescriptions Americans are seeking are those that protect families and display decency and consistency. They want control over their own lives rather than ceding that authority to the government. They envision a nation of which they can be proud because it stands for the same things they personally care about and work to promote."

to view or download the full report
Barna continued, "Unless the American people stand firm in representing themselves, they will continue to see an elite, professional class of politicians and bureaucrats eliminate their long-held freedoms. Americans need more than mere awareness of the battle taking place around them. We must insert ourselves in the midst of that battle. Otherwise, those with a more selfish and autocratic vision for the nation will prevail. In the famous words of Benjamin Franklin, what we have is a republic, if we can keep it. Now is the time when Americans must arise and do what is necessary to keep it.”

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NOTE: The research above was conducted by Dr. George Barna in his role as Director of Research for the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University. Dr. Barna is no longer associated with The Barna Group.

About the Cultural Research Center
The Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University in Glendale, Arizona, conducts the annual American Worldview Inventory, other nationwide surveys regarding cultural transformation, and worldview-related surveys among the ACU student population. The groundbreaking ACU Student Worldview Inventory is administered to every ACU student at the start of each academic year, and a final administration is undertaken among students just prior to their graduation, enabling the University to track and address the worldview development of its students.

CRC is guided by George Barna, Director of Research, and Tracy Munsil, Executive Director. Like ACU, CRC embraces biblical Christianity. The Center works in cooperation with a variety of Bible-centric, theologically conservative Christian ministries and remains politically non-partisan. Access to the results from past surveys conducted by CRC and information about the Cultural Research Center is accessible at Further information about Arizona Christian University is available at

About the Research
This report is based upon data from a pair of companion surveys commissioned by AmericasOne that were conducted in July 2022. The first of those surveys, among a nationally representative sample of 2,275 adults, was administered online and took respondents an average of 21 minutes to complete. The second survey, administered to an online sample of 1,500 respondents, took an average of 22 minutes to complete. The sample for both surveys employed geographic quotas to replicate the population incidence in each of the nine Census divisions. Among the factors studied in the surveys were reactions to 48 values. Each respondent was asked which of five responses best described their attitude toward the value in question, whether they:
  • were willing to fight for/die to protect/preserve that value in your life
  • were willing to sacrifice personal resources to retain that value
  • were willing to argue in support of that value
  • did not feel strongly one way or the other about that value
  • or were not willing to defend that value

Reports related to that survey are accessible at
Additional related information about the state of American values can be found at
About AmericasOne
AmericasOne is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the cause of freedom, fiscal responsibility, and the core values that make America exceptional. 

AmericasOne is a community of values-driven individuals who are seeking to grow their families and businesses and would like to share their ideas and challenges in a supportive and trusted environment. AmericasOne is committed to equipping and engaging individuals and families who want meaningful, thoughtful reform that puts principles, not politicians, first. Our members get the resources needed to advance the cause of freedom, free economic choice, and the core values that make America exceptional.  
AmericasOne is founded by Marc Nuttle, a lawyer, author, consultant, and businessman. He’s represented and advised Presidents of the United States, leaders of foreign countries, state officials, and corporations. He has worked on government policy and is an expert at understanding, analyzing, and predicting economic and cultural trends. For more information on AmericasOne and the America’s Values Research project, visit or find them on Facebook at
Click here for press materials on Dr. George Barna
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Jason Jones
Jones Literary