Most Republicans still see Biden’s victory as illegitimate – poll
Results of a newly published poll have revealed that media outlets and Democratic politicians have made zero progress over the past year in convincing skeptical Americans that President Joe Biden was legitimately elected.
The University of Massachusetts Amherst poll, released on Tuesday, found that 71% of Republicans still believe Biden’s victory in the November 2020 presidential election was illegitimate. Only a little more than half (58%) of Americans overall said Biden was the rightful president, while 22% of Republicans opined that the election result was “definitely not legitimate” – figures that were almost identical to the findings of the same survey carried out last April.
While the Democrat-controlled Congress has focused on investigating the origins of last January’s Capitol riot, there hasn’t been a major federal probe of election fraud claims to assuage public doubts. Legal challenges to Biden’s victory were largely dismissed on procedural grounds without the evidence being examined in court.
Amherst professors argued that, given the continued questioning of Biden’s victory by conservative politicians and media outlets, it’s not surprising that Republicans continue to doubt the election’s result. “Public officials need to shore up faith in how we vote,” Professor Raymond La Raja said. He added that public confidence in the electoral process wouldn’t be restored “until Republicans stop saying the election was stolen.”
Americans are predictably polarized on the Capitol riot, with 62% of Republicans seeing the participants as “protesters,” rather than rioters, and 68% of Democrat respondents considering them “insurrectionists” and “white nationalists.” While 75% of Democrats blamed Trump for the riot, a third of Republicans said the Democratic Party had caused the incident.
A whopping 86% of Democrats support continuing efforts to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of the riot, compared with just 29% of Republicans. And 62% of Republicans and 37% of respondents overall said then-Vice President Mike Pence should have used his role in certifying the electoral vote to challenge Biden’s victory.
“We continue to see Republicans and Democrats living in diametrically opposed realities,” Professor Alexander Theodoridis said, blaming “persistent and baseless claims by the former president and his sycophants.”
The poll suggested that challenging the legitimacy of Biden’s victory wouldn’t be a winning strategy for Republicans in the 2022 midterm elections, however. Only 23% of independents said they would be more likely to vote – versus 38% who would be less likely – for a candidate who made such claims.