Apocalypticism: Polling Expert Reveals the Root of Panic Among Conservative White Christians
In an interview with Salon’s Chauncey DeVega, PRRI’s president and founder Robert P. Jones discusses findings from the 2023 American Values Survey in the context of the increasing proclivity toward extremism and violence on the political right. PRRI’s survey found that Republicans were the most concerned with the economy, crime, immigration, public education, and human trafficking. Jones explains that all of these concerns center around a racially tinged sense of fear about a loss of power in an increasingly diverse and changing country. “I think the deepest vein that they’re mining is a belief and feeling that America was supposed to belong to European Christians, and they’re desperately afraid that it no longer does,” Jones stated.
Texas Activist David Barton Has the Ear of the New U.S. House Speaker
Robert Downen for The Texas Tribune reports on the legacy of conservative Christian activist David Barton, a “longtime ally” to newly elected House Speaker Rep. Mike Johnson (R-TN). Barton contends that the country’s founders “never intended the First Amendment to become a vehicle to promote a pluralism of other religions.” Barton has a history of promoting extremist views, such as comparing Third Reich’s “evils” to the “homosexual lifestyle” in 2017, but has earned a prominent role in Republican politics with ties to President George W. Bush and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). PRRI finds that 77% of Christian nationalism adherents express a preference for a primarily Christian nation.
These Americans Are Ambivalent About Democracy
In an analysis for CNN, Zachary B. Wolf writes about a new poll conducted by SSRS on Trumps’ fitness for presidency in light of the criminal charges facing him. The poll found that 67% of all likely Republican primary voters in South Carolina said that, if legitimate, Trump’s efforts to overturn the election are not relevant to his fitness for the presidency. Voters who are currently Trump supporters almost unanimously agreed with this statement at 92%. PRRI’s 2023 American Values Survey found that 48% of Republicans agreed “we need a leader who is willing to break some rules if that’s what it takes to set things right.”
Latinx Support for a Pathway to Citizenship Remains Strong (for Now)
PRRI Public Fellow Flavio Rogerio Hickel Jr., Ph.D. marks the anniversary of President Ronald Reagan signing the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) into law in a new Spotlight Analysis. While support for an IRCA-style pathway to citizenship has fluctuated over the years, Hickel writes that the data seems to suggest that we are past the days when the majority of Latinx Americans regard immigration reform as a critical issue. Latinx Americans are not a monolith, and there has always been a sizable minority who support more restrictive immigration policies and the politicians who espouse them.
Read PRRI’s 14th annual American Values Survey.