Mamas Don’t Want Their Babies To Grow Up To Be Politicians


Most Americans don’t  want their children to enter a political career:

PRINCETON, NJ — By a 2-to-1 margin, 64% to 31%, Americans would not like their child to go into politics as a career. The results are the same whether the question is asked about a “child,” a “son,” or a “daughter.” There has been little change in the percentage of Americans who would favor a political career for their son or daughter over the past two decades.

The results are based on a June 20-24 Gallup poll, and find generally little change in the desirability of politics as a profession even as trust in governmentand confidence in political institutions, particularly Congress, are low.

The largest demographic differences among major subgroups are by race, with nonwhites much more likely than whites to say they would like to see their son or daughter go into politics. This is not a reaction to the fact that the current president is black, as Gallup has found that same racial difference when the question was asked in the 1990s when George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton were president.


Most Americans would not prefer their son or daughter to go into politics as a career, and this preference has not changed appreciably over time even as Americans’ frustration with the government has grown.

Compared with other possible careers, politics ranks fairly low in Americans’ pecking order. Another historical Gallup question has consistently found Americans mentioning a career in medicine or technology as the one they would advise a young man or woman to pursue. A career in politics or government has historically ranked well behind those professions as well as law, business, teaching, and engineering.

Given the relatively public attitude about politics these days, I’d suspect parents may prefer that there children enter an honorable profession instead, which at this point would be anything other than hit man for the Mafia I suspect.

FILED UNDER: Public Opinion Polls, Science & Technology, US Politics, , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. bill says:

    despite our usual disdain for politicians it is a pretty tough job, the hours put in- the lifestyle and the general “politicking” must be a nightmare. i have trouble lying to people, so i could never do it. still, some of them really excel at it and leave their mark in a positive way- on both sides of the fence.

  2. Caj says:

    Nothing wrong with being a politician if you are of good character and stand firm on your beliefs.
    Swaying in the wind to gain a vote here or gain a vote there when it goes against what you truly believe is not acceptable. People prefer someone who is honest and isn’t afraid to stand up even against some in their own party if need be if they feel it’s for the betterment of the country.
    Too many today are working for special interest groups and couldn’t give a flying fig about the people who voted them into office. The Congress we have now is a prime example of people who care more about themselves and their lobbyists than they do about the country as a whole.

  3. @Caj:

    People prefer someone who is honest and isn’t afraid to stand up even against some in their own party if need be if they feel it’s for the betterment of the country.

    That’s what people say they prefer, but their revealed preferences say something else entirely.

  4. al-Ameda says:

    I personally do not want my daughters to “grow up” to become Republican politicians. Also, I do not want them to become Civil War re-enactment nerds.