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Voters Reject Clinton’s Call for Incivility

Monday, October 15, 2018

Hillary Clinton last week urged Democrats not to be civil with Republicans over political issues, prompting rare disagreement from former First Lady Michelle Obama. Voters also disagree with Clinton but, unlike her, don’t expect things to improve even if Democrats return to power in Congress.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey of Likely U.S. Voters finds that a plurality (47%) disagrees with Clinton’s statement: “You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about.” Thirty-nine percent (39%) agree with the statement, while 14% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.) 

Even among Democrats, it’s a close call: 44% agree with Clinton; 40% do not. Fifty-one percent (51%) of Republicans disagree, as do voters not affiliated with either major party by a 49% to 35% margin.

It’s important to note that Rasmussen Reports’ question did not identify Clinton as the source of the quotation.

Sixty-six percent (66%) think there is less civility between the two major political parties in Congress these days. Just 18% say there is more civility. Thirteen percent (13%) rate the level of civility as about the same.

Clinton went on to say in the same interview that civility can begin again when Democrats regain control of Congress. But just 26% of voters believe there will be more civility between the two parties if Democrats win control of at least one chamber of Congress in the upcoming elections. Forty-one percent (41%) think there will be less civility in the next session of Congress if that is the case. Twenty-eight percent (28%) expect the level of civility to be about the same.

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The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on October 11 and 14, 2018 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Sixty-five percent (65%) of voters think there is a greater danger of political violence these days compared to past years.

Two-out-of-three voters across the political spectrum agree that there is less civility in Congress these days. Democrats (34%) are more confident than GOP voters (21%) and unaffiliateds (22%) that there will be more civility in the next session if Democrats win control of at least one chamber of Congress.

Voters under 40 agree with Clinton more than their elders do. Younger voters are also more likely to expect increased civility if the Democrats win back at least partial control of Congress.

Among voters who Strongly Disapprove of the job President Trump is doing, 38% expect more civility in Congress if Democrats win back at least one chamber, while just 19% predict there will be less civility. Sixty-three percent (63%) of those who Strongly Approve of Trump’s job performance expect less civility if Democrats stage at least a partial congressional comeback.

Voters who agree with Clinton’s comment are nearly twice as likely as those who disagree to think things will become more civil in Congress if Democrats win at least one chamber back.

Republicans have tied up the Rasmussen Reports Generic Congressional Ballot. Check Wednesday morning at 8:30 to see if that was a fluke or the start of a trend.

Anger continues to run high on both sides of the Trump divide: Fifty-two percent (52%) of voters are angry at Trump. Fifty percent (50%) are angry at his political opponents.

Republicans are madder about the Kavanaugh controversy than Democrats are and more determined to vote in the upcoming elections because of it.

Just four months ago, nearly one-out-of-three voters (31%) said a second civil war is likely sometime in the next five years.

Only 40% believe America would be better off today if Hillary Clinton had been elected president instead of Donald Trump.

Additional information from this survey and a full demographic breakdown are available to Platinum Members only.

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