A new RealClear Opinion Research poll on free speech and censorship shows that while an overwhelming majority of Americans support freedom of speech, 34% of Democrats believe Americans have “too much freedom.”
“Overall, 9 in 10 voters in the U.S. think First Amendment protections for freedom of speech is a good thing, while only 9% think it is a bad thing” Spencer Kimball, director of the recent RealClear Opinion Research survey, said. “This is agreed upon across the demographics, like party affiliation, age, and race.”
However, while the RealClear Opinion Research survey indicated that most Americans support the concept of free speech, the poll also showed that Americans are deeply divided on the issue of censorship.
According to the RealClear Opinion Research survey, Democrats are much more supportive of the government regulating free speech than Republicans.
The survey found that 34% of Democratic voters believe American citizens have “too much freedom.” On the other hand, 46% of Republicans said Americans have too little freedom, while only 14.6% of Republicans believe Americans have “too much freedom.” Only 22% of Democrats indicated that Americans have too little freedom.
The survey also found that 74% of Republican voters and 61% of independents believe free speech should be considered legal “under any circumstances.” Only 53% of Democrats answered that speech should be considered legal “under any circumstances,” while 47% said speech should be legal “only under certain circumstances.”
RealClear Politics reported that while a majority of Republicans, Democrats, and independents agreed the news media should be allowed to report on stories of national interest, voters were divided on the issue of the government censoring social media content. 52% of Democrats agree with the government censoring social media content in the name of national security, while only a third of Republicans and independents approve.
Roughly 75% of Democrats answered that the government has a responsibility to restrict social media posts with “hateful” content. On the other hand, only 50% of Republicans believe the government should be responsible for restricting “hateful” content on social media.