- A new poll offers an alarming picture of GOP beliefs about democracy.
- Almost half of Republicans said a time might come where they have to take the law into their own hands.
- A majority of Republicans endorsed potentially using force to uphold the “traditional” America.
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Less than a year after a pro-Trump mob stormed the US Capitol, nearly half of Republican voters (47%) say that “a time will come when patriotic Americans have to take the law into their own hands,” per a new nationwide survey by George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs.
Only about 29% of Americans agreed with this statement on some level, the poll found, including just 9% of Democrats. And 49% said they disagree or strongly disagree.
The poll also found that a majority of Republicans (55%) say “the traditional American way of life is disappearing so fast we may have to use force to save it.” About 15% of Democrats agreed with this statement, but more Americans disagreed (46%) than agreed (34%).
More Republicans (27%) than Democrats (18%) said that “strong leaders sometimes have to bend the rules in order to get things done.”
The poll also found extremely low levels of trust among Republicans when it comes to elections – 82% said it’s “hard to trust the results of elections when so many people will vote for anyone who offers a handout.” Only 15% of Democrats were on the same page.
Echoing other recent polls on the 2020 election, the survey found that just 20% of Republicans were confident in the 2020 election results as compared to over 90% of Democrats.
The survey of of 1,753 registered US voters was conducted by YouGov from June 4 to 23.
Over the course of the Trump era, experts on democracy repeatedly raised concerns about the GOP’s slide into authoritarianism. Democracy scholars have continued to raise alarm as the GOP-led legislatures in states across the country push for restrictive voter laws, employing similar justifications to President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of mass voter fraud after he fairly lost the 2020 election. Along these lines, an ex-Trump administration official recently referred to the Republican party as the top national security threat to the US.
More than one quarter of Americans qualify as having right-wing authoritarian political beliefs, according to polling from Morning Consult released in late June.
Though Trump provoked an insurrection at the Capitol and stands as the only commander-in-chief in history to be impeached twice, he continues to be the leader of the Republican party. GOP leaders in Congress have also railed against a House investigation into the January 6 insurrection.
During a hearing on Tuesday held by the House select committee running the probe, four police officers testified about the violence they were subjected to by Trump’s supporters at the Capitol. One officer referred to the insurrections as “terrorists,” and another said the Capitol riot amounted to an “attempted coup.”