A poll by the University of Chicago Policy Institute released this Thursday, 30, revealed that 28% of US residents are so distrustful of the government that they would be able to take up arms against it. Of those dissatisfied, 37% had guns in their homes.
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In May, the survey surveyed 1,000 US voters and 49% said they felt more and more “a stranger in their own country”. These same participants agreed that the government is “corrupt and manipulated” against ordinary citizens.
The data suggest that the extreme polarization in US politics – and its impact on Americans’ relations with one another – remains strong. These statistics are published as Congress is holding public hearings on the January 6, 2021 insurrection. In the episode, supporters of the former president Donald Trump invaded the Çapitolium, ccountry’s legislature, claiming that the election that elected Joe Biden, in 2020, was rigged.
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Despite this, 56% of survey participants said they trust that elections are conducted fairly. The data suggest, however, that party orientation is a decisive factor in public opinion.
“While we have documented partisan polarization in the country for years, these survey results are perhaps the clearest evidence of the deep divisions in partisan attitudes that spread across the country,” said researcher Neil Newhouse, who led the survey.
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Nearly 80% of Democrats expressed general confidence in the election, but that number dropped to 51% among those who declared themselves “independent voters” and just 33% of voters in the Republican Party, with which Trump is affiliated.
Among those who said they were willing to use weapons against the government, a third were Republicans, 20% were Democrats and 35% had no defined party.
The survey also revealed that nearly half of respondents avoid talking about politics with strangers, and a quarter said they have distanced themselves from relatives and friends because of these matters.
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Participants expressed negative feelings towards people with opposing political orientations. About 73% of self-proclaimed Republicans said that “Democrats are bullies who want to impose their beliefs on others.” An almost identical percentage of Democrats (74%) express this same view as Republican opponents.