The latest CNN poll finds that the Big Lie is getting more and more effective as time goes on, and that nearly three-quarters of Republican voters now believe 2022 elections will be fraudulent.
An increasing majority of Americans lack confidence that elections in America today reflected the will of the people, and about half think it likely that a future election in the United States will be overturned for partisan reasons, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS.
In the new poll, 56% of respondents said they have little or no confidence that American elections reflect the will of the people, up from 52% who felt that way in September and 40% in January 2021. Almost three-quarters of Republicans were now skeptical that elections are representative (74%), as were 59% of independents, and only a third of Democrats (32%). The results reflected a significant decline in confidence over the past year among both independents (45% lacked confidence in January 2021) and Democrats (9% felt that way a year ago).
At the same time, there's been a shift in the partisan dynamic driving concerns about the possibility of an overturned future election. While the 50% overall who considered such a prospect at least somewhat likely was similar to the 51% who felt that way in September, Democrats were now more apt to see an overturned election in the future than Republicans. In the new poll, 56% of Democrats saw it as likely vs. 48% of Republicans. In September, 57% of Republicans thought that was likely while just 49% of Democrats agreed.
More broadly, fewer now said that American democracy is under attack than did late last summer (52% now vs. 56% in September), and the share who said the attack on the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, represented a crisis for democracy stood at 28%, down from 36% shortly after the attack last year.
The poll's findings come as the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack has issued new subpoenas to key members of former President Donald Trump's inner circle as it investigates the origins of the attack.
Most Americans saw the January 6 attack on the Capitol as a problem for democracy (28% said it's a crisis, 37% a major problem, and another 20% called it a minor problem), and 54% said not enough has been done to penalize those who rioted at the Capitol.
Republicans in particular, though, have shifted in their views of the attack over the past year. While 15% of Republicans said in January 2021 the storming of the Capitol was not a problem, 27% felt that way now. Likewise, while 38% of Republicans a year ago said enough had been done to penalize rioters, 71% felt that way now.
A plurality of all Americans saw the select committee's work as a fair attempt to determine what happened on January 6 (44%), while about a third saw it as a one-sided effort to blame Trump (36%) and 20% said they hadn't heard enough about it to say. About three-quarters of Democrats (76%) said it was a fair investigation, while two-thirds of Republicans (67%) dubbed it a one-sided effort to blame Trump.
Still, those who said the January 6 attack was a problem for democracy were not very likely to see the select committee's work as a path to helping protect American democracy. Overall, 47% said that the attack was a problem and that the panel's work was unlikely to result in changes that would help protect democracy, while 37% said protective changes were the likely outcome.