Today is the six month anniversary of the January 6 insurrection at the nation's capitol where Trump supporters tried to overturn Biden's free and fair election as president of the United States.
Chris Hayes marked the occasion on his MSNBC show by discussing with guests the upcoming special House committee that will investigate the insurrection, and the continuing Republican inability to recognize a simple truth.
Biden won the election fair and square.
No reasonable person doubts this. The Trump campaign filed about sixty lawsuits challenging the counting of votes in a number of swing states. They lost all but one, and that one had no bearing on the outcome in Pennsylvania.
Recounts showed no problems. The handful of voter fraud cases that came to light all involved attempts to illegally cast a ballot for Trump. Independent fact checkers agreed that Biden won legitimately.
Yet Hayes shared the results of a June 2021 Monmouth University poll on his show.
Hayes viewed the 63% of Republicans wrongly believing Biden won because of voter fraud as more disturbing than the fact that 32% of Americans believe this lie.
A third of Americans is a distinct minority. Republicans aren't going to win elections with that level of support.
But since almost two-thirds of Republicans believe the Gigantic Dangerous Lie, and the GOP controls many states, there's a lot of pressure on Republican elected officials to go along with Trump's bogus claim of voter fraud, even though many or most of them must know this is a crock of shit.
So in the 2022 midterm election and the 2024 presidential election, there's a high likelihood of Republicans not only suppressing votes, which would be bad enough, but going much farther and taking steps to overturn the results of Democratic victories.
That would move the United States much closer to autocracy. We'd become a failed democracy if Republican-controlled states chose a different slate of electors after the 2024 Democratic presidential candidate was declared the winner in those states.
This prospect is beyond scary. It's terrifying.
As was noted on Chris Hayes' show today, overturning an election goes far beyond the usual messing around with voter suppression through gerrymandering, purging voter registrations, limiting voting options, and such.
The United States would be entering full-on authoritarianism if Republicans overturned a Democratic win in the 2024 presidential election because their base wrongly believed that Biden won in 2020 because of voter fraud.
It's crazy that the Monmouth University discussion of the poll results says that this belief among Republicans hasn't changed since the November 2020 election. In other words, they've continued to believe Trump's lie even after courts and election officials confirmed Biden's win in the months after the election.
One-third (32%) of Americans continue to believe that Joe Biden’s victory in 2020 was due to voter fraud – a number that has not budged since the November election. At first glance in the crosstabs, it looks like the number of “Republicans” who believe this has been trending down while the number of independents who agree has ticked up.
However, this appears to be a product of a shift in how Republicans identify themselves, with some moving their self-affiliation from being partisan to being an “independent” who leans partisan.
When all Republican identifiers and leaners are combined, the number who believe Biden won only because of voter fraud has been fairly stable (63% now, 64% in March, 69% in January, and 66% in November). Furthermore, 14% of the American public say they will never accept Biden as president, including 3 in 10 (29%) Republicans and Republican leaners.
“The continuing efforts to question the validity of last year’s election is deepening the partisan divide in ways that could have long-term consequences for our Democracy, even if most Americans don’t quite see it that way yet,” said Murray.
Congressional Democrats need to get off their butts (I'm talking you, Senators Manchin and Sinema) and pass strong voting rights legislation ASAP. Saving our democracy is way more important than preserving the filibuster.
Here's a video of today's All In With Chris Hayes show that starts with the segment where Hayes presents the poll results.