Politics

Election 2022: How Confident are we in the Counting of the Vote?


Bright Line Watch has released its latest report of its polling on the state of our democracy. You’ll remember that they conduct their polls several times a year enabling them to track changes in public attitudes, the views of experts, and conduct experiments concerning how information affects public perception.

They’ve released their report for their November 2021 polling, and it is confirms that our democracy is pretty much a zombie. Essentially, we’re dead people voting, we just don’t know it yet.

As we’ve seen in other recent posts that the necessary components of democracy have fallen and cast by the wayside by the Republican Party and their base, MAGA Nation. Bright Line Watch’s polling confirms that not much has changed since the 6 January Insurrection of last year. We’ve essentially doubled down on our positions about the legitimacy of our elections, the insurrection itself, the appropriateness of violence to further our favored political party, and our views of the otherside.

We’ve reified our political views. They haven’t softened. They haven’t changed. They are now baked into the body politic. As reported earlier, when you have polarization this deep and this wide, democracies rarely survive; they continue their descent into authoritarianism.

This is the first installment of a two part series. In this one, we’ll review their polling on confidence in the 2020 and 2022 elections. We’ll finish up by engaging in some armchair dilettante interpretation (our specialty). In the second installment, we’ll review the experiments that they did and squash even the small glimmers of hope that they thought they offered us.

The Polling

Confidence in the Count

How confident is the average American in the counting of our votes? Do they believe the Big Lie? These questions address the basis for democracy. Will the losing side accept the results of an election? And, if they don’t, what will they do about it? We saw on 6 January 2021, they were willing to threaten to hang Mike Pence and assassinate Nancy Pelosi and terrorize Congress into submitting to their will.

Confidence in the outcome of elections, like so many other questions in the America, divides along party lines.

Was Biden the rightful winner of the 2020 election?

When considering the definitely or probably responses, they got these percentages:

  • OVERALL 63% thought he was with 50+% thinking he definitely won. That seems pretty good, until you look at the breakdown by party.
  • DEMOCRATS thought that he won by a whopping 95% with 85+% responding he definitely won.
  • REPUBLICANS responded with 27% thinking he won and about 10% being definite.

The differential between the Repube respondents and the rest of the country is huge. This is important for interpreting later results about the justification of violence, so keep it in mind.

Comparing it to their June and February 2021 polls, you find the numbers have changed only slightly, with all groups being less certain that Biden is the rightful winner.

Confidence in votes being counted as voters intended

With all of the rhetoric about voter fraud being pumped non-stop out of Trump’s ass and regurgitated by his sycophants, it is an important question to ask, especially about the upcoming 2022 election. Apparently, Dems don’t believe that the voter nullification laws passed by GQP state legislatures are going to be effective, but boy the Repubes sure do!

  • OVERALL 62% of the public is reasonably confident that the vote will be counted as voted with only 25% very confident.
  • DEMOCRATS think that the vote will be fairly counted by 80% with just under 40% being very confident.
  • REPUBLICANS responded with 42% thinking that the ’22 vote will be counted as intended with 10% being very confident.

At first glance, you might be surprised that the Repubes are so confident in the ’22 election, but when you compare it to their findings in October 2020 just before the November election, you find that 16% fewer Repubes have confidence in the ’22 elections than they did just prior to the ’20 elections. That is how effective conservative propaganda has been. We went from an eight point differential with Democrats to 38 points!

Democratic confidence grew by 14 points — no matter how foolish you think that confidence is — and Repube confidence fell by 16 points. So, while the overall number stayed largely the same (62% in ’22 and 59% in ’20), the partisan split widened drastically. Again, keep this in mind for when we discuss justifications for violence.

Legally entitled voters will be able to

Interestingly, confidence that all voters who are legally entitled to vote will be able to do so dropped by 10% from October 2020 to November 2021. Everyone thinks that voter suppression laws are going to be effective in the ’22 elections.

  • OVERALL 64% of respondents were confident that all eligible voters would be able to vote with only 30% very confident.
  • DEMOCRATS came in at 61% being confident that everyone would be able to vote with 25% having a high degree of confidence.
  • REPUBLICANS registered at 71% confidence and 40% extremely confident.

