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Nearly half of Republicans say 'a time will come when patriotic Americans have to take the law into their own hands,' new poll shows

Business Insider
Business Insider
Pro-Trump protesters gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021.
  • A new poll offers an alarming picture of GOP beliefs about democracy.
  • Almost half of Republicans said a time might come where they have to take the law into their own hands.
  • A majority of Republicans endorsed potentially using force to uphold the "traditional" America.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page .

Less than a year after a pro-Trump mob stormed the US Capitol, nearly half of Republican voters (47%) say that "a time will come when patriotic Americans have to take the law into their own hands," per a new nationwide survey by George Washington University's School of Media and Public Affairs.

Only about 29% of Americans agreed with this statement on some level, the poll found, including just 9% of Democrats. And 49% said they disagree or strongly disagree.

The poll also found that a majority of Republicans (55%) say "the traditional American way of life is disappearing so fast we may have to use force to save it." About 15% of Democrats agreed with this statement, but more Americans disagreed (46%) than agreed (34%).

More Republicans (27%) than Democrats (18%) said that "strong leaders sometimes have to bend the rules in order to get things done."

The poll also found extremely low levels of trust among Republicans when it comes to elections - 82% 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 were on the same page.

Echoing other recent polls on the 2020 election, the survey found that just 20% of Republicans were confident in the 2020 election results as compared to over 90% of Democrats.

The survey of of 1,753 registered US voters was conducted by YouGov from June 4 to 23.

Over the course of the Trump era, experts on democracy repeatedly raised concerns about the GOP's slide into authoritarianism. Democracy scholars have continued to raise alarm as the GOP-led legislatures in states across the country push for restrictive voter laws, employing similar justifications to President Donald Trump's baseless claims of mass voter fraud after he fairly lost the 2020 election. Along these lines, an ex-Trump administration official recently referred to the Republican party as the top national security threat to the US.

More than one quarter of Americans qualify as having right-wing authoritarian political beliefs, according to polling from Morning Consult released in late June.

Though Trump provoked an insurrection at the Capitol and stands as the only commander-in-chief in history to be impeached twice, he continues to be the leader of the Republican party. GOP leaders in Congress have also railed against a House investigation into the January 6 insurrection.

During a hearing on Tuesday held by the House select committee running the probe, four police officers testified about the violence they were subjected to by Trump's supporters at the Capitol. One officer referred to the insurrections as "terrorists," and another said the Capitol riot amounted to an "attempted coup."

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Comments / 2208

bruce bankhead

The sentiment is correct. The conservative part is wrong. Americans will have to stand up against the government and the far right and far left. the Majority of us 🇺🇸 are more alike then different and it is time to take America back. stop the insanity of letting the media divide us. Your color, religion, political preference does not matter. be an American


this country is fractured, politicians only support their partisans positions to stay in office, social media moguls are deciding what speech is the right speech, the largest cities in the country have become bastions of crime, values that only serve to divide us further are being trumpeted by both sides, our borders are more porous then we've seen in decades, our current president's cognitive function is becoming more of a mainstream concern, our foes across the country are laughing at our country, our deficit of approximately $23 Trillion is causing skyrocketing inflation, all the while everyone scrambles to be part of some new mystical victims group. we are racing towards collapse and we need to do something fast before democracy comes off the track. #RestoreAmerica


it'll come to this and that's why they are trying to take away our 2nd amendment right. they know it's going to happen eventually!


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