Half of Americans Believe Election Results

Our latest “state-of-play” research yielded key insights about voter attitudes towards election legitimacy, violent public protest, responses to the recent demonstrations at the Capitol, and various ideas for improving American politics. The findings are based on a new IVR/P2P survey fielded January 13-15, 2021 among a representative sample of 3,000 registered voters nationally with a margin of error of + / – 1.7 percent.

Ultimately, the country is divided among Trump/Biden support lines on many issues, including whether or not the 2020 election results were legitimate, support for expanded voting options, decisions around President Trump’s social media accounts, and more. And, when it comes to democracy reform ideas such as supporting third party candidates, ranked choice voting, redistricting, and open primaries, voters are neutral or need to learn more.

Despite deep and clear divisions, there are areas of strong consensus among American voters. For example, respondents largely rejected violence, looting, or rioting, no matter the cause for it (with small but notable numbers supporting violence at least sometimes). Furthermore, there is broad agreement that less money in politics will improve the state of American politics.

Key insights include:

  • Just over half of Americans (54%) believe the 2020 Presidential election results are legitimate. 39% believe that the results are illegitimate, and the matter is largely divided on Trump and Biden supporter lines.
  • Voters are split on the future of expanded voting options. 52% say that they believe vote by mail and early in-person voting should continue in future elections, with 44% not supporting these options, and 4% unsure.
  • Violence, looting, and rioting is broadly rejected. 85% say that violence is “rarely” or “never” justified when it comes to holding those in power accountable.
  • Respondents were split on whether or not those who protested at the U.S. Capitol are representative of Republican voters. They’re also split on whether or not Facebook and Twitter were right to shut down President Trump’s social media accounts. In both cases, results were split down Trump/Biden supporter lines.
  • Americans are neutral toward third party candidates. Nearly half (46%) said that recent events made no difference or they were still undecided when it comes to supporting third party candidates moving forward.
  • Most (70%) think less money in politics will help our country. They’re less sure about easier access to voting and other democracy reforms including redistricting reform, non-partisan primaries, and ranked choice voting, where they’re neutral or need to learn more.
  • There are high levels of concern around inauguration violence. Over 70% believe that Americans should be concerned about violence, looting, or rioting occurring around the inauguration. Biden supporters are much more concerned than Trump supporters.

You can read our full analysis here, and view toplines here.