WASHINGTON (AP) — Only a fragment of Americans believe democracy is thriving in the U.S., even as broad majorities agree that representative government is one of the country’s bedrock principles, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
Just 16% of Americans say democracy is working well or extremely well, a pessimism that spans the political spectrum. Nearly half of Americans, 45%, think democracy isn’t functioning properly, while another 38% say it’s working only somewhat well.
The core elements of democratic government, including free and fair elections and the peaceful transfer of power, were put to a dire test by the baseless claims of election fraud advanced by former President Donald Trump. Those assertions of fraud were a root cause of the deadly violence at the U.S. Capitol last month, which damaged the country’s reputation as a model for democracy.