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4 Apr, 2024 21:48

One in five Americans say political violence may be needed – poll

A new survey has revealed that many US voters believe they won’t be able to get their country back on track peacefully
One in five Americans say political violence may be needed – poll

Many Americans believe that voting won’t be sufficient to turn their country in the right direction. In fact, a new poll has revealed that heading into this year’s US presidential election, one in five voters think violence may be required to achieve their political objectives.

The PBS/NPR/Marist poll, released on Wednesday, showed that 20% of US adults – including 28% of Republicans – believe that “Americans may have to resort to violence in order to get their country back on track.” That view was shared by 12% of Democrats and 18% of independent voters.

The survey results reflect rising doubts in the US political system. Nearly three in ten Americans, including 61% of Republicans, still don’t believe that President Joe Biden won the 2020 election. A USA Today poll released earlier this year showed that more than half of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump’s supporters have little confidence that this year’s votes will be accurately counted.

A University of Virginia poll released last October found that 31% of Trump backers and 24% of Biden voters believe that “democracy is no longer a viable system, and Americans should explore alternative forms of government to ensure stability and progress.” More than four in ten Trump fans agreed that “the situation in America is such that I would favor states seceding from the union to form their own separate country.”

The newly released PBS/NPR/Marist poll revealed that 41% of Americans believe the country has gotten so far off track that it needs a leader who is “willing to break some rules to set things right.” That view was shared by 56% of Republicans, 28% of Democrats and 37% of independents.

The poll shows that as Biden and Trump head toward their volatile rematch in November, the country is in “an incredibly dangerous place,” PBS said. University of Michigan law professor Barabra McQuade blamed Trump for the political tinderbox, saying he had stoked fears to manipulate voters. “Regardless of your politics, the idea of breaking rules and engaging in violence is just antithetical to the idea of America,” she said.

Trump and his supporters have argued that Biden’s administration has abandoned democratic norms by “weaponizing” the justice system to persecute his political enemies and interfere in the 2024 election. The former president has vowed to pardon many of the people convicted of crimes stemming from the January 2021 US Capitol riot, referring to them as “J6 hostages.”