Our new book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses the state of the parties.
One-third (32%) of Americans continue to believe that Joe Biden’s victory in 2020 was due to voter fraud – a number that has not budged since the November election. At first glance in the crosstabs, it looks like the number of “Republicans” who believe this has been trending down while the number of independents who agree has ticked up. However, this appears to be a product of a shift in how Republicans identify themselves, with some moving their self-affiliation from being partisan to being an “independent” who leans partisan. When all Republican identifiers and leaners are combined, the number who believe Biden won only because of voter fraud has been fairly stable (63% now, 64% in March, 69% in January, and 66% in November). Furthermore, 14% of the American public say they will never accept Biden as president, including 3 in 10 (29%) Republicans and Republican leaners.
“The continuing efforts to question the validity of last year’s election is deepening the partisan divide in ways that could have long-term consequences for our Democracy, even if most Americans don’t quite see it that way yet,” said Murray.
Most Americans (57%) see audits of the 2020 election results that are ongoing or planned as primarily partisan efforts to undermine valid election results. One in three (33%), though, say these are legitimate efforts to identify possible voting irregularities. When asked about the impact of these audits, 40% say they will weaken American democracy versus 20% who say they will strengthen our democracy, while 35% say they will have no impact. A majority of Republicans and GOP leaners say these audits are legitimate (61%) and one-third say the audits will strengthen American democracy (34%). Among all other Americans, just 14% say the audits are legitimate with 55% saying they will actually weaken our democracy. Overall, 38% of the American public expects the impact of these audit efforts to be long-lasting, including nearly two-thirds of those who believe they will either weaken (63%) or strengthen (64%) our democracy.