Nearly three-quarters of GOP doubt legitimacy of Biden's win: poll

Nearly three-quarters of Republicans doubt that President BidenJoe BidenCourt nixes offshore drilling leases auctioned by Biden administration Laquan McDonald's family pushes for federal charges against officer ahead of early release Biden speaks with Ukrainian president amid Russian threat MORE’s 2020 electoral victory was legitimate, according to a new poll from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst

Seventy-one percent of GOP respondents said they don’t believe that Biden was rightfully elected to the White House, echoing former President TrumpDonald TrumpMark Walker to stay in North Carolina Senate race Judge lays out schedule for Eastman to speed up records processing for Jan. 6 panel Michael Avenatti cross-examines Stormy Daniels in his own fraud trial MORE’s baseless claim that he was the actual winner of last year's election. 

Twenty-five percent of Republicans said Biden's win was “probably not legitimate,” while 46 percent said it was “definitely not legitimate,” according to the poll. 

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Only 6 percent of Republicans said that Biden is definitely the rightful winner, while another 15 percent said he “probably” is.

Most Americans — 58 percent — believe that Biden’s election was legitimate. That includes 91 percent of Democrats and 54 percent of independents.

Still, the poll underscores the extent to which false and misleading claims about the 2020 election by Trump and other prominent Republicans have become ingrained in the minds of many GOP voters, said Tatishe Nteta, an associate professor of political science at UMass Amherst and the poll’s director.

“Given the continued questioning of Biden’s victory by prominent Republican elected officials, conservative media personalities and former President Trump, it is no surprise that 7 in 10 Republicans, conservatives and Trump voters view the results of the 2020 election with skepticism, if not outright disbelief,” Nteta said.

The poll also found that an overwhelming majority of Republicans — 80 percent — see the Jan. 6 attack at the Capitol as a “protest.” Among all respondents, however, 55 percent described the events as a “riot.” What’s more, about a quarter of Republicans described those who participated in the events of Jan. 6 as “patriots,” while a similar number said the perpetrators were “Antifa.”

The UMass Amherst poll was conducted by YouGov from Dec. 14-20 and is based on responses from 1,000 people nationwide. It has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.