New peer-reviewed research published in PLOS One reveals Republicans closely adhering to Donald Trump’s “MAGA” movement who endorse his unfounded stolen election claims hold far more extreme views than other partisan groups – including majority support for political violence and strong belief in racist conspiracies detached from reality.

58% of MAGA Republicans Say Violence Justified

A national survey of over 8,620 Americans categorized pro-Trump individuals insisting Biden stole the 2020 election as “MAGA Republicans.” Analysis found a stunning 58% of this faction believes using physical force and intimidation for political goals is justified – far higher than 38% of non-MAGA Republicans and only 25% of Democrats and independents who agreed.

Source: National Public Radio

The empirical study defined MAGA Republicans extremely narrowly as Trump 2020 voters vehemently rejecting objective evidence showing Biden’s clear and legitimate victory in key states. This means they fully endorse the repeatedly debunked “big lie.”

Nearly One-Third Want Authoritarian-Style “Strong Leader

Per the survey, nearly one-third (31%) of Americans classified as MAGA Republicans endorsed installing an authoritarian-style “strong leader” who ignores democratic norms as necessary – suggesting this group harbors deeply alarming anti-Democratic beliefs compared to ordinary conservatives focused on mainstream partisan issues. Trump and allies’ endless false claims of fraudulent vote counts fuel such seditious views.

Source: Washington Post

In addition to gauging opinions on using violence for political ends and support for authoritarian governance, researchers also asked participants their views on racism, immigration, voter laws, online conspiracies, election legitimacy, and threats to democracy to categorize partisan divides.

20% Would Intimidate Voters Through Armed Poll Watchers

Highlighting anti-democratic attitudes, 20% of Americans who insist Trump rightfully won 2020 backed deploying armed citizens to visibly “patrol” voting sites as self-designated poll watchers – an alarming tactic historically used to suppress turnout through intimidation, especially in minority communities.

Source: CNN

Unlike MAGA Republicans detached from reality, few mainstream conservatives and virtually no liberals endorsed such unethical voter suppression schemes, showcasing the extremism of election deniers.

Half Strongly Endorse Racist “Replacement” Conspiracy Myth

Illustrating the embrace of verifiably false propaganda, over half (51%) of Americans who insist Trump was the true 2020 victor vociferously endorsed the thoroughly debunked racist conspiracy theory claiming shadowy “elites” are masterminding the imminent non-white “replacement” of native-born white Americans. In reality, gradual demographic changes through birth rates and immigration patterns drive multicultural evolution. By contrast, far smaller 25% of non-Republican liberals give any credence to this racist, xenophobic myth detached from facts. This shows the “Big Lie” goes hand-in-hand with backing white nationalist disinformation.

Source: Reuters

In addition to gauging opinions on violently achieving political objectives when elections don’t go your way along with views on racist conspiracies, researchers also assessed openness to political violence, anti-democratic rule, online disinformation, and threats to democracy.

One-Fourth “Strongly” Believe Bizarre QAnon Lies About U.S. Institutions

Further showcasing rejection of factual reality, over one-fourth (26%) of Americans who falsely insist rampant fraud enabled Biden’s clear victory also report staunchly endorsing utterly deranged conspiracy theories originating from the pro-Trump online disinformation cult QAnon about foundational public and private institutions. These outlandish beliefs include claims government elites are running Satanic pedophile rings and COVID vaccines secretly contain mind-controlling microchips.

Source: Forbes

This disturbing finding illustrates parts of Trump’s die-hard base are falling deeper into detached-from-reality cult followings promoting myths and fiction wholly divorced from evidence or truth. It shows election denial goes hand-in-hand with believing unhinged lies.

Nearly All Falsely See Threats to Democracy But Won’t Engage in Insurrections

Showcasing innate contradictions, a staggering 90% of Americans who falsely insist Trump rightly won reelection vocally perceive imminent threats to fundamental pillars of democracy. However, empirical data shows this same group remains unwilling to personally engage in real political violence like the January 6th insurrection most claimed was justified at the time.

Source: Medium

This suggests Trump loyalists exaggerate dangers to democracy through partisan filters while lacking the courage of conviction to take action. Their hesitancy to riot themselves enables the lawless militant fringe minority inclined toward violence, experts warn.

MAGA Republicans Far Outside Mainstream

Analyzing the extensive survey results, study authors concluded Americans insisting Biden stole the election represent a “distinct minority” holding racist and anti-democratic views “disconnected from factual reality” far outside the mainstream.

Source: Medium

This shows election denial and assertions that Biden somehow stole victory go hand-in-hand with embracing detached-from-reality disinformation across a wide range of issues. Their views no longer represent mainstream Republican positions but instead, signal a faction embracing extremism and irrational conspiracies.

Most Voters Affirm Legitimacy of 2020 Outcome

Although the survey confirms the existence of hardcore MAGA Republicans detached from truth, it simultaneously illustrates the 71% majority of Americans spanning partisan divides correctly acknowledge the definitive legitimacy of the 2020 election and subsequent peaceful transfer of Executive power to President Biden through well-established Constitutional order.

Source: Flickr

This demonstrates while pockets of extremism fueled by disinformation exist, consensus faith in enduring democratic ideals and institutions persists across the electorate.

Widespread Rejection of Election Fraud Among Ordinary Conservatives

While the narrower hardline MAGA Republican subgroup passionately propagates disinformation, including false stolen election conspiracies, broader survey results across Republican voters suggest most traditional conservatives focused on mainstream policy debates largely reject such evidence-free claims of widespread ballot rigging enabling Biden’s definitive victory.

Source: USA Today

Fact-checking organizations, Trump’s own Homeland Security officials, and over 60 unsuccessful court challenges have thoroughly debunked allegations of significant tabulation inaccuracies or systemic fraud substantial enough to impact final authenticated outcomes. Despite this, the MAGA subgroup remains intensely unwilling to accept Trump’s defeat. But their views do not reflect the GOP majority.

Reaffirming Shared Democratic Values to Overcome Extremist Threats

The revealing academic survey’s primary takeaway is that Americans broadly agree on supporting foundational democratic principles, though an increasingly vocal discordant fraction concentrated among Trump’s most active core supporters divorce themselves from factual reality regarding electoral outcomes and decreasingly feel bound to Constitutional constraints – signaling accelerating radicalization.

Source: Medium

However, the persistently reasonable views held by the strong 71% majority spanning partisan identities offer hope for overcoming extremist threats through reaffirming shared values of institutional legitimacy, peaceful political transitions reflecting certified vote tallies, legislative compromise, inclusive civic participation, along with universal condemnation of violence in the democratic process.