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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Thursday, November 2, 2023

Republicans Rejecting Reality

Aaron Blake at WP:
The Economist and YouGov this week became the latest to publish a head-scratching poll showing Republicans rejecting basic facts about Trump and his legal jeopardy.

The poll asked people whether Trump was “involved in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election in Georgia.” He, of course, was. Myriad pieces of evidence make that abundantly clear. We have a literal recording of him asking Georgia’s secretary of state to “find” just enough votes to overcome his deficit, and Trump on the call explicitly cited “flipping” the results in the state.
But to most Republicans, this apparently never happened. Just 18 percent in the YouGov poll said Trump was involved in trying to overturn Georgia’s results, compared to 59 percent who say he wasn’t.

It’s now the second poll to show the vast majority of Republicans saying Trump wasn’t even involved in trying to overturn the election. YouGov asked similar, non-Georgia-specific questions in August. Republicans said just 38-30 percent that there was an attempt to overturn the election. That’s shocking in and of itself. But then it showed only half of that 38 percent said Trump was personally involved.

So in both polls, only about 1 in 5 Republicans said Trump tried to overturn the election — the very basic threshold fact that undergirds two of his four indictments.

But these are hardly the only polls showing Republicans and Trump backers expressing a skewed view of the underlying facts. To wit:
  • Marquette University polling in late 2022 showed 66 percent of Republicans said Trump hadn’t possessed “top secret and other classified material or national security documents at his home in Mar-a-Lago.” This despite the search of Mar-a-Lago having turned up such documents three months prior. That number later dropped after Trump’s indictment this summer, but only to 50 percent.
  • A February 2021 USA Today/Suffolk University poll showed 58 percent of Trump voters said Jan. 6 was “mostly an Antifa-inspired attack that only involved a few Trump supporters.” That’s compared to 28 percent who said it was mostly a “rally of Trump supporters, some of whom attacked the Capitol.” (Nearly three years later, there remains no evidence of antifa inspiring or even participating in the attack.)
  • A December 2021 CBS News/YouGov poll showed 67 percent of Republicans and 73 percent of Trump voters said the Jan. 6 riot was not an attempt “to overturn the election and keep Donald Trump in power.”
  • A mid-2022 Monmouth University poll showed not only that 77 percent of Republicans said Jan. 6 wasn’t an “insurrection” but that a 51 percent majority said it wasn’t even a “riot.”
Some of these polls are dated. There are, regrettably, not too many surveys testing people’s knowledge of the basic facts surrounding these cases. But the thrust of all of them is similar, with half or more Republicans rejecting what is pretty plain to see.