COS Trafalgar Poll: Biden Speech an Escalation, Majority Says

COS Trafalgar Poll: Biden Speech an Escalation, Majority Says president joe biden and first lady jill biden walking before thursday's speech.

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden emerge from Independence Hall in Philadelphia before Thursday's speech. (Getty Images)

By Peter Malbin | Tuesday, 06 September 2022 12:17 PM EDT

President Joe Biden's speech in Philadelphia on Thursday in which he lambasted MAGA Americans dozens of times as undemocratic and extreme has stirred such controversy that 56.8% of voters now think it represents a dangerous escalation in rhetoric and designed to incite conflict among Americans.

While voters are split along political party lines in response to the speech, 62.4% of Independent voters agreed with the majority that the speech stepped up the inflammatory rhetoric and would incite conflict among Americans.

A minority (35.5%) of American voters believe Biden's address was "acceptable" campaign messaging that is to be expected in an election year, and only 7.7% were unsure.

These are some of the results of a national survey of voters taken after the speech by Convention of States Action, in partnership with The Trafalgar Group.

The survey found that among Republican voters, 89.1% believe the speech was dangerous rhetoric designed to incite conflict among Americans, but only 18.7% of Democrats think that. In addition, 70.8% of Democrats believe his speech was acceptable campaign messaging.

In Philadelphia, the president described the upcoming elections as a battle for the soul of the nation, NPR noted. He was flanked by uniformed Marines.

He went on to accuse so-called "MAGA Republicans," a reference to former president Donald Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan, of refusing to recognize free and fair elections, increasingly talking about violence in response to actions they don't like, and of being determined to thwart "the will of the people."

"There's no question that the Republican Party today is dominated, driven and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans. And that is a threat to this country," Biden said. "Too much of what's happening in our country today is not normal. Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.

"For a long time, we've reassured ourselves that American democracy is guaranteed. But it is not. We have to defend it. Protect it. Stand up for it. Each and every one of us."

In response, Trump called the address "the most vicious, hateful and divisive speech ever delivered by an American president."

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), tweeted: "With all due respect Mr. President, there's nothing wrong with America's soul. The American people are hurting because of your policies."

Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) said Biden "attacked" Republicans "to distract from the fact his economic agenda caused inflation to reach a historic 40-year high and sent our economy into a recession."

Mark Meckler, president of the Convention of States, said: "When voters tell you they think that the prepared remarks of a sitting President of the United States is a dangerous escalation and was designed to incite conflict, we are living in terrifying times. Perhaps even more terrifying is the fact that a huge majority of Democrats think this was just a routine, election year stump speech."

Results of the poll conducted by Convention of States Action were from surveys conducted Sept. 2- 5 of over 1,000 likely 2022 election voters.

Convention of States Action states that it has a grassroots network of more than 5 million supporters and volunteers. Its mission is "to restore a culture of self-governance in America and to curtail federal overreach."

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