Majority of Americans say that other Americans are the ‘biggest threat’ to Democracy

Andrew Trunsky, DCNF

A majority of Americans see their fellow citizens as the “biggest threat to America’s way of life,” according to a CBS News poll released Sunday.

Fifty-four percent of those surveyed said that “other people in America” posed the largest threat to the nation, beating out “economic forces,” “natural world, disasters and viruses” and “foreign threats.”

Fifty-one percent of Americans surveyed also said that political violence would increase in the next few years, while only 18% said that it would decrease. The survey followed the violent riot on Jan. 6, where a pro-Trump mob stormed the U.S. Capitol building, resulting in the deaths of five, including a Capitol Police officer.

Seventy-one percent of Americans said that U.S. democracy today is “threatened,” while only 29% said that it was “secure.”

The poll also indicated that Americans were cautiously optimistic about President-elect Joe Biden taking office. Fifty-one percent said that the coronavirus would get better once he took office, compared to 22% who said that it would get worse, and 48% said that the world would have greater respect for the United States compared to 34% who said the opposite.

The poll also showed that the pandemic is still most Americans’ top concern, with 47% saying that Biden’s top priority should be the coronavirus. Twenty-one percent said that Biden’s top priority should be the economy, and 10% said that it should be “political divisions.”

Fifty-nine percent of those surveyed also said that vaccine distribution in their respective states was moving too slowly, compared to just 9% who said that it was moving too quickly.

Forty-two percent said that Biden’s biggest challenge once taking office would be to overcome the political divisions in the country, a figure that was reflected later in the poll. Only 5% of Trump voters said that they held a favorable view of Biden voters, while only 4% of Biden voters said the same for Trump voters.

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