About one in three Americans prefers strong unelected leaders to weak elected leaders and says presidents should be able to remove judges over their decisions, according to the latest findings from our Axios-Ipsos Two Americas Index.
Why it matters: The findings from this poll shatter the myth that Americans overwhelmingly agree on a common set of democratic values around checks and balances on elected leaders, protection of minority rights and freedom of speech.They're also a reality check against President Biden's speech that portrayed threats to democracy as solely driven by Republican supporters of former President Trump who refuse to accept that he lost the 2020 election.
What we're watching:
- In this poll, significant minorities of Republicans and Democrats supported non-democratic norms in about equal percentages — and Democrats were more likely than Republicans to say presidents should be able to remove judges when their decisions go against the national interest.Many Americans also believe the government should follow the will of the majority even at the expense of ethnic and religious minority groups' civil rights.
- And roughly a third said the federal government should be able to prosecute members of the news media who make offensive or unpatriotic statements.
- Respondents younger than 35 or with household incomes below $75,000 a year were more likely to favor strong unelected leaders and to support prosecuting the media or empowering presidents to remove judges.