Poll: 29% of Americans Could Back US Military Coup

That rises to 43% among Republicans
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2015 4:01 AM CDT
Poll: 29% of Americans Could Back Military Coup
President Obama returns a salute before boarding Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Americans in general trust their military—and 29% of them trust so much that they can imagine supporting a military takeover of the government, according to a YouGov poll. That rose to 43% among Republicans, while just 20% of Democrats said they could envision supporting a military coup in the US. When respondents were asked if they could potentially support the military "stepping in to take control from a civilian government which is beginning to violate the Constitution," the overall number saying yes rose to 43%, though a military coup itself wouldn't exactly be constitutional.

The same poll found that most people have a lot more respect for military officers than they do for civilian leaders: Some 71% said military officers put the interests of the country ahead of their own interests, while just 12% thought the same about members of Congress. But there's probably no need to worry about tanks rolling down Pennsylvania Avenue or a Main Street near you anytime soon: The Pentagon hasn't shown much interest in taking over the nation, and a University of Pennsylvania expert tells the Guardian that the YouGov poll, like any online poll, isn't likely to be truly representative of the US population. (Texas Gov. Greg Abbott ordered the State Guard to keep an eye on the military this summer.)

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