The share of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents who believe that President Joe Biden’s 2020 election win was not legitimate has ticked back up, according to a new CNN poll fielded throughout July. All told, 69% of Republicans and Republican-leaners say Biden’s win was not legitimate, up from 63% earlier this year and through last fall, even as there is no evidence of election fraud that would have altered the outcome of the contest.
The new poll, conducted in the run-up to former President Donald Trump’s indictment on Tuesday over efforts to overturn the 2020 election, suggests the share of election deniers among his partisans has climbed to a level last seen before hearings held last year by the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack. In January of 2022, 67% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said they thought Biden’s win was not legitimate; that had been as high as 72% in CNN polling in the summer of 2021.
Among Republican-aligned adults, the share who believe there is solid evidence proving the election was not legitimate stands at 39%, while 30% say it is merely their suspicion that Biden did not win legitimately, and 29% say Biden’s election was legitimate. The 39% of Republicans and Republican-leaners saying that Biden’s win was not legitimate and that there is evidence for it is not much changed from May, when 36% said the same, and it is well below the high point for that belief, which was 54% shortly after the attack on the US Capitol in January 2021.
Overall, 61% of Americans say Biden did legitimately win enough votes to win the presidency, and 38% believe that he did not. Among registered voters who say they cast a ballot for Trump in 2020, 75% say they have doubts about Biden’s legitimacy.
But those who supported Trump in 2020 are actually less likely than those who backed Biden to say that a shared view on that year’s election is a must for them to support candidates for federal office next year. Overall, 30% of Americans say they would only vote for a candidate who shares their view on the 2020 election, 49% would consider it just one of many important factors, and 20% say it wouldn’t be a major issue for them. Those who say they voted for Biden in 2020 are more likely to see it as an essential shared view (48%) than are those who voted for Trump (20%).
About half of Americans continue to feel that it is at least somewhat likely that elected officials will successfully overturn the results of a US election if their party does not win (50%). That view has been fairly stable since CNN began polling on the question in summer 2021. There has been an uptick in the share of political independents who feel that it’s at least somewhat likely, though, from 42% who felt that way last summer to 53% now.
And most Americans lack confidence that elections in the US today reflect the will of the people. Overall, 58% say they are just a little or not at all confident that elections reflect the public’s will, while 42% say they are at least somewhat confident they do. Only 13% are “very confident” that elections reflect the will of the people, the lowest share to say so in CNN polling since 2021. That deep confidence has declined somewhat among Democrats (from 26% last year to 21% now), and about half of Republicans say they have no confidence at all (48%), similar to last year.
Biden’s approval rating for protecting democracy in the US has dipped into negative territory: 44% approve and 55% disapprove. That stood at a near even 50% approve to 49% disapprove in December. That shift has come fairly evenly across party lines, and in the new poll, 84% for Democrats, 42% of independents and 7% of Republicans approve of his handling of the issue.
Thursday, August 3, 2023
In the ongoing battle between Walt Disney World and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Disney’s governing district – whose current board was hand-picked by DeSantis and took control of the district in February – abolished all of its diversity, equity and inclusion programs, the district said in a Tuesday news release.
The statement from the Central Florida Tourism Oversight District cited an internal investigation into the Reedy Creek Improvement District’s policies, claiming the district “implemented hiring and contracting programs that discriminated against Americans based on gender and race, costing taxpayers millions of dollars.”
“The so-called diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives were advanced during the tenure of the previous board and they were illegal and simply un-American,” district administrator Glenton Gilzean said. “Our district will no longer participate in any attempt to divide us by race or advance the notion that we are not created equal.”
CFTOD will dissolve the district’s DEI committee and eliminate any job duties relating to DEI. District employees will also be prohibited from using staff time to pursue DEI initiatives, the statement said. However, this change affects only the government and not the companies that operate inside the district (i.e. Disney) and would seem to eliminate contracting protocols that in the past gave special consideration of women and minority owned businesses during the procurement processes.
According to the new oversight district, Reedy Creek “wasted taxpayer dollars” by entering into contracts based on race- and gender-driven goals and “aggressively” monitoring contractors’ race and gender practices under its Minority/Women Business Enterprise and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise programs. CFTOD said it estimates the previous district spent millions of dollars finding businesses who helped meet these DEI quotas.
Four district attorneys filed a legal challenge to block a Georgia law championed by Gov. Brian Kemp that gives the state new powers to punish local prosecutors who don’t enforce tough-on-crime crackdowns.
The lawsuit filed Wednesday challenges one of Kemp’s signature achievements this year — a Prosecuting Attorneys Qualifications Commission to sanction “rogue prosecutors” accused of neglecting their duties.
The opponents of the law, which took effect in July, say it’s a power grab that threatens the independence of the judiciary, infringes on free speech rights and forces prosecutors to hide their stances from voters.
They framed the urgent GOP drive for the measure as backlash against district attorneys who promised not to charge low-level drug offenders, enforce the state’s anti-abortion law or take “punitive approaches” to criminal justice.
“From the moment they started drafting this legislation it was clear to me they had crossed constitutional lines,” DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston said in an interview.
“It’s of vital importance for district attorneys to have both independence and discretion,” Boston said. “This commission attacks our abilities as the ministers of justice to do that.”
Boston is among four district attorneys who brought the lawsuit, which was filed in Fulton County Superior Court. The others are Jonathan Adams, the top prosecutor in Butts, Lamar and Monroe counties; Cobb County District Attorney Flynn Broady; and Augusta District Attorney Jared Williams.
While the legislation passed along party lines — the sole Democrat to vote for the law has since switched to the GOP — the complaint shows the new commission remains divisive in the legal community. Adams is among several Republican prosecutors who have raised concerns about the law.
It’s one of a spate of measures Republicans adopted after a midterm campaign that focused on public safety, a theme Kemp reinforced when he declared that “far-left prosecutors are making our communities less safe” as he signed the law in May.
“Georgians in every community deserve to be safe,” Kemp, flanked by law enforcement officers, said at the ceremony. “Brave men and women in uniform are doing their part. District attorneys and prosecutors need to do theirs as well.”
Understand that I expect this "independent commission" will be used against Willis, with intent of removing her from office for bringing any charges against Trump in the state.
So yes, seeing this coming from a Georgia country mile away, her fellow DAs, some Republican, some Democratic, brought a lawsuit.
We'll see where all this goes, but keep this in the back of your mind if/when Willis brings charges as many observers expect.