National Security

More than half of Americans view right-wing militia groups as a threat to US: poll

More than half of Americans view right-wing militia groups as a threat to the U.S., with a third saying they pose an “immediate and serious threat” to the country, according to a poll from The Economist/YouGov.

The poll was taken following the first anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection, when Trump supporters stormed the Capitol in an effort to prevent Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 election. Members of known right-wing extremist groups including the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys and the Three Percenters have been charged in connection with the attack.

The poll also found that 81 percent of those surveyed view domestic terrorism as a threat.

Sixty-six percent view right-wing militia groups as at least a minor threat, according to the poll, which surveyed 1,500 people in mid-January.

Of that number, 13 percent view the militia groups as a minor threat, 20 percent as a somewhat serious threat and 33 percent as an immediate and serious threat.

Broken down by party affiliation, 57 percent of Democrats polled said they view right-wing militia groups as a serious and immediate threat, while just 15 percent of Republican respondents said the same.

But the majority of Republicans — 53 percent of those polled — did say that right-wing militia groups posed at least a minor threat to the U.S., with 17 percent saying they viewed them as a somewhat serious threat and 21 saying they viewed them as a minor threat.

Thirty-one percent of Republicans who responded to the poll said that such groups posed no threat to the country, however, compared with just 1 percent of Democrats.

The Economist/YouGov poll was conducted Jan. 15-18 among 1,500 American citizens sampled randomly. The poll has a margin of error of 2.8 percentage points for all respondents and 3.1 percent for registered voters.

The Oath Keepers are among the more well-known right-wing militia groups in the U.S. The group’s founder, Stewart Rhodes, was recently arrested and, along with other members, charged with seditious conspiracy for his alleged role in the Jan. 6 uprising.

The new poll found 52 percent of Americans surveyed who had heard of the Oath Keepers had a very unfavorable opinion of the group.

Republican respondents who had heard of the group were fairly evenly split, with 36 percent saying they viewed the group either somewhat or very unfavorably and 38 percent saying they viewed them either somewhat or very favorably.

In comparison, 75 percent of Democrats polled who had heard of the group said they had a very unfavorable opinion of the Oath Keepers and an additional 5 percent said they had a somewhat unfavorable opinion.

–Updated on Jan. 23 at 8:56 a.m.

 

Tags domestic terrorism Oath Keepers poll Proud Boys right wing militia groups The Economist/YouGov poll Three-Percenters

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