More than one-third of Americans believe the results of the November 3 election will plunge the country into violence and chaos.
The findings come from the newest “Back-to-Normal Barometer” survey, a regular poll addressing the thoughts and feelings of Americans in the midst of the national unrest that has become a hallmark of 2020.
“We have not seen this alarming level of concern since we began surveying consumers at the beginning of April. People are preparing themselves for the worst possible post-election outcomes with the ongoing pandemic in the background adding to their anxiety,” Ron Bonjean told the Washington Examiner. Bonjean is a partner at ROKK Solutions, one of three firms conducting the survey.
“These results are chilling and indicate an America profoundly on-edge,” said Rich Thau, president of Engagious, who with Sports and Leisure Research Group and ROKK has conducted the survey for months.
Survey respondents also mentioned, unprompted, that the unrest would involve weapons like firearms, batons, and Molotov cocktails.
“I think it’s going to be a lot of guns, a lot of protests,” one person said.
Another mentioned the run on firearms and ammunition that started all the way back in March.
“I mean America loves their guns so that’s kind of what they’ve been gearing up for right, stockpiling their weapons,” they said.
An additional respondent pointed out that those who cannot legally own firearms might resort to other kinds of weapons.
“I think we are going to see a lot more Molotov cocktails, definitely a lot of batons and I think a lot of people that are going out of their way to partake in this violence will not be legally able to own guns. I think a lot of them are criminals,” they said.
This latest indication of Americans’ increasing anxiety comes just weeks after a similar survey found that 61 percent of Americans believe we’re on the verge of another civil war. Forty percent “strongly” agree with the statement, “I’m concerned that the U.S. could be on the verge of another Civil War,” while 21 percent “somewhat agree.”
The Back-to-Normal Barometer has also found that a majority of Americans are stockpiling food and other supplies in anticipation of a resurgence of COVID-19 and social unrest following the election.
The October 1 poll found that 52 percent of consumers have stockpiled food or essential goods, with 23 percent of those people doing so in anticipation of political unrest tied to the election. Fifty-eight percent named COVID-19 as their reason for stockpiling while 19 percent are doing so over social unrest tied to racial concerns.
At least some of that stockpile includes firearms and ammunition. Firearms sales have smashed records nearly every month this year, and ammunition companies are reporting massive shortages of supplies resulting in months-long backlogs.