New poll: Nearly half of Republicans believe time is coming ‘to take the law into their own hands’

A new George Washington University poll shows that approximately 47 percent of Republicans now believe that a time is coming when “patriotic Americans have to take the law into their own hands,” highlighting the widening fracture in American politics and society.

The poll was taken regarding Americans’ faith in election systems and democratic values and its findings were both disturbing and alarming.

More than 1,700 registered voters were polled between June 4 and June 23. The survey found that support for peaceful protests, as well as free and fair elections, was almost unanimous among Republican and Democratic voters. But that is where the similarities ended. Nearly 55 percent of GOP respondents said they support the potential use of force to preserve the “traditional American way of life.” The poll claims that only 15 percent of Democrats feel the same way, giving fodder to the left who fear an uprising on the right and to President Joe Biden who is pushing his National Strategy for Countering Domestic Terrorism.

The poll seems to ludicrously paint radical Democrats as the “peaceful” side of the political spectrum in America. Only 9 percent of Democrats in the survey reportedly agreed with the idea that Americans will be forced at some point to take the law into their own hands.

Unsurprisingly, Republicans have little faith in elections given recent election outcomes. However, 85 percent of Democrats trust their local election officials, and 76 percent trust state election officials. GOP voters scored 63 percent and 44 percent in the same categories and those numbers seem on the high side.

The poll found extremely low levels of trust among Republicans concerning elections overall. Eighty-two percent 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 said the same thing.

There has been a significant drop in Republicans’ confidence in the upcoming 2022 midterm elections. Only 28 percent of GOP voters are confident in the fairness of the 2022 elections. Now, look at the other side of the political aisle. Seventy-five percent of Democrats profess confidence in the midterm elections. The numbers are not surprising given that only 20 percent of Republicans trusted the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. Ninety percent of Democrats believed the outcome was fair.

Conservatives no longer have faith in elections after former President Trump lost the presidency in a highly contested fight for office with Joe Biden in 2020. All indicators at the beginning of the election pointed to a romp by Trump but, in the end, the outcome stunningly reversed in favor of Biden. Trump has claimed massive voter fraud swung the election while Biden’s camp calls it a conspiracy theory. Many Americans believe fraud determined the outcome and now no longer believe in the sacredness of their individual vote.

Republicans have fought for and passed voter integrity legislation since then across the country in an effort to clean up the voting process while Democrats have painted the laws as restricting access to voting for minorities. The laws, in fact, have increased access to voting by extending voting hours, locations, and options for all voters. They have also sought to clean up the voter rolls, require voter ID to prevent fraud, and bring in more monitors to ensure no manipulation or fraud takes place at the voting booth.

Danny Hayes, who is a professor of political science and co-director of the George Washington University poll, said in a statement, “Most of the state and local officials who run our elections are long-time public servants whose goal is simply to help our democracy operate smoothly.”

“But if we’ve gotten to a place where voters trust the electoral system only when their side wins, then that undermines the idea of non-partisan election administration, which is essential for democracy,” he contended.

The poll was conducted by YouGov and was the last component of a four-wave panel that began in October with 2,500 voters.

The sentiments of Republicans found a great deal of support on Twitter:

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