Poll: Democratic voters more skeptical of US election system than Republicans

 

Democratic voters are more skeptical of the U.S. election system than Republican voters, a new Hill/HarrisX poll shows.

Fifty-one percent of Democrats say they have a lot or some trust in the U.S. election system, as opposed to 73 percent of Republicans who said the same. 

A majority of all voters, 58 percent, said they have "at least some" trust in the election system, while 42 percent said they have a little trust or none at all. 

The poll comes at the heels of the Iowa caucuses when the state's Democratic Party delayed reporting results due to a glitch in a new election app that was used and created inconsistencies

Experts say the partisan gap on this issue could be due to a number of factors including the mishap in Iowa, Democrats' electoral college loss in 2016 and the concern of foreign interference in U.S. elections. 

"These results should also be considered in the context of an Electoral College which has twice produced a President who did not win the popular vote in the past 2 decades, a Senate controlled by Republicans despite Democratic Senators representing 15 million more people, and the ongoing partisan gerrymandering and voter-suppression efforts of Republicans at the state level," Nancy Zdunkewicz, senior pollster of the progressive polling and data firm, Change Research, told The Hill.

Past Hill/HarrisX surveys have shown Democrats to be wary of the electoral college. 

In a March 2019 poll, 60 percent of Democratic voters said the Electoral College should be abolished. By comparison, just 46 percent of Independent voters and a quarter of Republicans agreed. 

On the part of confidence from Republicans, public opinion analyst and senior fellow at American Enterprise Institute, Karlyn Bowman, points to President TrumpDonald John TrumpCensus Bureau spends millions on ad campaign to mitigate fears on excluded citizenship question Bloomberg campaign: Primary is two-way race with Sanders Democratic senator meets with Iranian foreign minister MORE's strong party loyalty.

"On the Republican voters’ part, it is probably defensive, a reflection of their strong support for Trump and anything associated with him," she told The Hill.

The Hill-HarrisX poll was conducted online among 1,000 registered voters between Feb. 9 and 10. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

—Gabriela Schulte