Poll: One-Third of College Students Think Their Political Opponents Are ‘Evil’

Antifa and counter protestors to a far-right rally clash with the police at Lafayette Park opposite the White House August 12, 2018 in Washington, DC, one year after the deadly violence at a similar protest in Charlottesville, Virginia. - Last year's protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left one person dead …
NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

A new poll revealed that more than one-third of college students on both sides of the aisle believe that their peers on the opposing side are “evil.” The poll closely matched the results of a larger study on partisan hostilities around the country.

According to a report by the College Fix, a new survey revealed that college students don’t have flattering opinions of their political opponents. In fact, more than a third of college students on both sides of the political aisle said that they believe those on the opposite side are “evil.”

37 percent of Democratic students that participated in the survey said that they felt that their Republican peers were “evil.” Meanwhile, 39 percent of Republican students said that they thought their leftist peers were “evil.”

Professor Nathan Kalmoe of Louisiana State University and Professor Lilliana Mason at the University of Maryland, College Park conducted a similar study of Americans from around the country. The poll, which measured partisan hostilities through a series of questions, produced similar results. In an interview with The College Fix, Kalmoe and Mason pointed out that partisan hostility has existed throughout much of American history.

“Unfortunately, given the novelty of these questions, the levels of partisan hostility we observed from American partisans in 2017 and 2018 cannot be compared to levels experienced years, decades, or centuries ago. Certainly, the 2016 presidential election was acrimonious and intense, norm-defying and extraordinarily hostile. The partisan hostility we find here may, therefore, reflect a new trend. However, partisan acrimony certainly did not begin in 2016,” Kalmoe and Mason said.

“Ultimately,” the research team added, “these results find a minority of partisans view violence as acceptable acts against their political opponents. Many times more embrace partisan moral disengagement, which makes the turn to violence easier if they have not made it already. As more Americans embrace strong partisanship, the prevalence of lethal partisanship is likely to grow.”

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