Most in the United States have accepted that Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election last month, securing 306 Electoral College votes and defeating incumbent President Donald Trump by more than 7 million votes.
However, a sizable number of Republican voters are not yet willing to make that concession.
According to a recent NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll, conducted during the first week of December, 61 percent of Americans overall say they can trust the outcome of the presidential race. Just 34 percent say they cannot trust that the outcome was legitimate.
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Most of those who are skeptical are Republicans. The poll found that only 24 percent of GOP voters felt the election’s outcome was trustworthy, while a whopping 72 percent — nearly 3 in 4 Republicans — said they didn’t trust the results.
A similar pattern is noticeable in the poll’s question about whether Trump should concede that he lost, something he hasn’t yet done and may, in fact, never end up doing. Just 29 percent of voters overall say he shouldn’t concede, while 65 percent say he should.
Again, Republicans go against the grain on this question. While 75 percent of independents and 93 percent of Democratic-leaning voters say he should concede, only 31 percent of Republicans think Trump should accept defeat, while 62 percent say he should hold out and continue to dispute the outcome of the presidential race.
There is no reason for Trump-supporting voters to believe that the election’s outcome is illegitimate — no proof of any kind provided by the president or his allies has shown that the election was “rigged” or that widespread fraud of any kind altered the election’s results.
This point is highlighted by the fact that Trump and his allies have failed to win a single significant court case so far where they’ve brought up such errant claims of fraud. In fact, as of Wednesday, Trump and others supporting his cause to overturn the election results have lost 51 post-election lawsuits. In only one instance has a judge ruled in favor of Trump — a minor case that did not result in any reversal in outcome.
In spite of the lack of evidence supporting the president’s false claims of fraud, Trump’s backers have fervently insisted that fraud did indeed occur — sometimes doing so in ways deemed as violent. Trump supporters have, in multiple instances, resorted to violent rhetoric and threats against officials who have truthfully said fraud wasn’t an issue in the presidential race.
Armed individuals surrounded Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s home over the weekend, for instance, shouting obscenities toward her and her family while making demands for her to overturn the presidential election outcome in her state.
In Arizona, the Twitter account for the Republican Party of Arizona shared a tweet from an ardent Trump supporter who said they themselves were willing to give their life “for this fight” to help Trump stay president.
And in Wisconsin, Ann Jacobs, chair of the state’s Elections Commission, expressed alarm that “people on Twitter have posted photographs of my house.” Jacobs also noted that she has received direct threats, including one that mentioned her children and said “quite a crowd of patriots” would be showing up at her door in the near future.
“Someone is going to get hurt. Someone is going to get shot. Someone’s going to get killed,” Gabriel Sterling, the voting system implementation manager for the state of Georgia, said last week after a member of his staff was threatened with violence. “And it’s not right. It’s not right.”