Two-thirds in US fear violence could follow election, Reuters/Ipsos poll finds

3 weeks ago 25

Updated

May 23, 2024, 06:11 PM

Published

May 23, 2024, 06:11 PM

WASHINGTON - Two out of three Americans say they are concerned that political violence could follow the Nov. 5 election rematch between Democratic President Joe Biden and his Republican predecessor Donald Trump, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll found.

The survey of 3,934 U.S. adults found widespread worries that the U.S. could see a repeat of the unrest that followed Trump's 2020 election defeat, when the then-president's false claim that his loss was the result of fraud prompted thousands of followers to storm the U.S. Capitol.

Trump is once again laying the groundwork to contest the results should he lose to Biden a second time.

Some 68% percent of respondents to the online poll - including 83% of Democrats and 65% of Republicans - said they agreed with a statement that they were concerned that extremists will resort to violence if they are unhappy with the election outcome.

Overall, 15% of respondents disagreed and 16% were unsure.

In recent interviews, Trump has refused to commit to accepting the election results and at campaign rallies has portrayed Democrats as cheaters. 

Outside the New York courtroom where his criminal hush money trial is taking place, fellow Republican officeholders have repeated the falsehood that the 2020 election was stolen from him.

The poll, conducted May 7-14, found that Republicans harbor more distrust in the fairness of U.S. elections than Democrats. Only 47% said they were confident that the results of the November election will be accurate and legitimate, compared with 87% of Democrats who expressed confidence.

The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Trump's refusal to concede defeat to Biden in 2020 came at the end of a turbulent year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread racial justice protests.

Though dozens of cou...

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