As election day is underway, Americans are anxiously waiting for the outcome of what many consider the most important election of their lifetime. Here is a country so divided that retailers are barricading their stores in fear of post-election violence and where even a peaceful transition of power, a hallmark of America’s democracy for more than 200 years, is no longer considered a guarantee.
According to a recent survey conducted by the New York Times and Siena College, many Americans fear for democracy itself, as 76 percent of the respondents say that they are concerned about their country’s status as one of the world’s most famous democracies. Leading up to the election, Americans seem less concerned with personal, short-term problems such as falling victim to crime or losing their job, but more with the general direction their country is taking.
As the following chart shows, more than 80 percent of the respondents are concerned that the next generation might end up being worse off, while 60 percent are afraid that they’re no longer able to freely speak their mind. Unsurprisingly, the coronavirus is also high on the list of concerns for Americans, with 73 percent of the respondents fearing that they or their family might get sick with COVID-19.