New Monmouth Poll Finds Persistent Partisan Divide on Elections, VBM

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A new Monmouth University poll finds that the partisan divide over elections – and especially vote-by-mail – persists with Election Day less than twelve weeks away. Here’s the relevant part of the release:

American voters are simultaneously confident and concerned about the integrity of the upcoming election. While many Democrats are worried about Russian meddling, Republicans think the Democratic Party will be responsible for any election interference…

[J]ust over 6 in 10 voters say they are confident – 21% very and 42% somewhat – that the November election will be conducted fairly and accurately. This includes majorities of Democrats (68%), Republicans (65%), and independents (57%) alike. Another 24% are not too confident and 12% are not at all confident in the how the fall election will be conducted.

A substantial majority of voters say they are concerned about election interference, but the two parties have very different views on who might be behind it:

At the same time most voters feel at least somewhat confident in how the election will be run, nearly 3 in 4 say they are concerned about the possibility that election meddling could undermine the integrity of the results (37% very concerned and 35% somewhat concerned). Concern over potential election meddling includes large majorities of Democrats (78%), Republicans (66%), and independents (70%). Overall, 39% of American voters express both confidence and concern in how the upcoming election will be run. Democrats (47%) are more likely than Republicans (36%) and independents (33%) to feel this way.

While majorities of all partisan groups are concerned about potential election meddling, they differ over the expected causes. A sizable number of Democratic voters who are worried about possible election meddling believe a foreign power will be involved, with 40% pointing the finger at Russia while 9% name China and 4% name another country. Far fewer Republicans, though, expect election interference from outside our borders (12% China, 6% Russia, and 3% another country).

A significant number of Democrats also expect that Trump (31%) along with the Republican Party (16%) will play a role in possible election meddling. Government election officials (5%), as well as the Post Office (2%), are also mentioned by concerned Democrats as potential culprits. A majority (55%) of GOP voters, on the other hand, believe the Democratic Party would be the most likely perpetrator of any election interference. Another possible cause named by Republicans is vote-by-mail (11%). Also, 4% of Republicans name Biden, 2% name Trump, 2% name the Republican Party, and 2% cite the media as potential sources of election meddling.

“The U.S. intelligence community has been unambiguous in calling out Russia, and to a lesser extent China, for both past and planned election interference. However, the Trump camp has been fairly successful in deflecting their supporters away from these actors and instead focusing on Democratic efforts to expand voting access,” said [Monmouth polling director Patrick] Murray.

That same partisan split persists on the issue of vote-by-mail:

A majority (58%) of American voters think it is a good idea to make it easier to cast ballots by mail this year. Another 37% say this is a bad idea. Nearly all Democrats (90%) say expanding vote-by-mail is a good idea but few Republicans (20%) agree. Six in ten (60%) independents say it is a good idea. Nearly half of all voters report they are either very (32%) or somewhat (17%) likely to cast their own general election ballot by mail. This includes 72% of Democrats and 48% of independents, but just 22% of Republicans.

This poll just confirms that issues of election administration are now just as polarized along party lines as virtually every other issue. How the election community, which is steadfastly non-partisan, manages these voter attitudes while still attempting to conduct a presidential election in the face of a global pandemic is worth watching with Election Day just 83 days away. Stay tuned …

5 Comments on "New Monmouth Poll Finds Persistent Partisan Divide on Elections, VBM"

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