Politics

Chilling New Poll Shows Republicans Are More Conspiracy-Crazed Than Ever | News Fission

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GOP loyalty to Donald Trump is morphing into total blinders to the former president’s violent politics.

A new Washington Post-University of Maryland poll illustrates that Republicans are now, more than ever, more likely to believe baseless conspiracy theories that the 2020 election was stolen from their front-runner, that January 6 rioters were not violent, and that the insurrection was instigated by law enforcement. The results are the latest follow-up to another round of GOP interviews conducted by The Washington Post in December 2021.

“From a historical perspective, these results would be chilling to many analysts,” Michael J. Hanmer, director of the Center for Democracy and Civic Engagement at the University of Maryland, told the Post.

Americans of every political demographic seemingly have more doubts about President Joe Biden’s legitimate ascent to the White House. According to the poll, just 62 percent of Americans, including Democrats and independents, believe the 2020 election was legitimate—down from 69 percent in 2021. Republican belief dropped the most, though, falling by eight points in the last three years to just 31 percent in the most recent survey.

“There were so many people that felt the election was rigged. It was not right for them to break in like that, but they were fed up and frustrated and they were whipped into a frenzy by the FBI and others,” said Colleen Michaels, 59, of Woodsfield, Ohio, who told the Post that she would have attended Trump’s protest at the U.S. Capitol herself if not for a medical emergency.

In defending their turned perspectives, interviewed Republicans cited debunked claims of voter fraud in Georgia, pointing toward a video of election workers allegedly placing fake ballots into the tally. That same claim, advertised by Rudy Giuliani, recently earned the Trump fixer a $148 million judgment for defamation.

And while the majority of Americans believe that the events of January 6 threatened U.S. democracy, Republicans seem to feel otherwise, differing wildly from their recorded opinions in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

More than seven in 10 Republicans say the attack has been overinflated and feel it is “time to move on,” reported the Post. Republicans seem to believe less and less that the attack was violent, with 18 percent believing the rioters were “mostly violent,” a statistic that has dropped from 26 percent in 2021. That’s compared to 77 percent of Democrats and 54 percent of independents who also reported that the attempted insurrectionists were violent.

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