Whether because of Fox News or half a decade of being exposed to Donald Trump’s tweets, Republicans seem to inhabit a warped reality. That’s the takeaway from a poll by Ipsos measuring voter attitudes about recent political events. It seems that many Republicans would nod along with Eric Trump’s suggestion that his father is the “most beloved political figure in U.S. history.”
From the poll it appears that GOP supporters have thoroughly imbibed Donald Trump’s disinformation about the last presidential race. Fifty-six percent of Republican respondents attested that they believe the 2020 election was “the result of illegal voting or election rigging.” Years of propaganda about Democratic malfeasance going back to the 2009 hysteria about ACORN have taken their toll. More pungently, 51% of GOP voters say they believe “the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump.”
They seem inclined to keep waving the bloody shirt going forward, too. Asked whether they agree with the statement “former President Donald Trump should NOT run for president again in 2024,” 63% of Republicans state their disagreement. This result dovetails with another recent poll showing that Trump would receive 48% of the primary vote in 2024, light years ahead of his top-performing rival Mike Pence, who barely cracks double digits. If the Orange Autocrat wants to attempt a restoration, he should have no troubled summoning Republicans to his side.
Considering the January 6 riot, Republicans in the Ipsos poll are deep in the fever swamps. Sixty-five percent of Republican voters absolve Donald Trump of any guilt for the disgraceful events at the Capitol. In fact, a near-majority express something close to sympathy for the rioters. When asked whether “the people who gathered at the U.S. Capitol on January 6 were mostly peaceful, law-abiding Americans,” Republicans answer in the affirmative by a margin of 48%-40%. A solid majority, 54%, agree that the riot was a false-flag operation by left-wing radicals out to besmirch the former Preisdent.
Republicans also express troubling attitudes about Americans’ right to vote. The respondents stand in near-unanimity on the question of whether governments should “place new limits on voting to protect elections from fraud.” Consider the wording of that question. Ipsos did not frame these policies as safeguards or regulations or the like. The polling firm explicitly described what Republican governments across the country are attempting to do as “new limits on voting.” Apparently, conservative Americans have not lost their distaste for the long tradition of disenfranchisment in this country.
Some of the results are more comforting, or at least stand in contradiction to the reactionary stances taken by GOP voters earlier in the poll. But in the final analysis, Ipsos’ survey has revealed a party deeply in thrall to conspiracy theories, Trump worship, and anti-democratic sentiment. The disgraced former forty-forth President remains the lode star of Republicanism across the country, and his lies have put down deep roots in the political worldviews of his acolytes. Unless attitudes change, we’re looking at a continually ugly era in American politics.
Alexander Jones is an original contributor to PoliticsNC.