An overwhelming majority of voters say they are concerned about violent protests over the 2020 election results after President Donald Trump recently refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power, a new poll shows.
According to the latest poll by Morning Consult/Politico, 73% of voters are “very” or “somewhat” concerned over violent protests occurring in response to the results of the 2020 presidential election.
Sixty-five percent say they are worried about the prospect of a delay in a definitive outcome, while 60% express concerns over potential tampering with mail-in ballots.
The Sept. 28 poll comes after Trump’s comments last week when he was asked whether he would commit to a peaceful transition of power should Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden win the election.
“We’re going to have to see what happens,” said Trump, who repeated his attacks on mail-in voting as a “big scam.”
Republicans led Democrat voters by a 24-point margin among those expressing concern about mail-in voting, a system Trump has repeatedly discredited as “rigged.”
Fifty-three percent of all voters and 77% of Democrats said they were concerned the president would not leave office if he loses in November, while only 29% of Republican voters said they shared the same fear.
A strong majority of Democrats and independent voters, 78% and 60% respectively, said they wanted to hear Trump commit to a peaceful transfer of power weeks before the election. However, the question split the Republican base, with 41% siding with the broader electorate and 39% saying they want the president to avoid making promises.
Should the president refuse to leave office, the nation, which has been shaken by the coronavirus pandemic, economic collapse, and protests over racial injustice, may face a constitutional crisis. According to The Guardian, a large number of Americans may not accept the result, no matter the outcome, which could lead to violent street demonstrations.
Moe Vela, a political strategist and advocate for the LGBTQ and Latino communities, said she never thought she would see the country’s democracy become so volatile and fragile.
“I never dreamed it could ever happen. It was not in the realm of possibility and Donald Trump has taken us to the brink of the demise of our democracy. It really is that serious,” she added.