New polling by the Economist/YouGov finds that many Americans are unaware of certain political groups that have made recent headlines. About a month ago, the leader of the Oath Keepers — a far-right militia group — was sentenced to 18 years in federal prison for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol. Moms for Liberty — a right-wing parental rights organization that campaigns to ban from school libraries books that address gender and sexuality — was recently designated as an extremist group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Six in 10 Americans have an opinion on the Oath Keepers, and just 47% have one of Moms for Liberty. While opinions on the Oath Keepers are twice as likely to be negative as positive, views on Moms for Liberty are more divided: 25% have a very or somewhat favorable view of the group and 23% have a very or somewhat unfavorable view. Republicans are more likely to have a favorable (36%) than unfavorable (10%) opinion of Moms for Liberty, while Democrats are less likely to view them favorably (18%) than unfavorably (35%).
Americans are more likely to hold negative than positive views of four other groups asked about: the Proud Boys (56% unfavorable vs. 14% favorable), Antifa (51% vs. 17%), the Oath Keepers (41% vs. 17%), and Black Lives Matter (48% vs. 44%). The ACLU is the only group that fewer view unfavorably (31%) than favorably (42%). Black Lives Matter elicits an opinion, favorable or unfavorable, from far more Americans — 92% — than any of the other groups polled about.
Fewer than half of Republicans hold favorable views on any of the six groups included in the poll. Republicans are especially likely to hold negative views of Black Lives Matter: 80% say they have an unfavorable view of the group. Nearly as many Democrats (78%) express a favorable view of Black Lives Matter — 14% are unfavorable — and Democratic views on the ACLU are also highly positive (70% favorable). While 73% of Republicans view Antifa unfavorably, Democrats are divided: 30% view Antifa unfavorably, 31% favorably.
Methodology: Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel using sample matching. A random sample (stratified by gender, age, race, education, geographic region, and voter registration) was selected from the 2019 American Community Survey. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, education, 2020 election turnout and presidential vote, baseline party identification, and current voter registration status. Demographic weighting targets come from the 2019 American Community Survey. Baseline party identification is the respondent’s most recent answer given prior to November 1, 2022, and is weighted to the estimated distribution at that time (33% Democratic, 31% Republican). The margin of error for the overall sample is approximately 3%.
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