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Most Americans in new poll say US democracy in crisis

The U.S. Capitol is seen from the East Front Plaza on Thursday, November 18, 2021 as the House waits for a score from the Congressional Budget Office on the Build Back Better Act.
Greg Nash

A majority of Americans believe U.S. democracy is in crisis, according to a poll released Monday.

The survey, conducted by NPR and Ipsos, found that 64 percent of adults in the U.S. believe American democracy is in crisis and at risk of failing, while 19 percent of those polled said they disagree with that sentiment.

Republicans are slightly more likely than Democrats to believe that American democracy is in a crisis and at risk of failing, 70 percent to 67 percent, though that divide remains within the poll’s credibility interval.

The poll numbers come days before the U.S. is set to recognize the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, a day in which supporters of former President Trump attempted to thwart Congress from certifying the electoral college vote for the 2020 presidential election.

A number of polls have been released in recent days examining public opinion one year after the deadly riots. Americans largely agree that those who took part in the riots should be condemned and that Trump bears some responsibility for the violence that ensued.

There are still, however, disagreements when it comes to the characterization of the day’s events, the language used to describe the individuals who stormed the building and how much responsibility Trump should bear.

The NPR/Ipsos poll also found that a vast majority of adults in the U.S. believe that America is in crisis and at risk of failing. Seventy percent of those polled said they strongly or somewhat agree with that statement, with 16 percent disagreeing.

Additionally, the poll found that 36 percent of respondents, the majority of whom are Republicans, strongly or somewhat agree that voter fraud helped then-candidate Joe Biden win the 2020 election. Sixty-six percent of Republicans polled agree with that statement, compared to just 13 percent of Democrats.

The belief that fraud tainted the election’s outcome is one of the factors that fueled the riots on Jan. 6.

The poll, conducted between Dec. 17 and Dec. 20, surveyed 1,126 adults in continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii.

Tags Donald Trump Joe Biden

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