“Most Americans believe…”
Do they? Based on what? A careful study of facts, or because someone’s narrow-minded relative who’s never strayed more than 20 minutes from home says so?
Why do we so closely align perception and reality? Apparently, it is common for people to believe something without really knowing for sure. For polling purposes, this serves somebody’s interests. Perception is reality, and that’s good enough.
Which explains a lot.