This paper was jointly published with the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group.
A year into the Trump Administration, the health and stability of American democracy remain an open question. At a time when almost four in 10 Americans say they are not satisfied with the way democracy is working in the U.S., there is ample reason to ask how committed the American people are to our democracy.
While understanding dissatisfaction with our political system is quite important, knowing the degree to which Americans are open to actual departures from democracy has a deeper, more existential value at a time when populist political leaders and parties have gained significant momentum around the globe. Taking advantage of a battery of questions included in the July 2017 VOTER Survey (Views of the Electorate Research Survey) from the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group, we seek to understand more about these contemporary Americans who are not only questioning democratic norms but also affirmatively endorsing authoritarian alternatives.