Braver Angels, a group whose goal is to restore civil engagement between the two sides of the political spectrum, commissioned a YouGov poll to gauge how Americans feel about the possibility of violence before, during, and after the November 3 election. Between October 1-2, the agency polled 1,999 registered voters and asked pointed questions about the possibility that the election might be contested, and how the country may react.
The results pointed to an underlying fear that things could get ugly.
For example, when asked if they believe the outcome of the election will be fair and honest, only 52 percent of respondents agreed that it would be. Broken down by party affiliation, 56.23 percent of Democrats believed the election is going to be fair, while 55.96 percent of Republicans said the same.
Bill Fry, a 61-year-old Trump supporter, said that voter fraud — which Trump has repeatedly claimed will be an issue in this election, particularly due to the expansion of mail-in voting — could cause doubt about the results.
“We would be foolish to not at least accept that it’s a real thing that happens sometimes, and I just worry that it’s going to happen in a greater numbers this year,” he said.
Though he is politically at odds with Fry, Matt Edelman, 29, does agree with him about the air of illegitimacy surrounding this election.
“Trump is already casting doubt on the legitimacy of vote by mail which tells me that he may try to dispute the result legally or by decree or who knows by what means,” he said.
When asked whether disputes about the accuracy of the election and the possibility that the president may not accept the results may lead to violence after the contest, a small majority of poll respondents — 55.84 percent — indicated that they believe there will be violence. Among Republicans, that number went up to 59.47 percent, while 53.42 percent of Democrats said the same thing.
Another poll conducted by Engagious showed that a majority of Americans are worried about a second civil war erupting. Specifically, the survey found that 61 percent of Americans are at least somewhat concerned that Civil War II may be imminent. Further, 52 percent of respondents said that they’ve stockpiled food for potential civil unrest following the election.
“This is the single most frightening poll result I’ve ever been associated with,” said Rich Thau, president of the polling agency.