These polls are the latest to indicate that Republicans mistakenly think that the 2020 election wasn’t legitimate, when it clearly was.
What is perfectly clear, however, is that Republicans’ lack of faith in our current election infrastructure is a direct result of Trump’s historic efforts to undermine the legitimacy of the 2020 results.
But the lion’s share of Republicans (65%) disagreed and said they were not confident at all the election was conducted fairly and accurately, which is consistent with the Ipsos polling spoken about above. This 65% is truly an anomaly in recent times.
The voters for the losing candidate in those elections had a lot more faith than Trump voters had in the results of the 2020 election. In every election from 2004 to 2016, between 8% and 14% of the voters of the losing candidate said they had no confidence at all that the election was legitimate. In 2016, just 11% of Hillary Clinton voters were not at all confident.
This means Republicans are somewhere between 40 points and 50 points more likely this time around to say they had no confidence in the results than the backers of any losing candidate in recent times.
The big difference this time around is that the losing candidate openly cast doubt on the results over and over again.
Today, a mere 28% of Republicans say everything should be done to make it easy for citizens to vote. That compares with 71% who say citizens should have to prove they really want to vote.
Back in 2018 (before Trump lost), the split was far closer at 48% of Republicans who believed voting should be made easy as easy as possible to 51% who thought voters should have to prove it.
(Democrats, by comparison, have barely moved on the question with 85% arguing voting should be made as easy as possible. That was 84% in 2018.)
The only thing that has really changed between 2018 and 2021 was the 2020 election.
It should be noted that Republicans are in the minority on this issue. Most Americans (59%) say everything should be done to make things as easy as possible for citizens to vote.
Perhaps most importantly, it’s not clear at all that efforts to appease those who have doubt in the system will actually work.
We can see this by looking at studies on voter photo identification laws, which a lot of Republicans have backed to ensure those who are voting are who they say they are.
People who believe in conspiracy theories find ways to disbelieve the truth.
What would actually 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.