More than two out of three Americans – 67% – believe their country’s democracy is on the verge of collapse, according to a Quinnipiac University poll published on Wednesday. The number represents a nine-point increase since the question was previously asked in January.
Concern for the future of US democracy is something voters from both parties can agree upon, with 72% of registered Democrats and 70% of registered Republicans, as well as 69% of independents, reporting they were worried about its imminent demise. Meanwhile, over three quarters of women are concerned about the country’s future as a democracy, while just 58% of men are, and whites are more likely to fear collapse than blacks, if only by one percentage point (70% vs. 69%).
The poll was not the first to note the American voting public’s concern about the survival of its government, which is technically a constitutional republic rather than a true democracy. An NBC News poll conducted last week suggested just over one in five (21%) voters rank threats to democracy as their primary concern, with the high cost of living and the economic recession as runners-up.
The subject of US democracy in peril has gotten heavy rotation in the news cycle of late, with US President Joe Biden denouncing supporters of former President Donald Trump as an “extremist threat to democracy” whose philosophy amounts to “semi-fascism” during a meeting with donors last month. Trump has in turn accused the Democrats and his administration of political persecution following last month’s nighttime FBI raid on his Mar-a-Lago compound in search of classified documents.
However, both candidates leave voters cold, according to the Quinnipiac poll, which showed 62% of respondents don’t want to see Trump stage an electoral comeback in 2024 while 67% don’t want to see Biden try to hang on to the presidency either.