“Polls show majority of Republicans mistakenly think the 2020 election wasn’t legitimate”

Harry Enten for CNN:

Following every election from 2004 to 2016, the Pew Research Center queried voters on whether they were confident that the votes around the country were counted accurately.

The voters for the losing candidate in those elections had a lot more faith than Trump voters had in the results of the 2020 election. In every election from 2004 to 2016, between 8% and 14% of the voters of the losing candidate said they had no confidence at all that the election was legitimate. In 2016, just 11% of Hillary Clinton voters were not at all confident.

This means Republicans are somewhere between 40 points and 50 points more likely this time around to say they had no confidence in the results than the backers of any losing candidate in recent times.

The big difference this time around is that the losing candidate openly cast doubt on the results over and over again.

Republicans’ doubts come despite a clear margin for Biden in the swing states that made the difference. Trump would have had to have won at least three states he lost by more than 10,000 votes (one he lost by more than 20,000) to merely keep Biden from reaching 270 electoral votes.

Trump’s margins over Clinton in the pivotal swing states were similar to Biden’s over Trump’s in terms of percentage points, but Clinton voters didn’t have anywhere near the same doubt of the results.

Trump’s false allegations have certainly shifted the way Republicans think about who should be able to vote. Last month, Pew asked Americans whether citizens should prove they really want to vote by registering ahead of time or whether everything should be done to make it easy for every citizen to vote.

Today, a mere 28% of Republicans say everything should be done to make it easy for citizens to vote. That compares with 71% who say citizens should have to prove they really want to vote.

Back in 2018 (before Trump lost), the split was far closer at 48% of Republicans who believed voting should be made easy as easy as possible to 51% who thought voters should have to prove it.

(Democrats, by comparison, have barely moved on the question with 85% arguing voting should be made as easy as possible. That was 84% in 2018.)

The only thing that has really changed between 2018 and 2021 was the 2020 election.

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