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2020 election polls: Majority thinks US worse than before Trump elected and 40% believes civil war is possible

Louise Boyle
·3-min read
A member of the Proud Boys tackles a fellow member after he assaulted freelance journalist during a Proud Boy rally on September 26, 2020 in Portland, Oregon  (Getty Images)
A member of the Proud Boys tackles a fellow member after he assaulted freelance journalist during a Proud Boy rally on September 26, 2020 in Portland, Oregon (Getty Images)

Americans are largely pessimistic about the state of the country with more than two-thirds believing that they are worse off than before Donald Trump took office, according to polling shared exclusively with The Independent.

Some 67 per cent say things are not as good today as they were five years ago, according to a sweeping poll conducted by HOPE not Hate (Hnh), an advocacy group tackling racism and fascism.

Of 5,500 people surveyed in the past month, some 68 per cent think that the US is on the wrong track.

The polling found that Americans see the country as deeply divided and, remarkably, some 40 per cent believe the US is heading for a civil war.

Women were more demoralized about the status quo than men as 72 per cent think things have gotten worse. For men, it is 60 per cent.

Rosie Carter, senior policy officer at HOPE not hate, told The Independent: “Since the financial crash we've seen increasing levels of disenchantment and pessimism, not just in America but in the UK and across liberal democracies. Rising inequality, fracturing social identities and the loss of traditional jobs and communities have left people uncertain and afraid.

Thousands of people were surveyed  across the US on a range of political and cultural issuesHOPE not hate
Thousands of people were surveyed across the US on a range of political and cultural issuesHOPE not hate

"It's a cliche but it's no less true for being so - now more than ever there is need for leaders at every level of society who will quell fears not stoke them, look for common ground not differences and dedicate themselves to restoring confidence and hope.”

A little over half of women (54 per cent) believe that they and their families are worse off now than in 2015 with 46 per cent of men in agreement.

Only 29 per cent of women believe that the country is going in the right direction. Men remain a little more optimistic but not by much - 37 per cent think the country is going in the right direction overall.

The new polling suggests what has become a huge problem for Trump’s re-election campaign - that women, and in particular the white suburban women who supported the president in 2016 - are abandoning him in droves.

It left Mr Trump to resort to begging as he did at a campaign rally in Johnstown, Pennsylvania earlier this month.

“Suburban women, will you please like me? I saved your damn neighborhood, OK?” Mr Trump asked the crowd.

As expected, the national poll revealed that people’s political leanings are a determining factor in how they feel about the state of the country.

Three out of four people intending to vote for Mr Trump’s second term think things are better for themselves and their families, and 61 per cent think the country is in a better place.

On the other hand, only 38 per cent of Biden supporters think they are in a better position than five years ago and a whopping 84 per cent think things are worse in the US.

In what appears to be a red flag for the Trump campaign, one of the president’s key areas of support - voters with no or few educational qualifications - are more likely to think that they and the country are in a worse position than voters with degrees.

While Trump is losing ground among less educated voters and suburban women, the poll suggests that he may do better with African American voters than last time around.

This may be partially explained by the fact that more African Americans think they and their families are better off than they were five years ago, according to the polling data, than the population as a whole.

Over the last few weeks, HOPE not hate has polled a total of 15,500 US adults with 80 questions on a range of political, cultural and attitudinal issues.

The information was analyzed by data companies, Hanbury Strategy and FocalData, and is set to be published in a Hnh study, “Fear & Hope USA” later this week.

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