A majority of Americans believe that the United States is on the brink of a civil war, according to a new poll released Wednesday.
When the Georgetown University’s Civility Poll asked respondents to list on a scale of 0-100 how close the U.S. was to the “edge of a civil war,” the mean response was 67.23%
The poll found that — across demographics of age, race, sex and political affiliation — respondents said: “That our political culture has become too uncivil and lacks a focus on solutions.”
There was a divergence in what was causing political instability.
Republicans said Democratic lawmakers, social media and journalism outlets such as CNN, MSNBC and newspapers were to blame, while Democrats blamed President Trump, Republican lawmakers, special interest groups and Fox News. Independents blamed social media and Fox News.
The poll also found that 87% of voters believe “compromise and common ground should be the goal for political leaders,” but a similar 84% agree they are “tired of leaders compromising their values and ideals and want leaders who will stand up to the other side.”
“Our Civility Poll finds that eighty percent of voters say that they both demand compromise from political leaders, but want political leaders who will stand up to the other side. That creates mixed messages for even the most skilled political leader trying to decide whether to be a fighter or a dealmaker,” said Mo Elleithee, executive director of the Georgetown Institute of Politics and Public Service.
The poll, which surveyed 1,000 registered “likely” voters from Oct. 6-10, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.