Just 60% of Voters Think Biden Win Is Legitimate

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris arrive at an event to introduce their nominees and appointees to economic policy posts at The Queen theater, Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

(CN) — More than a month after former Vice President Joe Biden claimed victory in the 2020 presidential race, a new poll indicates a third of Americans — including 70% of Republicans — believe his win was illegitimate.

As President-elect Biden prepares to take office Jan. 20 after successfully unseating President Donald Trump, a poll released Thursday by Quinnipiac University reveals a sizeable chunk of voters do not trust the legitimacy of the election. While 60% of registered voters say they believe Biden’s win was fair and lawful, 34% do not.

The poll finds partisanship may be partly to blame: While an overwhelming 98% of Democrats believe that Biden’s win was legitimate, only around 30% of Republicans say the same. Though not as much as Democrats, independents are more likely to trust in the validity of Biden’s win, with 62% saying they think the former VP’s win was fair and 30% saying otherwise.

The numbers become a little more split when voters were asked if they believe widespread voter fraud occurred during the 2020 election. More than half (58%) say they do not think such fraud actually happened, though 77% of GOP voters say voter fraud was rampant.

Tim Malloy, Quinnipiac University polling analyst, said Thursday’s numbers fall largely in line with the recent rhetoric coming from Republicans on Capitol Hill.

“Was the election on the level? ‘No way,’ say the vast majority of Republicans,” Malloy said with the release of the poll. “The dearth of Republicans in the House and Senate willing to acknowledge the Biden win is in step with their base.”

Thursday’s poll comes after a nearly a month of baseless claims being leveled against Biden seeking to challenge his 2020 victory. A number of those claims have come from Trump himself, who has refused to openly concede to the President-elect and has instead raised dozens of legal challenges in states across the county looking to overturn the results — efforts that have almost entirely failed in court.  

As Americans gear up for a new occupant in the White House, Thursday’s poll reports that most Americans feel excited about the next four years under a Biden administration. Just over half (56%) of voters say they are feeling largely optimistic about the next four years and believe that Biden will do better job as president when it comes to uniting the county.

But 37% say they feel pretty pessimistic about what the next four years will hold and 39% say think Biden will only divide the country further.

Many Americans are also already looking toward what kind of actions the president-elect should take once he assumes office. Just over 60% of Americans say Biden should urge states to enact mask mandates while 56% say Biden should take steps to rejoin the Paris Agreement, a pact of nearly every nation in the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and keep global warming to 3.6 degrees above of preindustrial averages or less.

Regarding how voters gauge the job performance of the current president, the numbers are essentially static as they have been for the last four years. While Trump enjoys a slight majority of voters who trust in his handling of the economy, less than half of Americans say they think he has done a good job managing foreign policy and the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

With Trump’s time in office nearly up, voters were also asked to rate his overall performance as commander-in-chief. According to the poll, 28% of Americans say they believe he was a great leader and 19% rate him as good. Just over 10% say they think he was not good while 40% say he was an outright bad president.

Thursday’s nationwide poll of 978 self-identified registered voters contained a 3.1% margin of error.

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