Nearly two-thirds of Americans, including a surprisingly large majority of Democrats, believe the Biden administration’s attacks on so-called “MAGA Republicans” are dividing the country.
According to a survey of 1,277 U.S. adults, conducted by I&I/TIPP between September 7-9, nearly two-thirds of Americans, 62% agreed that the White House’s attacks on so-called “MAGA Republicans” increase division in the country, while just 29% disagreed. Majorities of Americans also agreed that Biden’s attacks on “MAGA Republicans” endangers Americans’ First Amendment Rights, and was a politically biased use of the office.
“President Biden’s recent comments about Trump supporters espousing ‘semi-fascism’ and accusing the former president’s followers of representing ‘an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic’ shocked many Americans,” the outlet reported. “Now, despite White House denials of ill intent, a majority of voters call Biden’s remarks divisive.”
The poll asked respondents to agree or disagree with the statement: “President Biden’s characterization of ‘MAGA’ Republicans increases division in the country.” A total of 62% agreed, including 37% who strongly agreed.
Notably, self-identified Democrats agreed with the statement more than Republicans or Independents. Fully 73% of Democrats agreed that Biden’s remarks further divided the country, including 43% who strongly agreed; just 19% disagreed, and 9% strongly disagreed. More independents agreed with the statement than Republicans as well; 57% said Biden’s remarks sowed further division, including 34% who agreed strongly; 29% disagreed, with 17% disagreeing strongly. Close to a majority of Republicans, 50%, agreed, including 31% who strongly agreed, while 41% disagreed, including 31% who strongly disagreed.
The second statement the poll asked Americans to respond to was whether “President Biden’s characterization of ‘MAGA’ Republicans endangers Americans’ First Amendment rights to free speech and free assembly.”
A majority, 55% agreed with the statement, while 34% disagreed. Democrats agreed much more than Republicans or Democrats to that statement too: a significant majority, 65% of Democrats, agreed with the statement. A plurality of Independents, 45%, agreed with the statement, while 36% disagreed. Republicans were evenly split on the issue, 45% agree-45% disagree.
Finally, the survey asked respondents to react to the statement: “President Biden’s characterization of ‘MAGA’ Republicans is an uncouth and politically biased use of the office of the president.” Democrats once again led the way significantly: fully two-thirds of Democrats, 66%, agreed, while just 22% disagreed. Another plurality of Independents, 47% agreed, while 34% disagreed. A near-majority of Republicans, 49%, also agreed, while 39% disagreed.
Biden railed against former President Donald Trump and so-called “MAGA Republicans” in a speech centered on “the Continued Battle for the Soul of the Nation” in front of Independence Hall in Philadelphia on September 1. “Too much of what’s happening in our country today is not normal,” Biden said. “Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.”
“There’s no question that the Republican Party today is dominated, driven, intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans,” Biden added. “And that is a threat to this country.”
Biden’s speech was part of an ongoing escalation in rhetoric, demonizing pro-Trump Republicans as dangerous and extreme. “What we’re seeing now is either the beginning or the death knell of extreme MAGA philosophy,” Biden said at a closed-door meeting with donors in August. “It’s not just Trump, it’s the entire philosophy that underpins the — I’m going to say something, it’s like semi-fascism.”