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Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. (Photo: NJ Globe file photo).

Most Republicans doubt presidential election results, poll says

Democrats, independents confident in Trump loss

By Nikita Biryukov, November 18 2020 11:00 am

Most Republican voters doubt the validity of President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over President Donald Trump, according to a Monmouth University poll released Wednesday.

A majority of Republicans, 61%, said they were not at all confident in the fairness and accuracy of the election, up from just 13% who said the same in September. Just 22% of GOP voters said they had confidence in the process, down from 55% two months ago.

Democrats (90%) and independents (69%) had greater confidence in the election’s integrity. The starks partisan divide is unsurprising given Trump’s repeated attempts to undermine the election’s results.

Monmouth Polling Institute Director Patrick Murray said the divide wasn’t concerning on its own, but warned Trump’s attempts to circumvent his electoral defeat were a cause for worry.

“It’s not unusual for backers on the losing side to take a while to accept the results,” Murray said. “It is quite another thing for the defeated candidate to prolong that process by spreading groundless conspiracy theories. This is dangerous territory for the Republic’s stability.”

Most voters are happy — or at least content — with the results of the presidential election. A little more than a third of voters, 34%, said they were happy about Trump’s defeat, while another 18% said they were satisfied with the president’s loss.

One-tenth said they were angry over the same, and 28% said they were dissatisfied.

A quarter of voters said they were happy Biden won, and 26% said they were only satisfied at his victory. Another 29% were dissatisfied, and 15% were angry.

Still, the news isn’t all good for the president-elect. A greater share of his voters, 73%, were happy about Trump’s loss than they were about his win, 57%.

“This election was always about the incumbent first and foremost. The thought of his loss provoking a stronger positive reaction than the idea of a Biden victory is just one more example of that,” Murray said. “Still, the poll shows that the country continues to suffer from deep partisan divisions in the election’s aftermath.”

A little less than a third, 32%, said they believed Biden won the election because of voter fraud, as Trump has baselessly claimed on repeated occasions. That included 77% of Trump voters. Almost twice as many respondents, 60%, said Biden’s victory was above-board.

“The anger among Trump’s base is tied to a belief that the election was stolen,” Murray said.

Trump’s delay of the presidential transition isn’t winning him many points. Most respondents, 61%, disapproved of his refusal to begin the transition. Only 31% approved, fewer than the 35% who said they believed Trump’s delay of the transition posed a major threat to national security.

The incumbent’s approval rating is eight points underwater, 40%-48%, while Biden’s was a barely positive 44%-43%.

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