These polls are the latest to indicate that Republicans mistakenly think the 2020 election was not legitimate, when it clearly was.
What is perfectly clear, however, is that Republicans’ lack of faith in our current electoral infrastructure is a direct result of Trump’s historic efforts to undermine the legitimacy of the 2020 results.
But the bulk of Republicans (65%) disagreed, saying they had no confidence at all that the election was conducted fairly and accurately, which is consistent with the Ipsos poll mentioned above. This 65% is truly an anomaly of late.
The voters of the losing candidate in those elections had much more faith than the voters of Trump in the results of the 2020 elections. In all of the elections from 2004 to 2016, between 8% and 14% of the voters of the losing candidate said that they had no confidence that the choice was legitimate. In 2016, only 11% of Hillary Clinton voters did not have any confidence.
This means that Republicans are 40 to 50 points more likely this time to say they were not confident in the results than supporters of any losing candidate of late.
The big difference this time around is that the losing candidate casts open doubts about the results over and over again.
Today, only 28% of Republicans say that everything possible should be done to make it easier for citizens to vote. That compares with 71% who say citizens should have to show that they really want to vote.
In 2018 (before Trump lost), the divide was much closer at 48% of Republicans who believed voting should be as easy as possible to the 51% who thought voters should have to show it.
(Democrats, by comparison, have barely moved on the issue with 85% arguing that voting should be as easy as possible. That was 84% in 2018).
The only thing that really changed between 2018 and 2021 was the 2020 elections.
It should be noted that Republicans are a minority on this issue. The majority of Americans (59%) say that everything possible should be done to make it as easy as possible for citizens to vote.
Perhaps most importantly, it is not at all clear that efforts to appease those who have doubts about the system really work.
We can see this by looking at studies of voter photo ID laws, which many Republicans have endorsed to ensure that those who vote are who they say they are.
People who believe conspiracy theories find ways to disbelieve the truth.
What would really help people have more faith in our electoral process is that if Trump and other Republicans stopped lying to their voters and admitted the truth: Biden won the election legitimately.