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Survey: More Americans Favor Political Violence

A new Dangers to Democracy report suggests that a growing number of Americans support the use of political violence as the 2024 presidential campaign heats up and further indictments of former President Donald Trump appear imminent, the Guardian reports. On the political left, support for violence to restore the federal right to an abortion has increased over the last few months, although there’s not much indication that any organized groups support acting on this belief. On the right, Trump's June 9 federal indictment is stoking support for the use of force on his behalf. “The indictment is radicalizing support for Trump, but that’s not the only source of radicalization,” said Robert Pape, a University of Chicago professor who led the research. “You’re seeing growing anger and radicalization on the left as well.”


The number of Americans who believe the use of force is justified to restore Trump to the White House increased by roughly 6 million in the last few months to an estimated 18 million people, according to the survey conducted by the university in late June. Of those 18 million people, 68% believe that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump and 62% believe the prosecutions of Trump are intended to hurt his chances in 2024. An estimated 7% of Americans now believe violence could be necessary to restore Trump to the presidency, up from 4.5%, or 12 million people, in April. The survey found support for the use of force to coerce members of Congress to “do the right thing” grew from 9% in January to 17% – an estimated 44 million Americans – at the end of June, with the sharpest rise among Democrats. Support for violence to restore the federal right to an abortion also increased during this time. The most recent report marks the first increase in radical, violent support for Trump since April 2022, according to Pape, who directs the university’s Chicago Project on Security & Threats (CPost) research center. “The public is more radicalized than it was in April and it’s really quite significant,” he said. “We’ve been tracking this quite a while, and this is a really big bump.”

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A daily report co-sponsored by Arizona State University, Criminal Justice Journalists, and the National Criminal Justice Association

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