Early and Often

Poll: Half of Trump Supporters Don’t Trust the Vote Count

An early-voting poll site in Minnesota. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Though Donald Trump told a national TV audience at the end of Monday’s debate that he would “absolutely support” Hillary Clinton if she wins the election, at a Friday-night rally in Detroit, he was back to his scaremongering ways and making unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud to his supporters. The Los Angeles Times reports that Trump once again deputized his supporters to become poll watchers, telling the crowd, “Make sure it’s on the up and up, because, you know what? [Voter fraud is] a big, big problem in this country, and nobody wants to talk about it; nobody has the guts to talk about it.” Nobody except Trump, of course, as his comments on Friday echo the irresponsible rhetoric he has often used in the past when implying to his supporters that the only way he can lose the election is if it is somehow “rigged” against him. The Times also notes that civil-rights groups consider Trump’s poll-watching incitement to be an attempt to empower white voters to disenfranchise minority ones.

Trump also reneged on his debate statement in a Friday New York Times piece, saying instead that “We’re going to have to see. We’re going to see what happens. We’re going to have to see.”

Widespread U.S. voter fraud is a myth, according to all available evidence, but a new poll from the Associated Press/NORC Center of Public Affairs Research has nonetheless found that half of Trump supporters have little to no confidence in the integrity of the vote count, and some even admit that they are just taking Trump’s word on the matter. Overall, only a third of Republicans (and 29 percent of Trump supporters) say they have a great deal or quite a bit of confidence in the vote, though the poll found that 7 in 10 Americans have anywhere from moderate to significant confidence in the votes being counted correctly, while 59 percent of Clinton supporters are quite confident to very confident. Regardless, 8 in 10 Americans favor requiring voters to present photo IDs at polling sites, a practice which many Democrats worry would disenfranchise poor and minority voters.

One area of agreement, according to the poll, is that a majority of Americans are worried about hackers interfering with the election. Some 41 percent of poll respondents say they are extremely or very concerned about hacking attempts, while another 35 percent say they are somewhat concerned. These worries are a lot more founded than the voter-fraud ones, since the AP also reports that a Homeland Security Department official told them that hackers have already targeted voter-registration systems in more than 20 states.

Poll: Half of Trump Supporters Don’t Trust the Vote Count