CNN poll: American confidence in elections has faded since January 6



Most Americans doubt that US election results reflect the will of the people, a sentiment that has grown steadily since January 2021, according to a new CNN poll by SSRS.

And about half of Americans, 48%, say they think it’s at least somewhat likely that in the next few years some elected officials will succeed in overturning the results of a US election because their party didn’t win. .

Follow-up interviews with people who took part in the poll suggest that the driving factors behind Republicans’ and Democrats’ views on the election are nearly opposite. But there is a common thread: concern.

When asked for her views on the future of American democracy, Patricia Reasoner, an 83-year-old independent from Vermont, said, « I’m worried because we’ve come closer this time and we’re not putting enough controls in place to keep that from happening again so far. And if it happens again, I’m afraid it will knock us down.

In January 2021, shortly after the attack on the US Capitol, 59% of Americans said they had at least some confidence that the US election reflected the will of the people. This included 36% who were very confident that the election was representative of the wishes of the public.

Now, a year and a half later, only 42% have some confidence and only 16% are very confident.

The most significant changes during this period have been among Democrats and Independents, although Democrats remain the political group most likely to express confidence in US elections. At the start of 2021, 90% of Democrats said they were at least somewhat confident that the election reflected the will of the people; now only 57% are. Among the self-employed, the share that has at least some confidence fell from 54% to 38%. Among Republicans, on the other hand, confidence rose slightly but remained low, from 23% confidence then to 29% today.

Kelly Woodward, a teacher and parent from Denver, where all voters receive mail-in ballots, said her voting experience was largely positive.

“I take the two girls when I do, when I drop the ballot, and they sit with me while I fill it out. I know for my parents, who are older and both very politically active, it’s very easy for them, which I appreciate, because it would be difficult for them to queue.

But Woodward, a Democrat, worries about how well the system works elsewhere. “Even though it works for me, I don’t think it works for everyone, and it shouldn’t be that way in our country. It should be the same for everyone; they should feel like it works for them.

Some feared that not everyone who should be able to vote could. LaRee Smith, a health care worker from Washington state, said in an email to CNN: « [M]My biggest concern is not for me but for voters in states (especially in the South) where conservatives seem to be stepping up voter suppression and intimidation of citizens of lower socioeconomic classes.

And Isaac Odibo, a Democrat from Norfolk, Va., said the country’s electoral system is now weaker because « many people who are qualified to vote may be prevented from voting because of all the laws put in place and new laws in the process of being adopted ».

But on the other hand, Republican concerns seem rooted in doubts about the last presidential election, even though there was no evidence of voter fraud or tampering that would alter the results. Despite the lack of evidence, many election candidates and former President Donald Trump continue to push the lie that the election was stolen.

Yet Ruben Andres Delgado, a 26-year-old Republican from El Paso, Texas, said of 2020, « Anyone with logic and reasoning could tell you something fishy happened. , something illegitimate has happened. »

And another pollster from Northport, Alabama, who did not wish to be named, said: ‘There were instances of polls going smoothly and giving the true vote count. But there were also instances where viewers and people working in the polls claimed it didn’t happen, so there was a question mark.

The investigation came as the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol held public hearings into its findings.

Woodward followed the hearings a bit.

“I never thought in my life that I would have seen something like January 6,” she said. “I guess there is a fear of this happening, and if there are no lasting consequences for the people who participated, does that just leave the door open for it to happen again? I place great importance on the hearings, and sort of the precedent that it sets that this cannot happen in our country.

Susan Loconsole, a Democrat from Carol Stream, Illinois, who watched as many hearings as possible and said she felt « devastated » by the attack, believes the electoral system has been weakened as a result of the 2020 presidential election.

« I don’t think there’s suddenly more fraud or anything different, » she said. « He’s just one person saying there was and has so many people believing everything he says, that they’ve now taken that as their message. That in itself is the scariest thing in this country.

Americans’ views on the likelihood of a U.S. election being canceled for partisan reasons have held roughly evenly since last summer. Republicans (53% very or somewhat likely) and Democrats (49%) are about equally likely to say an election is likely to be voided, but Republicans are more likely to view such an outcome as » very » likely (21% among Republicans versus 11% among Democrats).

The Alabama poll participant, a retired teacher who backed Trump in 2020, said: ‘I still have my values, so I’m going to vote for the candidate I would normally vote for, but there’s a concern about good candidates who are truly elected being put into office. Transparency, the respondent said, was key. « Make sure the real vote is shown, whether it’s the vote I want or not, it should be the real vote, the real voice of the American people. »

Loconsole, the Illinois Democrat, expressed his belief that the results would be trustworthy. « I will, again, trust the system in the next election, even if it means Republicans taking over. »

And when asked what she thinks about the future of American democracy, Woodward, the Colorado teacher, said, “I’m an optimist. I have to be to wake up and vote and watch the news. I am optimistic that people will do the right thing and that we will find a way to unite, also because I have children and I teach children. I just have to think that good things are on the horizon and we can do it.

The new CNN poll was conducted by SSRS from June 13 to July 13 among a random national sample of 1,459 adults initially contacted by mail, and is the third survey CNN has conducted using this methodology. Surveys were conducted either online or by telephone with a live interviewer. The results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.

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