Surprising Poll Demonstrates America’s View of Political Violence


We can see the warning signs all around us today, as the two ends of the American political spectrum continue to aim for each others’ jugular in the media and from the bully pulpit.

The latest agitation has come straight from the top as well, with President Joe Biden repeatedly suggesting that Trump supporters and the MAGA Movement are a “threat to democracy” herself.

This irresponsible rhetoric has already fomented calls for violence here in the United States, and a new poll shows that many Americans believe that serious trouble may be inevitable.

Against a backdrop of so much concern that democracy is under threat, Americans also see a rising potential for political violence: almost two-thirds think the coming years will bring an increase. And the percentage holding that view has itself been rising even higher, compared to 2021.


The prospect of violence is tied in part to a perception of widening divisions: a whopping 80% of Americans believe the U.S. is more divided now than it was during their parents’ generation. (And here, older Americans are even more likely to say this, and their parents’ generation would have lived through the upheaval of the ’60s.) Just as many say tone and civility have gotten worse.

And that’s not all:

Then, when they look forward, a majority believe that a generation from now the U.S. will be less of a democracy than it is today.


Examining so-called division and polarization can be done many ways, of course. One is to posit that democracy is in part about rights: who has them and to what extent. And in asking about the status of rights in America today, we reveal one stark illustration of fundamental differences between partisans.

President Biden’s aforementioned language has been repeated incessantly since his Thursday night “soul of America” speech, setting up a major midterm showdown between the Democrats and the so-called “MAGA Republicans”.