In Defying the Odds, we discuss Trump's dishonesty and his record of disregarding the rule of law. Our next book, Divided We Stand, looks at the 2020 election and the January 6 insurrection.
About one-third (32%) of the American public continues to believe that President Joe Biden won the 2020 election only due to voter fraud – a number that has not budged across five polls in which Monmouth asked this question during the past year. Nearly 3 in 4 Republicans (73%) cling to the idea that Biden won through fraud. Among all voters who believe fraud determined the 2020 outcome, nearly half (45%) also say that the American system is not at all sound. Among the 6 in 10 Americans who believe Biden won the election fair and square, far fewer (23%) feel that way.
The GOP-backed “audit” of the 2020 Arizona election results released in late September concluding that Biden won that state fairly has been rejected by most Republicans. Overall, a majority of Americans say the review did in fact show that Biden won Arizona fairly (36%) or say they are not sure about the report but guess it probably arrived at that conclusion (21%). On the other hand, 13% of the public claims the review turned up significant evidence of voter fraud while 16% say they are not sure but it probably found fraud. Among Republicans, 32% say the so-called audit found evidence of fraud and 30% say it probably did.
Looking back at the riot at the U.S Capitol on January 6th, about 1 in 4 Americans (27%) say that the anger that led to this incident was at least partially justified, including a majority of Republicans (54%). Just over half of the public has either a lot (26%) or a little (31%) trust that the House Select Committee set up to examine this incident will conduct a fair investigation. Most Republicans (75%) have no trust at all in the committee.
Most Americans approve of having the select committee look into whether members of Congress (73%) or former President Donald Trump (67%) played a role in the incident along with looking into possible fraud in the 2020 election (60%). Majorities of Republicans support having the committee investigate possible election fraud (70%) and the role members of Congress may have played (58%), but only 40% approve of the committee looking into anything that could implicate Trump. About 9 in 10 Democrats approve of an inquiry into the role played by Trump (91%) and members of Congress (89%), while nearly half say the same about looking into possible election fraud (47%).
“Democrats do not believe that Biden won through fraud, as the poll results clearly show. The fact that nearly half want to see an investigation into possible fraud likely stems from their hopes that it would put the false claims to rest. But as the experience from the so-called Arizona audit shows, that outcome is highly unlikely and America will remain divided on this,” said Murray
About half (49%) of all Americans feel the country has become more divided since Biden took office. Just 12% say we have become more united and 38% say nothing has really changed. While these results are largely negative, they are somewhat better than feelings about our political rift under Biden’s predecessor. At a similar point in Trump’s term, 63% said the country had become more divided. That sentiment topped out at 70% right after the 2020 election. Unsurprisingly, a larger number of Republicans say that the country has become more divided under Biden (78%) than did under Trump a year ago (49%). Far fewer Democrats say that the country has become more divided under the current president from their own party (22%) while more felt that way about the president from the opposite party last year (90%). However, only 25% of Democrats see the country as becoming more united since Biden took office; half (52%), in fact, say nothing has changed.