Nick Corasaniti, Michael C. Bender, Ruth Igielnik and Kristen Bayrakdarian at NYT:
Voters overwhelmingly believe American democracy is under threat, but seem remarkably apathetic about that danger, with few calling it the nation’s most pressing problem, according to a New York Times/Siena College poll.
In fact, more than a third of independent voters and a smaller but noteworthy contingent of Democrats said they were open to supporting candidates who reject the legitimacy of the 2020 election, as they assigned greater urgency to their concerns about the economy than to fears about the fate of the country’s political system.
Seventy-one percent of Republicans said they would be comfortable voting for a candidate who thought that year’s election was stolen, as did 37 percent of independent voters and a notable 12 percent of Democrats.Even among voters who think Mr. Biden won legitimately, 19 percent were comfortable casting a ballot for a candidate who believed the election was stolen. That number included 10 percent of Democrats, 22 percent of independents and 43 percent of Republicans who believed the 2020 election was fair.
Voters also signaled a bipartisan willingness to support a president who goes “outside of existing rules”: A third, including similar shares in both parties, said presidents should do what they think is best, even if it might flout the rules.
Twenty-six percent of voters said they had heard about “2000 Mules,” a widely debunked movie purporting to show that absentee ballots were “stuffed” in drop boxes to help Democrats in 2020. Of those who had heard about the film, 34 percent found it to be believable, and 45 percent said they did not know enough to say. Just 2 percent of Republicans who had heard about the movie found it not believable.
Only 4 percent of all voters said they found QAnon conspiracy theories, which make bizarre false claims about a satanic cult of Democrats, to be believable, but the vast majority of Republicans, 73 percent, said they did not know enough about the theories to say, rather than rejecting them outright.