A new poll of Republican voters suggests that many will not accept the result of the election as legitimate.
In the poll, released today by NBC News/Survey Monkey, when likely Republican voters were asked if they will accept the result of the election, juts 40 percent said they definitely will. But 28 percent said they “probably” will, 18 percent said they are unlikely to, and 13 percent said they definitely will not.
On the other hand, in this same poll, 60 percent of Democrats said they will accept the election result, with only nine percent saying they’re unlikely to do so.
This comes after Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has been suggesting that voter fraud may cost him the election, even though there is no evidence of widespread voter fraud taking place on a level that would come close to affecting the presidential race. It also comes after Trump, in the third presidential debate, refused to commit to conceding the race if Hillary Clinton wins.
“I’ll tell you at the time,” Trump said. “I’ll keep you in suspense.”
At a rally the next morning, Trump said that he would accept the results of the election if they are “clear,” though it was not immediately apparent what Trump’s definition of “clear” is. In addition to those voter fraud claims, he has also cited media bias, and the fact that Hillary Clinton should not be allowed to run, as examples of the race being rigged against him, so he could theoretically not concede for those two reasons even if there’s no evidence of fraud.
On the other hand, another recent poll shows that most voters want the loser to concede. In a new Politico poll released on Friday, 68 percent of voters said whoever loses the race should accept the results and concede, although this was a poll of all voters and not just Republicans. Among voters who consider themselves members of the Tea Party, 53 percent said the loser of the election should accept the result. Among those who identify as conservatives, 56 percent said the loser should concede. And among Trump supporters, just 24 percent told Politico that they want Donald Trump to challenge the results if Hillary Clinton wins.
It does seem, though, that Trump’s misinformation about voter fraud has taken effect in the electorate, as in that Politico poll, nearly half the country – 46 percent – believes widespread voter fraud will take place in the November election.