(USA Features) A stunning new survey found that nearly half of Republican voters believe the time is coming soon when Americans will have to take the law into their own hands for a number of reasons.
The poll, conducted by the George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs, found that 47% of Republicans surveyed agreed with the statement that “patriotic Americans have to take the law into their own hands.”
GWU surveyed more than 1,700 registered voters between June 4 and June 23.
Pollsters found that support for freedom of speech and the right to assemble peacefully to protest was nearly unanimous among Democrats and Republicans, but the similarities in the polling data end there.
Almost 55% of Republicans surveyed said that they would support the use of force in order to preserve the “traditional American way of life,” while the poll found that just 15% of Democrats felt that way.
Researchers also found that Republicans generally had low trust regarding elections generally, with 82% saying that they believe it is “hard to trust the results of elections when so many people will vote for anyone who offers a handout.”
Just 15% of Democrats believe that, however.
“Democratic voters’ confidence in the integrity of the upcoming 2022 elections is similar to their confidence going into the 2020 election,” GWU said in a press release.
“Last year before the November election, 76% of surveyed Democrats expressed confidence in the upcoming elections. This year’s poll found that 75% of Democratic voters were confident in next year’s elections,” the release continued.
“Republicans are less confident in the 2022 elections (28%) than they were before the 2020 vote (46%).”
Researchers also found that Democrat voters “continue to have more faith in state and local elections than Republicans.” Going on, researchers noted in the press release that “confidence in state and local election officials appears to vary depending on voters’ location and party affiliation.”
There is a definite divide in terms of political confidence in state and local leaders as well, the poll found.
“Results from the new survey show that Republican voters in states that former president Trump won report far higher levels of confidence in their state and local officials than GOP voters in states that went for President Biden,” said the release. “Among Democrats there is a similar, though less pronounced, pattern with trust higher in Biden states than in Trump states.
Danny Hayes, professor of political science and co-director of the GW Politics Poll, explained some of its findings.
“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,” he said.
“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 added.
The former president continues to maintain that the 2020 election was “rigged,” and makes reference to it often when interviewed or when giving speeches. His campaign legal team, however, was unable to prove it in court following the election. Some judges simply rejected suits challenging electoral results out of hand.
Regarding taking the law into their own hands, it’s likely many Republicans have become frustrated by current events such as the ongoing border crisis and past events such as perceived wrongdoings by Trump’s political opponents that went unpunished.