When you think about voting rights and just being able to cast a ballot, those are not comforting percentages. As a country, we’re anticipating a struggle to get eligible registered voters to vote.

When you compare it to the perceptions in October 2020, though, you see that confidence has dropped considerably and again differentiated by party affiliation. Only 8% more Dems (61 versus 69%) thought that all eligible voters would be able to vote in the November 2020 elections, but Repubes thought they could a whopping 16 point (71 versus 87%) margin in 2020. Man, they are CONFIDENT in those voter suppression laws, aren’t they?

Accepting the ’22 Election Results

When we put the confidence in the vote questions together, we come up with some dismal prospects for the ’22 elections. With only 27% of the Repubes accepting Biden as a legitimate winner and 42% thinking that the votes will be fairly counted, how likely is it that Repubes are going to accept a Warnock senate victory or a Beto governor win? This strikes me as tantamount to disaster in the making.

The GQP state legislatures are going to declare that there was something fishy with those Dem precincts, so we’re just not counting those ones.

On the other hand, with 71% believing that every eligible voter was allowed to vote, if their candidates win, they will be arguing that the election was fair and square, so they should be seated. Any kvetching about long voting lines, purged voter rolls, reduced polling stations, and limited voting options will fall on deaf ears. They just aren’t going to care because all the right voters got to vote, right?

Primed for Violence

Should a Democratic candidate win a statewide office in a state that the Repubes control and be seated, then the Repube rank and vile is primed to believe that it was a corrupt election and use it as justification for violence. If only 27% of GQP rank and vile voters believe Biden is legitimate and insurrecting on 6 January was an appropriate response, how are they going to respond when Nikki Fried is elected governor of Florida?

If only 42% of Repubes believe the vote is going to be fairly counted in 2022, then any victory that deviates from their hyperinflated expectations of a red wave is going to be met with disbelief and outrage. After all, the only test of a free and fair election is whether the GQP candidate won.

Since there is strong evidence that MAGA Nation is reinforcing their delusional beliefs about the vulnerability of elections and the necessity of violence to correct it, then we should be expecting more violence in the 2022 election, not less.

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Image Attribution

“Real Dems Count Votes” by Talk Media News Archived Galleries is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

21 replies »

  1. And then, there is the question of how Democrats and non-MAGAised Independents will respond if/when a GOP state legislature or single party board of elections disqualifies an election result just because they can. That is not likely to be pretty.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Bob!

      I don’t know. If independent voters won’t punish Republican politicians for their outrageous conduct — 52 – 57% of white people voted for four more years of Trump (that still astounds me) — I don’t know that they’re going to punish them for “stealing” an election either through protests or at the ballot box.

      If there are protests, though, MAGA Nation is primed to turn out and create violence on a larger scale than they did at the #BLM protests, though. I mean, there will be protests. Dems and liberals will turn out. Hopefully, it will be on the order of #BLM and the 2017 women’s marches.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 1 person

      • One take away from the recordings of militia conversations is that the leaders knew that they had to not be the ones to fire the first shot. If they were to respond to the other side shooting, then they could still claim to be defenders. Their strategy was to goad the other side into shooting first. They were able to get that point across to their troops, despite the occasional panicked amateur (Rittenhouse) or nut-up (the guy who drove into the counter protesters in VA). But, there clearly are a lot who are salivating to get on with their Krystallnacht. In a way, a thing they have to fear is the inspired lone wolf who shoots from among them.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Howdy Bob!

          We had said all along that there were those organized among the 6 January Insurrectionists who were using the mob as cover and that they were hoping for an antifa counterprotest to cause such a ruckus that POTUS would have to invoke the Insurrection Act. The one thing that isn’t clear, though, is the amount of coordination with TFG or the WH.

          Indications are that Trump was watching on the TV delighted that people were fighting for him. It wasn’t like watching a planned action from the Situation Room where you’re tense hoping for objectives to be achieved and disaster avoided. To me it suggested that he was surprised by the violence and aggressiveness of the crowd.

          Another piece of evidence is the Oath Keeper who texted that Trump wasn’t getting it done, so they had to take matters into their own hands. I think that was the day before the Insurrection.

