The people not prioritizing democracy are mostly Republican. There’s nothing shocking about it
The New York Times ran a headline earlier this week claiming, “Voters see democracy in peril, but saving it isn’t a priority.”
Sure, our democracy is going down the tubes, but who cares? What a depressing thought. Except the polling didn’t seem to actually back up the assertion.
The Times/Siena survey had asked respondents whether they would be open to voting for a candidate who agreed with them on most issues but also said they thought the 2020 election was stolen.
Overall, 60% of registered voters said, no, they likely wouldn’t be open to voting for an election denier. Any guesses about partisan preferences?
Predictably, the vast majority of Democrats weren’t open to it (83%), a solid majority of independents said no (60%), and the vast majority of Republicans were just fine with it (71%).
That’s because poll after poll has found that roughly 60%-70% of Republicans don’t believe Joe Biden was legitimately elected president. In other words, a substantial majority of Republicans are election deniers themselves. So why in the world would they object to voting for one of their own?
Perhaps it’s surprising that some 37% of self-identified independents would be open to casting ballots for election deniers, but most of them are likely GOP leaners anyway, even if they don’t identify as such. And the 12% of Democrats—that’s a tiny sliver.
Perhaps the Times headline was based on the survey’s finding that 71% voters said democracy was in peril—but only 7% tagged it as the country’s most important issue.
Daily Kos/Civiqs polling released this week found that fair elections/democracy was among voters’ top four issues—it just wasn’t the single most important issue to any single partisan group. In other words, voters of every party prioritized at least one of the other top four issues above it.
Voters do care about democracy. In fact, it appears to be a motivating issue for many voters, even if they don’t consider it the most decisive issue.
But the fact that a bunch of Republican voters are open to voting for election deniers isn’t exactly news.