Voters strongly believe candidates should tell it like it is, but most expect an increase in political violence this year, thanks in large part to Donald Trump’s unvarnished populist message.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of 1,000 likely U.S. voters finds that 61 percent believe there is a greater danger of political violence this election cycle compared to past presidential campaigns. Only nine percent feel there is less of a danger this campaign season, while 26 percent say the potential for violence is about the same.
Fifty-two percent blame Trump’s positions rather than his political opponents for the recent violent protests at some of his rallies. Thirty-one percent say Trump’s opponents are more to blame. Seventeen percent are undecided.
Liberal political activist group MoveOn.org has taken credit for the protests last weekend that forced the cancellation of a Trump rally in Chicago, but 72 percent of Democrats still blame the Republican front-runner’s positions more than his opponents for the violence at some of his recent rallies. Just 39 percent of Republicans and 42 percent of unaffiliated voters agree.
Still, 83 percent of all voters believe it’s more important for political candidates to tell voters what they really think rather than make sure no one is offended by what they say. Just nine percent think it’s more important for candidates not to offend anyone.
Democrats are more likely than Republicans and unaffiliateds, however, to feel it’s more important for candidates not to offend others with their political positions.