Two national polls released this week have an alarmingly similar finding: Majorities in both surveys say the current tone of political debate is encouraging violence, with more Democrats than Republicans or Independents saying so.
Rasmussen Reports said Tuesday that 76 percent of likely U.S. Voters think there is “a danger of political violence” because of the current tone of the political debate.
Likewise, a CBS News poll revealed that 73 percent of the respondents to its survey concur. Even more worrisome is that CBS found that more Democrats (85%) than Republicans (68%) or Independents (68%) think the rhetoric may lead to violence. The survey also found that 68 percent believe the tone and civility of political debate is getting worse, while only 7 percent think it is improving. Twenty-four percent believe it is about the same.
Rasmussen’s survey, meanwhile, said 81 percent of Democrats thinking there is greater danger of political violence, while 74 percent of Republicans and 71 percent of Independents agree.
For two independent surveys to reach such similar findings should be raising eyebrows across the landscape. It has not helped that Hillary Rodham Clinton and her supporters have branded themselves as the “resistance.”
Eighty-one percent (81%) of Republicans think those opposed to Trump will resort to violence, compared to 60% of Democrats and 66% of unaffiliated voters. – Rasmussen Reports
Published reports since the attack on Republican House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and three other people last week by would-be assassin James Hodgkinson suggest that his mayhem was inspired by politics. An outspoken critic of President Donald Trump and Capitol Hill Republicans on social media, Hodgkinson was fatally wounded after launching a barrage of gunfire on Republicans practicing for a baseball game in Alexandria, Virginia. He used a legally-purchased 7.62x39mm-caliber semi-auto rifle, and he was also carrying a 9mm pistol.
The Second Amendment Foundation blamed political “hate speech” for the attack.
A second Rasmussen Reports survey revealed that the country is evenly split between those who support Trump’s policies and those who oppose them.
The surveys were all taken following the attack in Alexandria. The similar results, leading into what may be a long, hot summer of continued discontent do not appear to be giving anyone second thoughts about inflammatory rhetoric.