A new poll found that voters overwhelmingly believe that democracy is under threat but don’t seem overly concerned with saving it, The New York Times reports.
Seventy-one percent of voters say democracy is at risk, according to a Times/Siena College poll, but only 7% see it as the most important issue facing the country.
The poll found that 71% of Republicans would be open to voting for a candidate who rejected the results of the 2020 election, as did more than a third of independents.
By comparison, only 12% of Democrats said they’d be open to a candidate who is an election denier.
“I do agree that the biggest threat is survival of our democracy, but it’s the divisiveness that is creating this threat,” Ben Johnson, a New Orleans Democrat, told the Times. “It feels like on both sides, people aren’t agreeing on facts anymore. We can’t meet in the middle if we can’t agree on simple facts. You’re not going to be able to move forward and continue as a country if you can’t agree on facts.”
The poll found that voters tend to view their faith in democracy through a partisan lens.
A majority of voters in both parties said the opposing party is a “major threat to democracy.”
Most Republicans cited President Joe Biden, mainstream media, the federal government and mail voting as top threats.
Most Democrats cited Donald Trump and many also cited the Supreme Court and the Electoral College.
Still, among voters who see democracy as under threat, 81% believe the country could fix its problems through existing laws rather than “going outside the law.”
“If we’re just talking about freedom, having freedom, and that we get to have a say in our choices, then I think we still have that,” Audra Janes, a Republican from Garnavillo, Iowa, told the Times. “I think that we need to stop trying to rewrite the Constitution and just reread it.”
Economy top issue:
The poll found that the economy is the biggest issue for voters heading into the midterms.
Voters who focused on the economy favored Republicans by a 64-30 margin even though Democrats hold a 20-point advantage among voters who care more about any other issue.
“It’s all about cost,” Gerard Lamoureux, a 51-year-old Democratic retiree in Newtown, Conn., who is planning to vote Republican, told the Times. “The price of gas and groceries are through the roof. And I want to eat healthy, but it’s cheaper for me to go to McDonald’s and get a little meal than it is to cook dinner.”