America Speaks: Are they concerned about domestic terrorism from right or left-wing extremists?

Candice JaimungalSocial Media Contributor
September 29, 2020, 1:00 PM UTC

Three in five (62%) Americans are concerned about the threat of domestic terrorism from right-wing extremists in a recent YouGov Poll of over 4,000 US adults. Likewise, YouGov data finds about half (54%) of Americans are concerned about the treat of domestic terrorism from left-wing extremists.  

But why do Americans feel this way about right and left-wing extremists? We asked our Chat users to go deeper on the issue and tell us what they think. You can share your views on whether you are concerned over the threat of domestic terrorism from right-wing extremists here, and left-wing extremists here.   

“Their movements are growing, and they are emboldened by the rhetoric of the GOP.” 

When we ask Chat users to tell us why they are concerned about the threat of domestic terrorism from right-wing extremists, most point their fingers at Republicans and the current administration. “Domestic Terrorists have been emboldened by support from the Trump Administration and specifically from Trump himself. The addition of support from racist police, makes it even worse. I fear we are heading towards a civil war,” wrote one user. “Right wing extremism and violence is being encouraged by our Republican leaders,” said another.  

For those who said they are not concerned about right-wing extremists, most cite that they are more concerned about domestic terrorism from left-wing extremists. “I believe that left-wing extremists are responsible for far more violent crime than right-wing extremists,” wrote one user.  


“I see them on the news, rioting and looting.”  

When we ask Chat users to tell us why they are concerned about the threat of domestic terrorism from left-wing extremists, many point their fingers at the Black Lives Matter movement, anti-fascism movement, Antifa, and the Democratic party. “Because they are attacking police, burning down cities, and the democrats are using them,” wrote one user.  “Because the left wing radicals are protected by the mainstream media and democratic run states and cities,” said another.  

For those who say they are not concerned about left-wing extremists and terrorism, most stated that it simply does not exist. “I haven’t seen significant reporting that shows any proof of left wing terrorism,” wrote one user. 

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Everyday, members of YouGov Chat are asked to share their opinion on a topic in the news. We allow anyone to take part in these chats, and do not display or weight results in real-time. Instead, to make the experience informative but still interactive, the Chat displays weighted data from YouGov Direct to show them how the rest of the country voted. This enables us to pose the question to all, while retaining data accuracy and validity when communicating results.  

YouGov Chat seeks to add to the ‘what?’ (the quantitative poll result) by finding the ‘why?” (qualitative open ends) in a member’s own words. Learn more about YouGov Chat here.    

Image: Getty