          Then there was the curious matter of Chris Miller being appointed Sec of the Army and delaying the deployment of the National Guard. That sounds like collusion and conspiracy, but it might not have been. Mike Flynn’s brother whispering sweet insurrection nothing’s in his ear might have been conspiracy, though. But, it still cuts Trump out of the loop.

          Had there been more coordination between the two groups, the Insurrection Act may have been invoked, and we would be in a very different world now.

          The right has been lusting after street brawling a la Rittenhouse for a generation. By now, they have itchy twitchy trigger fingers.

          Huzzah!
          Jack

          Liked by 1 person

          • As the saying goes, a failed coup is practice. One of the items in the reporting on the militia groups was one leader taking questions after giving a speech and the forst question being, “When do we get to start killing them?” That’s pretty itchy twitchy.

            For Trump, watching, it was a TV show, entertainment, and the narcissist’s equivalent of cocaine. He was in “wind them up and watch them go mode”. With his lack of executive functioning, he had to depend on others to do any actual coordinating and conspiring.

            I think that Chris Miller was a case of installing a loyal incompetent. He probably held back the NG because he was waiting for orders. When none came, he eventually was pressured into making a decision.

            The Insurrection Act depended on the counter protesters showing up and a street battle happening. Then, Trump & company would have called them the insurrectionists and their mob the defenders.

            Different subject: Hidden Brain, very good – https://hiddenbrain.org/podcast/changing-behavior-not-beliefs/

            Liked by 1 person

            • Howdy Bob!

              I’d been looking forward to listening to that Hidden Brain episode since it came out. I was able to listen over the weekend. It was off topic, but it can be applied to our political divisions, too. How do we change the anti-democratic behavior that we’re seeing is similar to how we change the violent racially-biased behavior that we’re seeing out of cops.

              While I think there is no getting around the implicit bias that is driving a lot of the violent behavior that cops exhibit towards Black folks, it probably does help not to dwell on it or insist that everyone cop to it — see what I did there? That was one of the most interesting points he made was the difference between what the activists and cops want and what the general public wants as expressed on social media.

              It’s a good thing that counter-protesters weren’t there on 6 January. No doubt, should such an event be planned again, a false-flag operation will be part of it.

              Huzzah!
              Jack

              Liked by 1 person

              • “Change will lead to insight far more often than insight will lead to change.”
                — Milton H. Erickson

                Yes, a false-flag operation would be a way for somebody to make sure they get their fight, but the counter protestors would have to be present in sufficient numbers to look like a threat.

                Liked by 1 person

                • Howdy Bob!

                  When I was a therapist, I had the epiphany that answering the question why we do what we do was a pretty useless pursuit. It is just so much mental masturbation: feels good, gets you nowhere. Focusing on behavior, though, helps you change behavior. The funny thing is that I really dislike CBT because I thought it took all the fun out of therapy. It was too dry and automatic. Until, I supervised interns with a CBT psychologist. It turned out my Ericksonian influenced ways were pretty much with his CBT influenced ones. Erickson really was all about changing specific behaviors, he just used more suggest when CBT uses more association. Not only did it change my appreciation of CBT, but also the way I did therapy.

                  Huzzah!
                  Jack

                  Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve been asking my republican senators for the past year if they believed in a republic or not? If they believed our democratic republic should survive or not, and if they were content to continue working towards a total autocracy as they had been since the great orange dictator was in power. So far, I have received four form letters but no answers to my questions, and one legal cease and desist notification. I just hope I either die or win the lotto so I can move to central america before the civil war comes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Suze!

      You have to frame and display the cease and desist notification and pass it on as an heirloom to your descendants. That is fantastic.

      I’m afraid that the answer to the question is quite clear. They intend for us to live under minority rule of a single party whether they realize it or not. It is the same for fomenting violence among their followers. I don’t know that any of them realize that’s what they’re doing, but it is. None of them would admit to it, though.

      I guess it doesn’t matter in the end whether they realize it or admit it or not. The end result will be the same: millions living in misery, destruction of our country, and climate disaster. I’m afraid living in Central America would be a short lived refuge, but I hope you make it, anyway. It will be nice while it lasts. We took a serious look at Columbia year before last. It seems like a very comfortable place to live.

      Huzzah!
      Jack

      Liked by 1 person

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