Newswise — A new Reuters/Ipsos poll finds that political extremism or threats to democracy are a top concern for Americans heading to the polls this election year. 21% of respondents selected political extremism as the biggest problem facing the U.S., coming in ahead of the economy and immigration. Additionally, Joe Biden's Democrats considered extremism by far the top issue while Donald Trump's Republicans overwhelmingly chose immigration.

Faculty experts at the George Washington University are available to offer insight, commentary and analysis on Wendy’s decision. If you would like to speak with an expert, please contact GW Media Relations Specialists Tayah Frye at [email protected] and Cate Douglass at [email protected].

Jon Lewis, research fellow at the GW Program on Extremism, studies domestic violent extremism and homegrown violent extremism, with a specialization in the evolution of white supremacist and anti-government movements in the United States and federal responses to the threat. Lewis is the co-author of two major Program reports on the events of January 6th, as well as numerous long form publications on the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers and their role in the events of January 6th In addition, Lewis manages the Program's Capitol Hill Siege database, which is a public tracker for all federal cases stemming from J6 participation.

“January 6 still looms large in the memories of the American people, despite a sustained effort to downplay the significance of that day through conspiracies and disinformation,” Lewis says. “The anti-democratic tropes and narratives which continue to flood the right-wing media ecosystem embolden violent extremists and serve as a clear threat in 2024.”

Matt Dallek, a professor at GW’s Graduate School of Political Management, is a political historian with expertise in the intersection of social crises and political transformation, the evolution of the modern conservative movement, and liberalism and its critics. Along with four co-authored books, Dallek is the author of Birchers: How the John Birch Society Radicalized the American Right, which explores the history and influence of America’s right-wing activism.

Peter Loge is the director of GW’s School of Media and Public Affairs. He has nearly 30 years of experience in politics and communications, including a presidential appointment at the Food and Drug Administration and senior positions for Sen. Edward Kennedy and three members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Loge currently leads the GW Project on Ethics in Political Communication and continues to advise advocates and organizations. He can discuss ethical questions around political rhetoric and candidate discourse and the impact extremist rhetoric can have on democracy.