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When asked what the words “family values” conjure up for them in the context of a political campaign, Americans most often say the family unit, family structure, or strong families. The vast majority of Americans say the candidates’ positions on this issue will be extremely 36 percent or very 39 percent important to their vote. Only about one in four say the candidates’ positions will not be important. Twelve percent of Americans reply cynically that the notion of family values is a political ploy, a way to win votes, or a phony issue. Eleven percent say “family values” connotes healthcare and health insurance to them. Ten percent mention morals and morality, and another 10% say abortion. The findings are based on a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted last month.

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