Days Before the Election New Poll Finds Fears of Authoritarianism Are on the Rise and Confidence in Democracy is Waning

Despite this sentiment, the poll finds that voters strongly support using political reform to modernize our democracy

NEW YORK, Nov. 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — With days until our mid-term elections, new research from Benenson Strategy Group, a strategic research consultancy, reveals that only 59% of voters agree that the United States is a strong democracy, including 66% of Democrats, 55% of Republicans, and 54% of Independents.

The poll also reveals several other distressing pieces of data: 71% of voters agree authoritarianism is on the rise in the United States and 59% believe the U.S. is heading toward a second civil war. Even more stunning, 44% agree that “The federal government is controlled by a secret cabal.” This view is highest among Republicans at 53%, followed by 41% of Independents and 37% of Democrats.

Against this backdrop, a strong 74% majority of voters support a 12-year term limit for Congress, with a maximum of six terms in the House of Representatives and two terms in the Senate. In addition, 64% of voters agree that replace lifetime tenure for Supreme Court Justices should changed to a single 18-year term.

At the same time, voters express strong support for each of the following political reforms to modernize our democracy. These include:

  • 59% support abolishing the electoral college and electing the President by popular vote including 73% among Democrats, 51% among both Independents and Republicans.
  • Three in four voters support requiring photo ID to vote, including clear majorities of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans, as well as among White, Blacks, and Hispanics

President Biden’s approval rating in the poll is 45% approve and 55% disapprove. The generic ballot for Congress reveals a slight edge for Republicans in the mid-terms, with 44% supporting the GOP and 42% for the Democrats. It is important to note that mid-terms for Presidents in their first term have historically favored the party not in the White House.

Digging into other hot-button issues, the poll reveals broad and deep support for abortion rights. An overwhelming 79% of voters say that abortion should be legal and that the government should stay out of this difficult decision. This includes 33% who personally oppose abortion, but still believe it should be legal in the country.

Nonetheless, the abortion issue reveals the stickiness of partisanship.

  • Initially, 68% of voters say they would only vote for a candidate with whom they agree on abortion.
  • However, when asked if they would “cross party lines” to vote for a candidate with whom they agree on abortion, the number who say yes drops to 58%.
  • When pressed further if they “would actually switch to vote for the other party,” just 35% say they would switch parties to vote for someone with whom they agree on abortion.

How much voters will cross party lines on that issue alone, is a bit of a toss-up.

The poll expresses urgency on dealing with inflation and producing the right balance on cutting taxes for small businesses and the middle class instead of big businesses and corporations.

While there are significant differences on many issues by party affiliation throughout the poll, one area of broad majority agreement is that we should be cutting taxes for the middle class and small business, and not cutting taxes for the big businesses and corporations. Even among Republicans, only one in three support cutting taxes on big businesses and corporations (24% of Democrats, 19% Independents, and 26% overall), compared to three in four Republicans who support cutting taxes on small businesses (58% of Democrats, 62% Independents, and 64% overall).

View the full topline results here.


Benenson Strategy Group conducted a survey of n=1000 voters nationally. The poll fielded online from October 27-30, 2022. The sample was weighted to ensure it was proportionately representative of voters nationwide. The overall margin of sampling error is ±3.1% at the 95% confidence level.

About Benenson Strategy Group

Benenson Strategy Group (BSG) is a strategic research consultancy that marries language expertise with innovative research to frame choices that help clients win in the most challenging, competitive situations. Advising global corporations, political leaders and institutions in dynamic, competitive scenarios, Benenson Strategy Group has earned a reputation for expertise in the rhythm and nuances of language and words, and the underlying dynamics of consumer and political choices. Founded in 2000, BSG’s headquarters are in New York. For more information, please visit

Media Contact:

Rebecca Scanlan

SOURCE Benenson Strategy Group