This article is part of a series on the May 2014 Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor poll.
Hillary Clinton or Ted Cruz? Rand Paul or Joe Biden? It may not matter. The majority of Americans believe that an increase in community activism would have a more significant impact on daily life than the candidate they elect as president.
That's just one of the latest findings from the most recent Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll, which reveals Americans' pessimism about the power of institutions like the federal government to bring about change.
Fifty-six percent of respondents told pollsters that more volunteering in their community would have "a more positive impact on [their] day-to-day life" than electing a president who agrees with them on important issues. Just 39 percent said that the election of a particular president would have a greater impact.
Republicans were far more likely than Democrats to place higher value on the importance of whom they elect as president (by 53 to 34 percent). And younger Americans, ages 18 to 29, had the most faith of any group in the impact of community activism — a full 73 percent said more community volunteering would bring about the greatest positive change.