American Voters Concerned about Democracy’s Future, Survey Shows
Tensions are running high among American voters as they anticipate the upcoming presidential contests, according to a recent national survey conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) in collaboration with the Brookings Institution.
Majority of Americans Believe Democracy is at Risk
The survey results reveal that an overwhelming 75% of Americans are of the opinion that the future of American democracy is in jeopardy in the 2024 presidential election. This concern is shared across party lines, with 84% of Democrats, as well as significant majorities of Republicans and independent voters, expressing the same sentiment.
Increasing Support for Political Violence
One of the most alarming findings of the survey is the growing support for political violence. The study shows that 23% of Americans believe that resorting to violence may be necessary to save the country, an increase from 15% in 2021. This trend is particularly worrisome as it indicates a deepening polarization and reflects the aftermath of the January 6 attack on the Capitol.
Polarization and the Influence of the Capitol Attack
Robert Jones, the CEO and founder of PRRI, attributes these views to the continued polarization in American politics. He also points to the impact of the Capitol attack, stating that the sense of weakened safeguards and the memory of the non-peaceful transfer of power from the previous election cycle still resonate with the public.
Partisan Divide on Support for Political Violence
While concerns about democracy’s future are shared across the political spectrum, support for political violence largely falls along party lines. The survey reveals that one-third of Republicans support the use of violence to save the country, compared to 22% of independents and 13% of Democrats. Additionally, Republicans who hold favorable views of former President Trump are nearly three times more likely to support political violence than those with unfavorable views.
Rise in Conspiracy Theories, Specifically QAnon
According to the survey, there has been a notable increase in support for conspiracy theories, particularly QAnon. The number of QAnon believers has risen from 14% to 23% since 2021. However, Republicans are twice as likely as Democrats to agree with the core beliefs of the QAnon conspiracy theory.
Consensus on Teaching History and Trust in Teachers
Despite the divisions on other issues, there are areas of consensus among Americans. A significant majority (94%) agree that children should be taught both the positive and negative aspects of history, enabling them to learn from the past. Only a small fraction (4%) believe that uncomfortable or guilt-inducing history should be omitted from education. The survey also reveals that most Americans trust teachers to choose appropriate curriculum and oppose book banning that discusses topics such as slavery.
The PRRI survey highlights the deep concerns among Americans regarding the future of democracy in the upcoming presidential contests. The increasing support for political violence and the rise of conspiracy theories reflect the polarized state of the nation. However, there is also consensus on the importance of teaching a comprehensive history and the trust placed in teachers to make appropriate educational decisions. These findings provide valuable insights into the current political landscape and the challenges ahead.
Read More of this Story at www.npr.org – 2023-10-25 04:01:27
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