Speed Reads

knowledge check

Nearly two-thirds of Americans can't name all three branches of government

Wednesday was Constitution Day, but many Americans need to brush up on their knowledge of the basic structure of government the Constitution created. A survey released this week showed that only a little more than a third of adults — 36 percent — can name all three branches of government, and a whopping 35 percent couldn't name any branches of government at all.

Current political knowledge is fuzzy, too. Only 38 percent of Americans can correctly identify which party controls the House or the Senate right now, while more than 40 percent didn't even feel qualified to guess at the leadership of each house of Congress.

These kind of poll results are nothing new. A similar survey from 2011 found that 27 percent of Americans recognized Randy Jackson as an American Idol judge, while only 15 percent could correctly name the chief justice of the Supreme Court. And research from last year revealed that half of Americans can't find Syria on a map — though now they support bombing it.