Trust in Elections Erodes Further in Wake of Capitol Riot; Majority of Republicans Back Trump’s Concession
An ongoing survey research project to gauge how voters are responding to unprecedented electoral conditions
By: Nick Laughlin and Peyton Shelburne | Last Updated: Jan. 12, 2021

 

After months of claiming the election was stolen, vowing to not concede, fighting the results in court, and encouraging his supporters to take action into their own hands, President Donald Trump finally acknowledged on Jan. 7 that a new administration would be inaugurated. The decision to concede was met with support from a majority of Republican voters, according to a new survey from Morning Consult, but Trump’s monthslong campaign against the election results has cratered trust in the democratic process. 

Just 27 percent of GOP voters now say they trust U.S. elections, down from 30 percent in late December and 72 percent in late September. Even fewer Republicans (22 percent) say the 2020 presidential election was free and fair. And a similar share say the same about the recent Georgia Senate elections, despite relatively quick and unqualified concessions from the two Republican candidates — a potential signal that distrusting the validity of unfavorable outcomes is the new default position for much of the right. 

The latest findings are based on a Jan. 8-10 survey of 1,995 registered voters nationwide, and are part of an ongoing research project to gauge the level of trust Americans have in their electoral system. Results will be updated on this page weekly.

 

KEY TAKEAWAYS - 1.12.21

Republican trust in elections drops further: 27 percent of GOP voters say they trust U.S. elections, down from 30 percent in late December and 72 percent in late September.

A majority of Republicans support Trump’s decision to concede: 54 percent of Republicans say they support this decision, while 26 percent do not. Prior polling had shown a similar share of GOP voters wanted Trump to concede eventually if he was unable to back up claims of fraud. 

Just 1 in 5 Republicans say the Georgia Senate elections were free and fair: Despite unqualified concessions from the two Republican candidates, doubts remain among GOP voters: 21 percent say the election was free and fair, 42 percent say it wasn’t, and 37 percent don’t know or don’t have an opinion. 

For a cohort of Republican voters, the 2020 election outcome may discourage participation in future elections: 21 percent of GOP voters say they are less motivated to vote in future elections due to the outcome of 2020, versus just 5 percent of Democrats who say the same. 

Few voters believe the election results will be overturned at this stage: Just 11 percent of voters say it is likely that Joe Biden’s victory will be reversed. Among Republicans, 13 percent say it’s likely the election will be overturned, down from 42 percent in early December.

A majority of Republicans support Trump’s decision to concede
Voters were asked, "As you may know, President Trump conceded the election to Joe Biden, acknowledging that a new administration will begin on January 20th. Do you approve or disapprove of President Trump’s concession?"

Republican trust in elections erodes further in wake of capitol riots
The share of registered voters who say they trust the United States' election system either "a lot" or "some:"

Republicans have lost faith that the election results will be overturned
The share of registered voters who say it is likely the results of the 2020 presidential election will be overturned

Just 22 percent of Republicans say the 2020 election was free and fair
The share of registered voters who say the 2020 presidential election was “probably” or “definitely” free and fair. In pre-election surveys, voters were asked if they expected the election to be free and fair.

Just 1 in 5 Republicans say the Georgia Senate elections were free and fair
Voters were asked, "Based on what you know, do you believe the Georgia Senate run-off between Democrat Raphael Warnock and Republican Kelly Loeffler, and Democrat Jon Ossoff and Republican David Perdue were free and fair elections, or not?"

For a cohort of Republican voters, the 2020 election outcome may discourage participation in future elections
Voters were asked, "Based on the outcome of the 2020 elections, would you say you are:"

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