Majority of Republicans say 2020 election was invalid: poll

More than two-thirds of Republicans say the 2020 presidential election was invalid, according to a new survey.

The poll from the R Street Institute, a free markets group, found that 67 percent of Republicans view the past election as invalid, compared to 23 percent who believe it was valid.

About half of all Republicans said they believe their votes were counted, while 42 percent said the system is corrupt and that their vote “probably doesn’t get counted anyway.”

“President Trump’s rhetoric seems to have had a profound impact on his base’s outlook on the election,” said a memo from the Tyson Group, which conducted the survey. “Across all regions, our participants by and large opposed alternative voting methods, believed that those methods opened the election process to fraud, and felt that the 2020 election result was invalid.”

Former President Trump and his allies claimed that he won the 2020 election in a “landslide” but that it was stolen from him through systemic fraud.

The Trump campaign lost dozens of lawsuits aiming to nullify Democratic votes or overturn the outcome in key swing states that President Biden won.

This week, the Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to Pennsylvania’s expansion of mail balloting during the pandemic.

Trump’s election fraud claims preceded the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob trying to disrupt the Electoral College vote count. Trump’s claims have torn Republicans apart, with some saying the focus on fraud cost the GOP the Georgia Senate runoff elections and ultimately the Senate majority.

Republicans in Washington, including Trump’s former attorney general William Barr, have said that election fraud is common on a small scale but that there is no evidence of the kind of systemic corruption that could have tipped the balance of a presidential election.

Still, many Republicans are deeply frustrated by what they view as last-minute changes to expand mail voting in some states to accommodate voters during the pandemic.

Some states went around their legislatures to open up new avenues for voting, which Republicans say is susceptible to new forms of fraud or irregularities.

Ninety-two percent of Republicans in the poll said alternative voting methods like mail voting and drop boxes lead to more errors, mismanagement or fraud that could have influenced the outcome in the battleground states that pushed Biden to victory.

According to the poll, 48 percent of Republicans voted in person on Election Day, while 28 percent voted early and 24 percent voted by mail. Democrats voted by mail in far larger numbers, as party leaders urged their voters to take advantage of mail balloting.

“In the wake of the contentious November 2020 election, it’s more important than ever to defend the principles that underpin our democracy,” said Jonathan Bydlak, interim director of the R Street Institute’s governance program. “That starts with understanding voters’ feelings about the legitimacy and administration of the election. Following Donald Trump’s loss, a significant portion of the electorate, primarily Republican voters, still distrust our election systems.”

The R Street poll of 1,200 Republican voters nationwide was conducted between Jan. 25 and Feb. 5. with a margin of error of 2.83 percentage points.

Tags 2020 election Donald Trump Joe Biden Stop the Steal William Barr

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