Poll: Majority say civility in political debate worsening
Posted June 20
A majority of Americans say the tone and civility in political debate has been worsening in recent years, according to a new poll released Monday.
The CBS News poll, taken after last week's shooting at a GOP Congressional Baseball Game practice in Alexandria, found 68% of Americans believe tone and civility in politics are getting worse.
Additionally, nearly three-quarters believe that the worsening tone is encouraging violence -- like last week's shooting. That number is also fairly consistent across party lines, with 68% of Republicans and 85% of Democrats believing so.
Still, the majority of Republicans and Democrats -- 77% and 71%, respectively -- see the other side as "people who disagree" rather than "a threat to (their) way of life." A majority of Americans -- 55% -- remain optimistic that people with different political views can come together to work productively.
Congress also received a majority positive response from Americans for how it handled the aftermath of the shooting -- with 53% of Americans approving. Slightly fewer, 46%, approved of President Donald Trump's response. About a third of Americans considered the recent shooting -- which injured five people and left Majority Whip Steve Scalise in serious condition -- a terrorist attack.
The poll surveyed 1,117 adults nationwide, including users of landline and cellular phones, over June 15-18 and has a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.