Just weeks after the fall’s midterm elections, voters feel strongly that the country’s democracy is being threatened. While a lack of respect and civility in politics continues to remain an issue for voters, there’s not a lot of agreement on why Americans feel this way.
According to the latest Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service (GU Politics) Battleground Civility Poll, an overwhelming 75-percent of Americans, cutting across party lines, believe “democracy is under attack.” When given a list of reasons why some people say democracy is under attack, voters agree widely on the threat of violence to democracy. Furthermore, 63-percent of voters believe “the decreasing amount of respect and civility in our political system” is an extremely or very serious threat to democracy.
Beyond that, voters are more divided on other concerns, driven by partisanship and where they get their information – with a majority of voters concerned news coverage favoring one political party over the other is a serious threat to democracy.
The poll also showed that voters are concerned about divisive forces yet are ready to embrace political leaders who are willing to engage in increased civility, respect and collaboration. When asked to rate the level of political division in the country on a scale from 0 to 100 where 0 is no division and 100 is division on the edge of a civil war, respondents led to a mean score of 71.00, a slight decline to the mean score 71.74 recorded in July 2022.
While Americans are overwhelmingly concerned about the health of our nation, a majority of Americans agree about the value of compromise, respect and civility. Most voters agree mutual respect is the first step that needs to be taken to having a functioning government.
The latest GU Politics Battleground Civility Poll of 800 registered voters was conducted by Republican pollster and former GU Politics Fellow Ed Goeas and Brian Nienaber of the Tarrance Group, and Democratic pollsters Celinda Lake, Daniel Gotoff, Sandra Markowitz, and McCauley Pugh of Lake Research Partners between November 12-17, 2022, and has a margin of error of + 3.5-percent.
To learn more about the poll visit: https://politics.georgetown.edu/battleground-poll/
View the full press release with detailed results here, or click on the links below to view data and individual summaries from Lake Research Partners and The Tarrance Group:
Lake Summary Graphics and Slides