Poll: Nearly Two-thirds of Americans Fear Sharing Their Political Views

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A new poll commissioned by the libertarian Cato Institute and released on Wednesday suggests that nearly two-thirds of Americans are afraid to share their political views.

According to the poll, 62% of Americans — and 77% of Republicans — are afraid to share their views. Even a majority of Democrats (52%) report that they are afraid to share their views.

The only group that feels they are free to share their views are “staunch liberals,” 58% of whom say they can do so.

Cato’s Emily Ekins writes:

A new Cato national survey finds that self‐​censorship is on the rise in the United States. Nearly two-thirds—62%—of Americans say the political climate these days prevents them from saying things they believe because others might find them offensive. The share of Americans who self‐​censor has risen several points since 2017 when 58% of Americans agreed with this statement.

Strong liberals stand out, however, as the only political group who feel they can express themselves. Nearly 6 in 10 (58%) of staunch liberals feel they can say what they believe. However, centrist liberals feel differently. A slim majority (52%) of liberals feel they have to self‐​censor, as do 64% of moderates, and 77% of conservatives. This demonstrates that political expression is an issue that divides the Democratic coalition between centrist Democrats and their left flank.

What’s changed? In 2017 most centrist liberals felt confident (54%) they could express their views. However today, slightly less than half (48%) feel the same. The share who feel they cannot be open increased 7 points from 45% in 2017 to 52% today. In fact, there have been shifts across the board, where more people among all political groups feel they are walking on eggshells.

Nearly a third (32%) of employed Americans say they personally are worried about missing out on career opportunities or losing their job if their political opinions became known.

The poll was conducted July 1-6 among 2,000 American adults, with a 2.36% margin of error at a 95% confidence level.

President Donald Trump addressed fears of the “cancel culture” in his July 3 speech at Mount Rushmore.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). His new book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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