A new poll shows that Americans are concerned about violent civil unrest, and that a majority of respondents described the country’s cities as being “under siege by protestors.”
A poll conducted by USA Today/Ipsos and released on Tuesday found that 64 percent of those polled believe “protesters and counter-protesters are overwhelming American cities.”
Eighty-three percent of Republicans described cities as being “under siege,” while only 48 percent of Democrats agreed with such an assessment.
Seventy-one percent of rural Americans described cities as being besieged by protestors, while only 59 percent of urbanites said they agreed with that sentiment.
The poll also found that a majority of Americans are in favor of certain measures to restore order in chaotic places.
Of those surveyed, 54 percent of respondents agreed that Americans should own firearms in order to protect property from protesters, while 56 percent of respondents agreed with sending in federal law enforcement officers to restore order to areas when it is necessary.
The poll noted there is “more than a 40-point gap between Republicans and Democrats” with regard to using firearms for protection and supporting bringing in more police officers to calm protests.
Republicans were far more likely to support such measures to restore order during situations of unrest.
Democrats were much less likely to favor the use of firearms for protection or to support additional law enforcement officers to secure the peace in areas besieged by unrest.
The poll also asked about the prevalence of certain crimes during the last six months, and found that 50 percent of respondents reported feeling an increase in vandalism and thefts in their own communities.
Sixty-eight percent of those survey agreed that instances of vandalism have gotten worse nationwide.
Additionally, the poll noted, “More Americans think assault of police officers has gotten worse over the last six months than assault by police officers.”
Of those polled, 63 percent said they felt that assaults on police officers have increased nationally.
The poll also surveyed respondents about their biggest concerns during the chaotic six months since the coronavirus pandemic began.
Of those surveyed, 34 percent of Americans said “crime, violence, or unrest” is “the most worrying topic.”
The concern for civil unrest is “second only to COVID-19,” which was the chief concern of 44 percent of respondents.
The survey noted that Republicans were more likely to be concerned about violent or other civil unrest than they are about the coronavirus pandemic.
While right-wing militias have played a small role in some of the Black Lives Matter and other leftist protests and riots which have taken over many cities since May, the USA Today/Ipsos poll asked respondents to rate how they perceive right-wing groups versus leftist groups.
The poll reported:
“A majority of Americans feel Black Lives Matter, Antifa, the media (both mainstream and conservative), conservative militias, and Donald Trump are all making protests more dangerous.”
“Ultimately, perceptions of these groups and their involvement depends on partisanship. For example, 70% of Republicans think Antifa are making protests more dangerous, compared to 45% of Democrats. On the other hand, 72% of Democrats and 41% of Republicans say the same is true about conservative militias.”
The USA Today/Ipsos poll was conducted between Sept. 17 and Sept. 18 and surveyed 1,108 adults online.
The poll had a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points.
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