A new survey found an alarming uptick in the number of Americans who believe violence may be justified to achieve their political goals.
Researchers conducted a series of polls, which they reported to Politico, that showed one in three Americans who identify as either Democrat or Republican believe violence could be justified to achieve their partisan goals.
The acceptance of political violence has grown in recent months, according to the researchers, who found in September that 44 percent of Republicans and 41 percent of Democrats said there would be at least “a little” justification for violence if the other party’s presidential nominee won the Nov. 3 election.
That’s a sharp rise since June, when 35 percent of Republicans and 37 percent of Democrats agreed.
The surveys found 36 percent of Republicans and 33 percent of Democrats say that violence is at least “a little justified,” a rise from 30 percent of each party in June.
Both Democrats and Republicans increasingly believe there would be “a lot” or “a great deal” of justification for violence if their party loses, with Republicans jumping from 15 percent in June to 20 percent in September, and Democrats moving from 16 percent to 19 percent in that same period.
The most ideological partisans feel even more strongly that violence would be greatly justified if their side loses.
Twenty-six percent of “very liberal” Democrats believe there would be “a great deal” of justification for such violence, compared to 7 percent who describe themselves as simply “liberal,” and 16 percent of “very conservative” Republicans feel the same way, compared to 7 percent of those who say they’re simply “conservative.”
About one in five Americans with a strong political affiliation say they’re willing to endorse violence if the other party wins the presidential election, according to the surveys conducted by YouGov, the Voter Study Group and Nationscape.
The polls had margins of error of up to 3 points.
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