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Nearly half of Democrat men under 50 approve of assassinating politicians

Fence erected around the U.S. Supreme Court. (Army National Guard photo by Capt. Joe Legros)
June 09, 2022

A new poll last week found that voters who identified as Democrats were more likely than voters who identified as Republicans to support political violence, including assassinating politicians they deem to be a threat.

The poll, conducted by the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and published June 1, found that 44 percent of Democrat men under the age of 50 said they “approve” of assassinating a politician “who is harming our country or democracy.” Republican women under 50 were the group with the second-highest approval for assassinating politicians, with 40 percent approving of such behavior.

Republican men under 50 were the third likeliest group to support assassinating a politician, with 34 percent approving of such behavior. 32 percent of women Democrats also approved of assassinating politicians.

Across parties and gender, the percentage of people who supported assassinating politicians decreased with age. Still, the SPLC polling found nearly a quarter of all respondents approved of assassinating a politician.

Young Republican men were the group most likely to support “participating in a political revolution even if it is violent in its ends,” with 45 percent approving of such behavior, compared to 42 percent of young Democrat men. 37 percent of young women Democrats and 30 percent of young women Republicans approved of such behavior. Overall, two-thirds of respondents did not approve of participating in political revolutions “even if it is violent in its ends.” Again, support for such behavior fell with age.

Young Republican men were also the most likely to support threatening a politician who is “harming the country or our democracy,” with 46 percent approving of such behavior, compared to 40 percent of young Democrat men. 31 percent of young women Republicans and 25 percent of young women Democrats approved of such behavior. In total, only 20 percent of respondents supported threatening a politician. Younger respondents were again more likely to support such behavior.

On Wednesday, June 8, a man from Simi Valley, California was arrested outside the home of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh after reportedly telling authorities he intended to kill the conservative judge. The suspect, identified as 26-year-old Nicholas John Roske, was found with a gun and a knife. According to an affidavit in support of charging Roske with attempted murder, Roske told police that “he was upset about the leak of a recent Supreme Court draft decision regarding the right to abortion as well as the recent school shooting in Uvalde, Texas.” The affidavit further stated that “Roske indicated that he believed the justice that he intended to kill would side with Second Amendment decisions that would loosen gun control laws.”

Eight-foot high non-scalable fences topped with barbed wire have been placed around the U.S. Supreme Court following the recent leak of a draft court opinion that could overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade landmark abortion case. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has reportedly seen threats to burn down the court and murder some of the justices. Other groups have called for a blockade of the streets around the court, in protest of the potential decision, and advised participants to take action that “stretch[es] the bounds of constitutionally protected speech.”

25-year-old Kuachua Brillion Xiong was arrested in Iowa in December on a cross-country drive from California to Washington D.C. with a rifle and a “hit list” of targets that included President Joe Biden, former presidents Bill Clinton and Barrack Obama, as well as Dr. Anthony Fauci, and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.