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New public opinion research: Public attitudes towards political violence

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Survey data assesses public perception of political violence and armed political extremism, its impact on democratic participation, and solutions to address the threat of political violence

Political violence poses a growing threat to democracy, from high profile events like the January 6 attack on the US Capitol to local threats of violence to election workers and school boards.

In response to this growing concern, The Joyce Foundation, Trusted Elections Fund, and The Klarman Family Foundation initiated a new public opinion research project at the end of 2021 to better understand public attitudes towards political violence and ways to address it.

This research project sought to:

  • Better understand the public’s view of​ political violence and armed political extremism;

  • If and how threats of political violence may impact the public’s likelihood to participate in (or avoid) civic activity;

  • Gauge the public’s support for targeted policy reforms; and

  • Provide guidance on effective messages and messengers on how to talk about these potential threats in a way that doesn’t scare people from voting or participating in other civic activities.

This research project was conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research and included national surveys with state and demographic oversamples, focus groups and social media listening and analysis. The research batteries were fielded in January – April 2022.

Project Research Findings

National Findings

Michigan Findings

Additional Oversample Results

About The Joyce Foundation

Joyce is a nonpartisan, private foundation that invests in evidence-informed public policies and strategies to advance racial equity and economic mobility for the next generation in the Great Lakes region.

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