Poll: Republicans more jaded than Democrats on future of democracy 

by Jacob Fuller

Willie R. Tubbs, FISM News


Perhaps unsurprisingly, Republican voters appear to be more concerned than their leftist counterparts about the safety of American democracy.

A recent poll from the Associated Press National Opinion Research Center (AP NORC) suggests a massive spike in conservative pessimism about the American electoral system.

Sixty-eight percent of Republican respondents to the poll said they felt democracy was working not well or not too well. For context, just 32% of respondents to a similar poll conducted two years ago shared such an opinion. Forty-nine percent of independent and 40% of Democrat respondents indicated equally pessimistic views.

Only 9% of respondents, inclusive of all political persuasions, said they viewed democracy as working well, and only 47% of all respondents expressed a great deal of faith that the votes in the next election will be counted correctly, a number boosted by a 74% favorable response from Democrats. Just 25% of Republican respondents expressed such faith in the coming tally.

“Despite partisan differences when it comes to vote counting and the state of democracy in the United States, Republicans and Democrats both have negative outlooks about the way leaders are chosen under our political system,” a report from AP NORC reads.

In a strange irony, Democrats and Republicans agree that democracy is under threat and, in a different poll, that the 2022 midterm will have serious implications for the nation. Concurrently, members of each party are utterly split on why democracy is in danger.

It doesn’t take a learned political scientist to deduce what is driving the split. A large swath of Republicans, led by former President Donald Trump, believe the 2020 presidential election was rigged and Democrats, led by President Joe Biden, believe Republicans are bent on overthrowing democracy.

One need not look far to find Trump restating his assertion.

Thursday, in his official endorsement for Nick Langworthy in the race for New York’s 23rd Congressional District, Trump wrote Langworthy was “a great person who has fought Democrat Election Fraud.” That ranks as one of the former president’s tamer articulations of the point.

Earlier this week, he wrote a scathing response to the Jan. 6 committee that was far more robust.

But Trump is but one half of the equation. Biden and his orbiters cast every Republican redistricting effort as inherently racist and every conservative-led election reform effort as an affront to democracy.

“MAGA Republicans … refuse to accept the results of the 2020 election and the will of the people,” Biden said during a late-September speech. He added, “Even though they lost — they lost court case after court case after court case after court case after court case, even in front of Trump-appointed judges. And recount after recount proved the results were accurate. It’s become a litmus test in their party to pledge loyalty to Donald Trump by buying into the Big Lie.”

In March 2021, Biden signed an executive order he said was meant to maintain free and fair elections and widely expand voting opportunities, but Republicans continue to insist the order was a ruse designed to give Democrats undue influence in future elections.

“It’s difficult to see how this is anything but a grotesque insult to election integrity, on top of being unconstitutional,” Texas Attorney General Paxton, part of a coalition that wrote to Biden earlier this month demanding he rescind the order, said in a statement. “The Constitution explicitly grants the power of election oversight to state legislatures. Allowing political appointees at federal agencies to use taxpayer dollars to influence election efforts runs afoul of our election laws, basic fairness, and the desperate need for election security.”

The AP NORC poll contains one more stat that is perhaps the most beneficial in understanding the current American moment. Republican and Democrat respondents generally feel their own party is trustworthy when it comes to managing voting laws. Yet, while 64% of Republicans trust the right and 74% of Democrats trust the left, more than half of independents, 57%, trust neither.