New Poll Raises Concerns About Election Denial, Is American Democracy In Trouble?

In a recent poll conducted by Yahoo News/YouGov Poll, it was found that less than half of American voters support the idea of candidates having to “commit in advance to accepting the results” of the midterm elections.

Where's the Democracy?

The poll, which consisted of 1,566 adults in the United States, found that 19% of Americans think candidates should not commit in advance to accepting results and that 35% are unsure. The poll has raised concerns because voters seem to be turning away from the ideology of democracy, which requires individuals in both parties to agree to respect the outcome of future elections, regardless of the outcome.

Among voters who cast their ballots for Trump in the last presidential election, only 33% say that candidates should agree in advance to accept results in the midterms this November.

These numbers suggest that around half of the country would be considered to be at least open-minded to rejecting election results.

When Americans were asked point-blank if the candidate with fewer votes should concede the election this fall, only 55% answered yes. More than one in five Americans say, “The candidate with fewer votes should continue to challenge the election if they believe it was wrongly decided.” 23% say they are unsure.

23% of Americans say that more candidates should challenge elections like Donald Trump. This opens up the conversation about what types of election challenges will be considered legitimate. The most popular choice seems to be demanding a recount. 62% of adults believe that this is the best course of action should an election need to be challenged.

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Election Denial

The poll also looked into the concept of election denial. Although the considerable influence that Donald Trump had seems to have shrunk, a large majority of his supporters who participated in the survey still say they are skeptical about the integrity of U.S. elections.

The poll tested Americans' attitudes towards election denial using a range of questions. The results showed that 20-25% of Americans-a majority of them Trump supporters-are deeply skeptical of the legitimacy of the elections. 20-30% say they aren't sure what to think.

Many of the participants said they support calls for vote recounts. The report notes that “presented with an array of choices. By far the largest number of U.S. adults (62%) say that ‘demanding a recount' — a familiar and widely accepted form of redress — is legitimate. Likewise, 30% say “filing a suit” in court is also legitimate.”

The report also emphasizes what it describes to be the most unsettling results of the poll. The report states that “a full 21% of Americans choose at least one of these undemocratic methods as a legitimate means of challenging an election. Among Trump voters, that number rises to 29%, yet even 12% of voters who support President Biden say the same — underscoring how an election denial ‘arms race' could escalate once neither side trusts the other to play by the rules.”

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