An overwhelming majority of Republicans still question the legitimacy of 2020 election results. They are also more likely to vote for 2022 candidates who challenge the legitimacy of Biden’s presidency.
According to a new poll conducted almost a year since rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol as Congress was in session to certify the 2020 election, more than a third of Americans believe President Joe Biden’s victory was illegitimate.
YouGov conducted the university’s poll with a sample size of 1,000 respondents who were surveyed from Dec. 14 to 20. The margin of error was 3.1%.
Partisanship consolidated since Jan 6 attack- polls.
A new University of Massachusetts Amherst poll released last Tuesday highlights how partisanship has spread its roots far and wide in the year since the deadly Jan. 6 attack. It also depicts the stark breakdown of how Democrats and Republicans view that day and the results of last November’s presidential race.
Fifty-eight percent of respondents surveyed across the country believe Biden’s victory was legitimate. At the same time, 33% contend it was illegitimate – numbers that have held steady since the university’s last poll on the subject in April.
Of Republicans who participated in the polls, an overwhelming majority of the – 71% – still contest the 2020 election results. Only 21% believe Biden’s win was legitimate.
Voter fraud cited as the primary reason for the illegitimacy of Biden’s victory.
For respondents who still question the legitimacy of Biden’s success, the top reason cited was voter fraud, specifically fraudulent ballots favoring Biden that were “counted by election officials in certain states.” There was no evidence of rampant voter fraud in 2020; an assessment backed up by former President Donald Trump’s Justice Department.
“Regardless of the truth of the situation, public officials need to shore up faith in how we vote,” said Raymond La Raja, a political science professor at UMass Amherst and associate director of the poll. “These are extremely worrisome perceptions, and improved faith in the electoral process won’t happen until Republicans stop saying the election was stolen.”
Candidates seconding electoral fraud theory to amass greater support
Fifty-five percent of Republicans say they’d be more likely to vote for a GOP candidate running in the 2022 midterm elections who questions the legitimacy of Biden’s victory.
Majorities in both chambers of Congress are at stake next year, and, according to historical trends in midterm elections, Republicans hold an edge.
Republicans in support of Trump’s impeachment infamous
The findings also don’t bode well for GOP lawmakers who voted to impeach Trump over his handling of the Jan. 6 attack. Sixty-eight percent of Republican respondents would be less likely to support someone who supported the impeachment propaganda. A troubling prospect for those running for reelection in 2022. But many of those Republicans are retiring at the end of the session.
Ten House Republicans joined all Democrats earlier this year to impeach Trump for a second time. Only two of them sit on the select committee investigating Jan. 6: Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois. Meanwhile, seven GOP senators voted to convict Trump in the impeachment trial in the Senate, which was ultimately unsuccessful.
“Perceptions of the events of Jan. 6 have remained strikingly stable over the past year, despite the dramatic and disturbing revelations of the Jan. 6 Commission,” said Jesse Rhodes, a political science professor at UMass Amherst and associate director of the poll. “This stability reveals the remarkable power of ideology and partisanship in shaping these perceptions, even in the face of contrary evidence.”