What The Midterms Mean For America

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

Republicans who voted on Tuesday are casting their ballot in an election system they don’t trust if the result is a GOP loss.

Doubt in the nation’s election system has rarely been higher among one party. But the wariness about the accuracy of election results among GOP voters has recently increased primarily because of former President Donald Trump’s relentless and unfounded claims that 2020s election results were inaccurate.

Trump’s persistence in that claim has resulted in the majority of Republicans lacking faith in the vote count, according to recent polls.

A GOP victory in the midterms could change that perception, restoring the party’s faith that elections are fair.

Yet that possibility is put into jeopardy when you consider that recent history hasn’t seen as many candidates — from the presidential ticket down — unwilling to accept defeat should they lose.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s political science professor, Marc Hetherington, noted that: “Two-thirds of Republicans think the last election was stolen.”
Hetherington added that if that is the view they hold about the last election, confidence during the midterms would likely be lower.

The flip in Republicans trusting their votes would be counted to carrying a deep-seated distrust in the system has been relatively quick.

In 2006, during then-President George W. Bush’s second term, 92 percent of Republicans believed their votes would be counted, according to polling by Gallup.

By 2008, following Barack Obama’s presidential victory, GOP confidence in the electoral system plummeted. In 2016, that confidence was even lower, as Trump — on the backfoot of his opponent, Hillary Clinton — theorized the elections could be rigged against him.