Corrections & clarifications: This story has been updated to correct the poll’s name as a Reuters/Ipsos poll.
WASHINGTON – One-fourth of the country says Donald Trump is the “true president” of the United States, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll.
More than six months after the 2020 election and four months after Joe Biden’s victory was confirmed by Congress, 25% of Americans surveyed, including 53% of Republicans, say Trump is still the “true president,” a finding in line with polls showing that a significant portion of the USA does not accept the legitimacy of the presidential election.
The poll surveyed 2,007 Americans, including 909 Democrats and 754 Republicans, in an online sampling from May 17-19. The poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 4 percentage points. Ipsos relied on its own online panel for responses, while soliciting responses in online ads through a process known as “river” sampling. Such methods are not as rigorous as traditional polling methods.
According to the poll, 32% of Americans agree with the statement that the U.S. Capitol riot Jan. 6 “was led by violent left-wing protestors trying to make Trump look bad,” including 55% of Republicans, 24% of independents and 16% of Democrats.
There is no evidence that left-wing activists contributed to the violence at the Capitol. Investigations from federal law enforcement, the judicial system and news media found that the majority of rioters were pro-Trump agitators who said they were spurred on by the president’s comments denouncing his election loss.
Views on U.S. Capitol riot, voter fraud allegations
Fifty-eight percent of those polled by Ipsos agree Trump was at least partly responsible for that violence. Democrats and independents are more likely than Republicans to blame Trump for the riot; 65% of GOP members disagree.
The poll found that 55% of Americans say they believe the election was entirely “legitimate and accurate.” Confidence levels break along partisan lines: 86% of Democrats say the election was conducted fairly and accurately versus 53% of independents and 25% of Republicans.
The poll found that 20% of those surveyed say they do not know whether the election was legitimate or fraudulent.
Anyone can fall for ‘fake news’:The psychology of conspiracy theories
In the run-up to and since the election Nov. 3, Trump repeatedly spread conspiracy theories about voting, including that there was widespread fraud that affected the outcome of the race.
The Reuters/Ipsos poll found that 30% of those surveyed agree the 2020 election “was stolen from Donald Trump.” Overall, 57% disagree, and 48% strongly disagree with the sentiment. Partisan divides are again evident: 61% of Republicans somewhat or strongly agree that the election was stolen from Trump.
The poll found concern about election fraud, raising questions of democratic legitimacy in one of the world’s oldest democracies. One-third of the public and more than half of Republicans express concerns about the accuracy of mail-in-voting and absentee ballots in the poll.
The Trump-era Justice Department determined that there were no credible claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election, as did state and federal courts, including the Supreme Court. Independent investigations by news media determined claims of voter fraud are largely based on out-of-context or false information.
In a rare moment of bipartisan consensus, most Democrats, Republicans and independents express concern “that ballots are rejected for silly procedural reasons.”
Republican state lawmakers responded to skepticism of the election among GOP voters by proposing a wave of election security bills that would reduce access to voting. Critics accused lawmakers of voter suppression, pointing out there is no substantial evidence of voter fraud in the 2020 election.
The poll captured concerns among Americans that violence may be on the horizon. Asked what the most significant threat to the safety of the average American is, 42% say “politically or religiously motivated domestic terrorism,” 42% say they fear “random acts of violence” and 17% cite foreign terrorism.
Trump was elated by many of the poll’s findings. “A new Ipsos/Reuters poll ‘Beliefs Among Republicans’ shows 53% believe Donald Trump is the true President (I always knew America was smart!),” reads a statement issued Tuesday morning from the former president’s office.
Follow Matthew Brown online @mrbrownsir.
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