Nearly half of Republican voters believe President Donald Trump didn't really lose the popular vote to his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in last year's election, a new poll shows.
Trump won the electoral college, but he lost the popular vote by over 2.8 million votes to Clinton. The president has blamed his popular vote loss on widespread voter fraud, but there is no evidence to support his claim. Still, a new Morning Consult/Politico poll found 47 percent of Republicans believe Trump won the popular vote, while just 42 percent believe Clinton won. Overall, the poll found, 28 percent of voters believe Trump won the popular vote.
The survey underscores the effects of the president's baseless claims about voter fraud and shows how Trump has undermined confidence in the American electoral system without offering any evidence. Trump convened a panel in May to investigate the integrity of elections earlier this year, an effort critics say is unnecessary will stoke fears of voter fraud and lay the groundwork for more restrictive voting laws. Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), the panel's vice chair, said this month ”we may never know" whether Clinton defeated Trump in the election.
David Becker, a former Justice Department lawyer who is now executive director of the Center for Election Innovation & Research, said the poll results were ”disappointing" but unsurprising.
”When the president says something, even if it's 100% demonstrably false, many will believe him," he wrote in an email. ”And it's particularly demoralizing when the falsehood he's pushing could have a long term effect on delegitimizating our democratic form of government and the professionals of both parties who work to administer and protect elections."
More mendacity within: