CBS News poll: Americans see politicized election system in U.S.
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This is part of an ongoing look at views on democracy in America.
Many Americans believe politics has entered into the nation’s vote-counting process, with potentially big ramifications for the next election: they think that it is at least somewhat likely that some state or county officials will refuse to certify election results because of political reasons.
And politics has surely entered the realm of public opinion about the voting and election process, as different parties see different problems. Democrats tend to see problems with access, while Republicans overwhelmingly see fraud.
On that point, the echoes of the last contest linger: Republicans not only continue to doubt the 2020 results, but are rather pointed about where they believe problems lie. For them, it’s not so much in rural and Republican areas, but more in Democratic areas and urban ones.
Despite that, there is majority confidence in the U.S. vote-counting system which, like many institutions, has come under political fire in recent years. Perhaps because of this, there is not overwhelming confidence.
Six in 10 Americans think both the politicization of election rules and attempts to overturn official election results are major problems with the U.S. election and voting system.
But while Democrats and Republicans agree politicization is a major problem, they agree on little else.
Democrats overwhelmingly see problems in attempts to overturn election results and then access-related items, namely, eligible voters being prevented from voting and people trying to intimidate both voters and poll workers, as well as a shortage of places to vote.
It’s quite the opposite for most Republicans, however, who see major problems arising from ineligible voters casting ballots, and then a failure to count votes properly.
A majority of Americans continue to think there was either no voter fraud in the 2020 election or that it was limited to a few isolated incidents. But many Republicans, specifically, are very different on this: six in 10 Republicans continue to think there was widespread fraud and irregularities in 2020.
And seven in 10 Republicans continue to say they don’t consider President Biden the legitimate winner of the 2020 presidential election, which we’ve seen in polling consistently since that election, and since former President Donald Trump began casting doubt on it.
Most who do think there was widespread fraud — more than half of whom are Republicans — think a lot of it occurred in Democratic areas rather than Republican areas, and they think it happened in major cities and urban areas, rather than suburban or rural areas.
Through all of this, Americans do voice some confidence — but not an overwhelming amount — in their own state’s ability to fairly count votes.
This CBS News/YouGov survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 2,085 U.S. adult residents interviewed between August 29-31, 2022. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the U.S. Census American Community Survey and Current Population Survey, as well as to 2020 presidential vote. The margin of error is ±2.6 points.