Of the two parties, more Americans blame the Republican Party more for the risk of violence, but the difference isn’t large — 31%, versus the 25% who blame the Democratic Party more. 32% blame both parties equally. Most Democrats and Republicans blame the opposing party.
The poll was conducted the week after Paul Pelosi, husband of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, was attacked at their home by an assailant armed with a hammer and then hospitalized. The presumed the attacker, David DePape, 42, shouted “Where is Nancy? Where is Nancy? after breaking into the Pelosis home, according to a person briefed on the assault. DePape’s online writings contain ‘deeply racist and anti-Semitic writing – as well as pro-Trump and anti-Democratic messages’, The Washington Post reported.
On Wednesday evening, President Biden pleaded with the nation accept the fundamental principles of democracy — accept the results of elections and avoid resorting to violence.
“We must, with an overwhelming unified voice, speak as a country and say that there is no place, no room for voter intimidation or political violence in America, whether directed against Democrats or Republicans,” Biden said. “No room, period. No room, ever.
The FBI and other government agencies issued a memo last week warning of an increased likelihood of violence from domestic extremists in the 90 days following the electionaccording to a copy of the document obtained by The Post.
“After the 2022 midterm elections, perceptions of election fraud and dissatisfaction with election results will likely lead to increased threats of violence against a wide range of targets – such as ideological opponents and election workers”, the read memo.
The Post-ABC poll finds that 95% of Democrats, 87% of Republicans and 86% of Independents are at least somewhat concerned about the increased risk of politically motivated violence. Three-quarters of Democrats are very worried, against smaller majorities of independents and Republicans (61% and 56%).
Two-thirds of Democrats (66%) say the Republican Party is more responsible for the risk of political violence, while 56% of Republicans blame the Democratic Party. A plurality of independents, 39%, say both parties are to blame, while 24% blame Republicans more and 20% blame Democrats.
Women are more likely than men to be concerned about the increased risk of politically motivated violence: 92% of women say they are concerned compared to 83% of men. More than two-thirds of women are very worried.
Women are also more likely to blame the Republican Party for the risk of violence – 38% blame Republicans more while 18% blame Democrats and 33% blame both equally. Among men, 32% blame Democrats, 24% blame Republicans, and 30% blame both equally.
Politically motivated violence is not just a threat to the rich and powerful. Experts who track political violence say threats against local election workers, school board members and even librarians have been simmering for months.
“If someone sets their sights on these individuals and then decides to mobilize, there’s no stopping them,” said Michael Jensen, principal investigator at the University of Maryland’s START Consortium for Terrorism Research. . told Post reporters.
The Washington Post-ABC News Poll was conducted from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 among a random national sample of 1,005 adults, 75% of whom were reached on cell phones and 25% on landlines. The overall results have a sampling error of four percentage points.
Scott Clement contributed reporting.