One in four Americans believe it may “soon be necessary to take up arms” against the government, a new poll released Thursday by the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics (IOP) showed.
According to the survey of 1,000 registered voters in the United States, 28 percent agree “it may be necessary at some point soon for citizens to take up arms against the government.” Thirty-seven percent of voters who hold that belief have guns in the home, the poll found.
The perspective is held by those found on both ends of the political spectrum, including one in three Republicans, one in three Independents and one in five Democrats.
“That startling finding, which comes in the midst of congressional hearings into the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, was just one of several reflections of the dangerous level of estrangement many Americans feel from each other and our democratic institutions,” the IOP stated.
The survey also revealed that most Americans believe the government is “corrupt and rigged against everyday people like me,” including nearly 75 percent of voters who self-identified as a “strong Republican,” 71 percent who described themselves as “very conservative,” and 68 percent of rural voters.
Fifty-one percent of voters who identified as “very liberal” also agreed that the government is “corrupt and rigged” against them.
Almost half of American voters said they “more and more feel like a stranger in [their] own country,” including 69 percent of strong Republicans and 65 percent of “very conservative” participants. Just 38 percent of strong Democrats agreed.
Despite concerns about government corruption, the poll found that 56 percent of voters said they “generally trust elections to be conducted fairly and counted accurately.”
“But that view is deeply divergent by party. Four in five Democrats (78 percent) say they generally trust our elections to be fair and accurate. Half (51 percent) of Independent voters but just 33 percent of Republicans agree,” the survey stated. “Among those who reported voting for Donald Trump in 2020, the number who say they generally trust elections is 31 percent.”
The survey also determined that nearly half of American voters avoid discussing politics “because I don’t know where they stand,” and one-quarter said they lost friends due to political differences.
“While we’ve documented for years the partisan polarization in the country, these poll results are perhaps the starkest evidence of the deep divisions in partisan attitudes rippling through the country,” said the Republican pollster Neil Newhouse, who conducted the poll earlier this year with Democratic pollster Joel Benenson.