43% Believe Civil War Likely
NEW YORK, Nov. 3, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — A majority of Americans (57%) are worried about midterm election fairness according to a new study conducted by The Common Good in association with Emerson College Polling. The survey, conducted October 8-11, found 30% of Republicans “extremely concerned” compared to just 14% of extremely concerned Democrats.
The group launched an annual index which quantifies and tracks the level of national division as it seeks to identify causes and potential solutions. The Common Good Index of National Division (TCGI) for 2022 is 71 and it highlights some dangerous and disturbing findings:
- A third of the country (33%) believes political violence is “sometimes justified.”
- 62% believe the country is so divided, it can no longer operate effectively (30% strongly).
- 78% believe the greatest threat to the country is from internal rather than external forces.
- 61% believe national division is a threat to democracy. 71% Republicans, 61% of Democrats.
- 43% believe a civil war is likely. 51% of Republicans, 40% of Democrats.
- 52% of Americans now say they have friends and family with whom they can no longer discuss politics civilly or respectfully.
“The heightened divisive rhetoric as well as talk of violence and civil war undermines democratic institutions and threatens the foundations of democracy,” said Patricia Duff, founder of The Common Good. “Worry over election fairness is an advanced symptom of the national divide that is quite literally tearing the fabric of our nation apart.”
The study also found broad bipartisan agreement on the primary cause of national division with both democrats and republicans placing the “process by which political parties choose candidates” as the top driver of national division. 88% of respondents said it is an important contributor to national division.
“National division is a clear and ongoing threat to our democracy,” said Patricia Duff, founder of The Common Good. “Our survey shows that the primary drivers of this discord are party politics with news media following as the second leading cause. We believe that only by quantifying, tracking, and understanding it can we develop real solutions, lower the temperature and promote a constructive and healthy national discourse.”
The study found widespread agreement on the top driver of national division with “the way political parties chose candidates” topping the list. The vast majority, 88%, believe it is an important contributor to national division. The news media was viewed as the second highest cause.
When asked what was most likely to unite us as a country “Shared Values” topped the list at 21% followed by a “National Crises” (17%) and “National Defense/External Threats” (17%).
The Common Good Index of National Division (TCGI) will be released annually. To get more details on this years results here: https://thecommongoodus.org/the-common-good-index or from Emerson College Polling https://emersoncollegepolling.com/the-common-good-index-of-national-division.
The Common Good strives to inspire broad participation in our democracy through the free exchange of ideas and civil dialogue and seeks to find ways to bridge the growing divisions that threaten our nation. We are dedicated to finding common ground and, through forums and initiatives, encourage the civic engagement so essential for a thriving democracy. https://www.thecommongoodus.org
Contact: Patrick Fox
SOURCE The Common Good