New Poll Finds Majority of Republican Voters Lost Faith in Elections

A majority of Republican voters—67 percent—across the country believe the 2020 presidential election was invalid, according to a new poll by the R Street Institute and the Tyson Group. Seventy-five percent of respondents also oppose alternative voting methods like vote-by-mail and voter drop boxes.

“In the wake of the contentious November 2020 election, it’s more important than ever to defend the principles that underpin our democracy. That starts with understanding voters’ feelings about the legitimacy and administration of the election,” said Jonathan Bydlak, interim director of the R Street Institute’s governance program. “Following Donald Trump’s loss, a significant portion of the electorate, primarily Republican voters, still distrust our election systems.”

From the Tyson Group’s memo:

“President Trump’s rhetoric seems to have had a profound impact on his base’s outlook on the election. Across all regions, our participants by and large opposed alternative voting methods, believed that those methods opened the election process to fraud, and felt that the 2020 election result was invalid. But despite parroting those claims, these same voters were satisfied with how they cast their own ballot. It’s a fascinating look into how impressionable the average voter is: Republicans across the country have been convinced that election fraud happened somewhere, just not in their state.”

Key findings: 

  • Ninety-two percent believe alternative voting methods like vote-by-mail and drop boxes opened the process to increased error, mismanagement or fraud that could have changed the outcome of the presidential election.
  • Less than a quarter of Republicans surveyed (23 percent) believe the 2020 election for President was valid.
  • Republican voters used every means of voting available: 48 percent voted on election day, 28 percent voted early and 24 percent took advantage of mail-in voting. An overwhelming majority (86 percent) were satisfied with the process of casting their ballots. The table below details the swing state Republican voter methodology:
StateElection Day VotingEarly VotingMail-In Voting
Arizona26 percent22 percent52 percent
North Carolina33 percent57 percent9 percent
Georgia31 percent52 percent16 percent
Florida35 percent45 percent21 percent
Wisconsin66 percent15 percent19 percent
Pennsylvania83 percent4 percent13 percent
  • When asked about mail-in voting policies, more than four of every five respondents supported signature matching and more than half (64 percent) agreed with counting ballots before election day. On the other hand, nearly three-quarters (72 percent) opposed ballot drop boxes.
  • No excuse vote-by-mail and ballot harvesting were the most unpopular policies among respondents with 82 percent and 90 percent opposing them, respectively, while more than half of Republicans surveyed (66 percent) oppose same-day voter registration.
  • On redistricting, Republican voters are nearly evenly split between approving (31 percent), disapproving (36 percent) or being unsure (32 percent) about how their states draw congressional and legislative boundaries.
  • More than half of those surveyed support independent redistricting commissions (57 percent), a trend that was also seen in the swing states of Georgia, Florida, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania.
  • Half of respondents believe their vote counts, while 42 percent agreed that the electoral system has become corrupt and their vote “probably doesn’t get counted anyway.”

Read more about the poll here. National crosstabs can be found here. Swing state crosstabs are available upon request.


From Jan. 25 through Feb. 5, the Tyson Group conducted an N = 1200 nationwide survey of likely Republican voters. Additional interviews were conducted (N = 300 likely Republican voters) in the swing states of Arizona, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. These voters were reached by live callers on both landlines and cell phones. The margin of error was 2.83% on the national poll and 5.66% on the state-specific samples.

Filed Under:
Topics: Parties, Campaigns, & Elections

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