Will America’s elections in November be fair and free of fraud? Unfortunately, nearly a third of all Americans believe the answer is “no,” the latest monthly I&I/TIPP Poll found, suggesting that the November mid-term congressional elections could be among the most closely scrutinized in recent history.
The May poll asked 1,320 Americans, “Generally speaking, how confident are you that votes will be cast and counted accurately in the November elections?”
Among those responding, 61% said they were either “very confident” (36%) or “somewhat confident” (25%).
On the other hand, 31% said they were “not confident, with 20% saying they were “not very confident” and 11% saying they were “not at all confident.”
Put another way, nearly one out of three voters believe our coming mid-term elections will not be fair, a perhaps disappointing result in a country that has long prided itself on having clean, transparent and honest elections.
And there is the usual sharp split between Republicans and Democrats, who based on polling results increasingly appear to live in two separate Americas.
Democrats overwhelmingly believe our elections are above-board and fair. By 86% to 9%, Dems felt their votes would be cast and counted accurately in the upcoming election.
A majority of Republicans felt the opposite: Just 43% felt their votes would be fairly counted, versus 52% who said they wouldn’t.
Most independents agreed with the Democrats, but the margin was much smaller: 53% to 39%.
But, in breaking down the data further, they were far closer to the Republicans than the Democrats in saying they were “not very confident” in the upcoming election’s fairness. Just 7% of Democrats said they weren’t very confident, compared to 32% of GOP members and 25% of independents.
The poll then asked a follow-up question about the previous presidential election: “Generally speaking, how confident are you that votes were cast and counted accurately in the 2020 Presidential elections?”
There has been a spirited and at times acrimonious debate over the last two years over how the 2020 election was conducted.
By 58% to 34%, Americans said they were “confident” that the results were fair, with just 7% saying they weren’t sure.
Given the bitterness of recent debate, the political breakdown of responses should surprise no one: 88% of Democrats believe votes during the 2020 election were “cast and counted accurately,” versus just 7% who said they weren’t.
Both Republicans and independents showed far more skepticism. Only 32% of Republicans said they felt the election was clean, while 65% said it wasn’t.
Meanwhile, independents came in at 54% to 40%, showing that two of five independent voters think election shenanigans marred the 2020 vote, a significant share of the voting public when the Republican tally is added in.
With such polarized views of how our elections are conducted, the upcoming 2022 mid-term election campaign could once again turn highly angry and partisan, as it did in 2020’s presidential vote.
The debate has already kicked off, with the release of conservative filmmaker and commentator Dinesh D’Souza’s documentary “2000 Mules.” That film purports to show “widespread, coordinated voter fraud in the 2020 election, sufficient to change the overall outcome.”
Last week, the film’s executive producers, Salem Media Group, claimed it has already become “the most successful political documentary in a decade,” with more than one million viewers in less than 12 hours on Rumble, a video streaming service. The film grossed more than $10 million in its first 10 days of release.
So the 2022 election season has already opened with a bang.
Meanwhile, Democrats seek to reverse a spate of dismal political polls that show them losing ground to Republicans amid soaring inflation, ongoing damage from COVID lockdowns, supply-chain disruptions, public school failures, and surging gasoline prices.
As the I&I/TIPP Poll shows, Democrats strongly reject GOP claims of voter fraud. Instead, they’ll focus on the leak of an upcoming Roe v Wade decision that appears to overturn the Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 ruling that created a constitutional right to abortion.
That decision, if handed down as expected this summer, could be a game-changer, Democrats and their media supporters hope, by energizing their progressive base. In the words of a recent USA Today headline: “It’s time for Democrats to use the leaked Roe opinion as a battering ram against the GOP.”
A movement in Congress is already afoot to eliminate the filibuster, which would let the Democrats pursue a controversial agenda that includes expansion of abortion rights, more climate change restrictions on energy, universal pre-K, and sharp limits on Americans’ Second Amendment rights, among other policies.
“They are investing millions of dollars to meddle in Republican primaries for governor, attempting to elevate their preferred competitors in November or weaken their biggest threats,” NBC wrote.
Buckle up. Both Republicans and Democrats are fully loaded and primed to fight in 2022.
Each month, I&I/TIPP publishes timely and informative data from our polls on this topic and others of interest. TIPP has earned a reputation for excellence by being the most accurate pollster for the past five presidential elections.
Terry Jones is an editor of Issues & Insights. His four decades of journalism experience include serving as national issues editor, economics editor, and editorial page editor for Investor’s Business Daily.