Poll: Americans Love Democracy But Fear For Its Future
Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos
There aren't many polling questions these days that draw 90 percent-plus agreement, but Americans are united by one central idea: They believe the country should remain a democracy.
A newly released Daily Kos/Civiqs poll found that fully 93 percent of registered voters said they believed America "should remain a democracy." Just three percent favored "some other form of government," and four percent said they were unsure.
Another question also revealed a great deal of anxiety among respondents about the future of democracy in America. Asked if they feel worried the U.S. is "becoming less of a democracy," 87 percent expressed concern. Here's the breakdown:
- Yes, very worried: 61 percent
- Yes, somewhat worried: 26 percent
- No, not too worried: 7 percent
- No, not worried at all: 4 percent
- Unsure: 2 percent
Those are pretty stunning numbers, frankly, about the level of alarm in this country over the seemingly tectonic political shift taking place, with just 11 percent saying they aren't concerned.
Where the consensus breaks down along partisan lines is on what represents a threat to U.S. democracy. The survey gauged respondents' views on both the GOP voter suppression laws being passed in the states and Democrats' attempt to pass voting rights legislation at the federal level, and it found an almost even split on which efforts represented an attack on democracy or a good-faith effort to protect it.
One question asked, "As you may know, Republican legislators in many states have recently passed new voting laws. Do you think these new laws are an attack on American democracy or an attempt to protect it?"
- An attempt to protect American democracy: 44 percent
- An attack on American democracy: 50 percent
- Neither: 3 percent
- I don't know enough to say: 4 percent
The next query stated, "Democrats in Congress are currently proposing new voting rights legislation. Do you think this legislation is an attack on American democracy or an attempt to protect it?"
- An attempt to protect American democracy: 46 percent
- An attack on American democracy: 43 percent
- Neither: 3 percent
- I don't know enough to say: 8 percent
The takeaway from this series of questions is clear: The overwhelming majority of Americans feel like the country is at a crossroads, but they are also split almost evenly about how to best protect U.S. democracy moving forward. The key difference, of course, is that perceptions on one side of the fault line have been almost entirely informed and driven by Donald Trump's baseless lie that the 2020 election was stolen from him when, in fact, he was the rightful loser.
Republican voters have basically bought into that narrative hook, line, and sinker, as many polls have shown. But this survey demonstrates just how effectively GOP lawmakers have seized on that baseless narrative to justify passing laws that will help them lock in minority rule at both the state and federal levels.
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