Young Americans see US democracy as failed – poll
A national survey of 18-to 29-year-old Americans shows more than half believe US democracy has either “failed” or is “in trouble,” and a significant portion also sees the potential for civil war.
Of the 52% polled who said they’ve lost or are losing faith in America’s democratic system, 39% described the country as a “democracy in trouble.” Another 13% of respondents called it a “failed democracy,” according to research released on Wednesday by the Institute of Politics at Harvard Kennedy School.
Of the more than 2,100 young Americans surveyed for the poll, only 7% said they believe the US is a “healthy democracy,” while another 27% consider it a “somewhat functioning democracy.”
Unsurprisingly, those who identified as Republicans were the most concerned about the state of the US under the leadership of Joe Biden – a Democrat with sinking poll numbers as he attempts to address numerous crises, including the Covid-19 pandemic, supply chain issues, and record inflation.
Biden’s approval numbers among young voters in the Harvard poll represented declines similar to other recent surveys. Only 46% of respondents to this survey said they approved of the president’s job performance – a 13% drop from a similar poll that was taken by the group in April.
While Democrats expressed the most faith in the country, 45% said the US is either a democracy in trouble or one too far gone. Only 11% of those self-identified Democrats called the US a “healthy democracy” in the poll. Meanwhile, over half of Republicans and independents agreed that the US has failed or is in trouble, with 70% saying they held a negative view of the state of the country.
In perhaps the polling’s most startling findings, 35% of the young Americans surveyed said they saw the potential for a second civil war in their lifetimes, while a quarter of those polled believed they could see a US state secede within their lifetime.