One in Three Adults Thinks Native-Born Americans Are Being Replaced by Immigrants for Electoral Gain
A striking number of Americans (32 percent) believes that a cabal seeks to sway elections by replacing those born here with immigrants—and 29 percent fear that increased immigration will lead to the loss of economic, cultural, and political influence by native-born Americans—reports a new study from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The survey reveals that people prone to believe in conspiracy theories are the most anxious about immigration and are far more likely than the general public to agree that “much of our lives are being controlled by plots hatched in secret places” (85 percent vs. 11 percent) and that “big events like wars, recessions, and the outcomes of elections are controlled by small groups of people who are working in secret against the rest of us” (89 percent vs. 13 percent).
“We also discovered that almost 70 percent of white high conspiratorial thinkers believe that immigrants come to the U.S. for federal benefits. Coupled with our other findings, this illustrates just how pervasive the distorted rhetoric around immigration has become, and how people from all backgrounds can be susceptible to such narratives in today’s misinformation age.”
These high conspiratorial thinkers include about one in four Democrats and independents, and one in three Republicans. Although they closely resemble the general population in terms of race, income, and education, they are less trusting of new people, more likely to be Evangelical and interpret the Bible literally, and consistently report feeling discriminated against, especially when white. The study was released on The AP-NORC Center’s 10th anniversary.
This article is from our corporate newsletter, NORC Now. NORC Now keeps you informed of the full breadth of NORC’s work, the questions we help our clients answer, and the issues we help them address.