Trump’s Wild Claim Gets Debunked

Observers and media commentators have challenged Donald Trump’s claim that the vast majority of Americans believe the 2020 Presidential election was rigged. During a rally in Greensboro, North Carolina, the former President claimed that 82% of Americans agreed with his assessment. Subsequent reports contend that no evidence exists to support his claim.

Newsweek conceded that Trump may have been referencing a survey carried out by the Public Religion Research Institute in 2021, which found that among a subgroup of Republicans who trust Fox News above any other media, 82% said they either completely or mostly agreed that the election was stolen. The same survey found that 31% of Americans agree with Mr. Trump overall.

Similarly, a CBS News/YouGov poll in December 2020 also showed that 82% of Trump voters believed Biden’s Presidency was illegitimate.

More recently, in December 2023, a Washington Post and the University of Maryland asked 1,024 voters for their view of Trump’s allegation. Among those who said their primary media outlet is Fox News, 69% believed the election was rigged.

Left-wing publication The Huffington Post tore into the former President after his remarks, calling it his “umpteenth regurgitation of lies.” Nevertheless, it noted a Rasmussen poll from last May, which found that 84% of Trump voters believed the “likely outcome” of 2020 was “affected by cheating.”

While Trump was likely alluding to polls of his own supporters, surveys do tend to show that around a third of the US population do not consider Joe Biden a legitimate Commander-in-Chief. For example, in 2023, a Monmouth poll found that 30% agree with Trump, compared to 59% who said Biden won the election “fair and square.” Among Democrats, 93% believe Biden is the legitimate President, as well as 58% of Independents.

The Monmouth result was similar to one it conducted immediately after the election in 2020, when 18% of Republicans, 67% of Independents, and 95% of Democrats said the election was conducted fairly.