Cue the hyperventilation in the WaPo newsroom.
Yes, The Washington Post is out with a new poll, and it isn’t good news — for the type of person who reads the Post, anyhow. You can probably guess by the headline, which sounds a clarion alarm to liberal Beltway lifers: “Republican loyalty to Trump, rioters climbs in 3 years after Jan. 6 attack.”
“Three years after the Jan. 6 attack, Republicans are more sympathetic to those who stormed the U.S. Capitol and more likely to absolve Donald Trump of responsibility for the attack than they were in 2021, according to a Washington Post-University of Maryland poll,” the Post reported Tuesday.
Yes, start clutching those pearls, WaPo addicts: Only 24 percent of Republicans and 17 percent of Trump voters think that the events of Jan. 6, 2021, constituted “an attack on democracy that should never be forgotten,” according to the poll.
Are those pearls clutched tightly, dear reader? Clutch them harder! Because — gasp! — the percentage of voters who feel that Biden’s election was “legitimate” is down significantly in 2023 compared to 2021.
The Post, working with the University of Maryland’s Center for Democracy and Civic Engagement, asked the 1,024 adults it polled between Dec. 14 and 18 this question: “Regardless of whom you supported in the 2020 election, do you think Joe Biden’s election as president was legitimate, or was he not legitimately elected?”
According to the poll numbers, only 62 percent of those polled in 2023 said Biden’s election was legitimate, versus 69 percent in 2021. Moreover, while only 29 percent said the election was illegitimate in 2021, 36 percent said it was illegitimate in 2023.
That 7 percentage point difference means roughly 20 percent more respondents in 2023 said the election was illegitimate when compared to 2021.
Moreover, the percentages of those who said Biden’s election was legitimate were down in every category: Republicans (from 39 percent to 31 percent), independents (from 72 percent to 66 percent) and Democrats (94 percent to 91 percent).
The Post, naturally, blamed this on those cray-zee conspiracy theorists:
“Several voters interviewed by The Post cited what they said was evidence of voter fraud, in particular the long-debunked claim that Georgia election workers were caught on video putting fake ballots into tallies. The two women in that video recently won a $148 million judgment against former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani for spreading those defamatory claims,” the Post’s article stated.
Yes, because if there’s somebody whom voters across the board — independent and Democrat voters included — are going to listen to when it comes to the election of 2020, it’s going to be Rudy Giuliani.
Note that the Post doesn’t give any quantifiable number of voters who echoed these claims to them before citing them as reasons for the shift in the poll. It just reported that “several” did. WaPo’s gonna WaPo.
So, if this wasn’t Rudy Giuliani and his wacky “long-debunked claims,” what might instead be causing the shift in perception here?
It’s not just the bedrock principle that time heals all wounds. If that were the case in these results, there wouldn’t be an across-the-board decline in those who said Joe Biden was legitimately elected in the same poll that provided ample evidence of Democrat voters still waving the bloody shirt of Jan. 6 with Republicans less inclined to call it a threat to our democracy.
Rather, if one wants to search for a reason to question the “legitimacy” of Biden’s election, perhaps we shouldn’t start with claims of Georgia ballot-stuffing or Venezuelan backdoors into election software.
Perhaps we should start with, oh, the company then known as Twitter censoring coverage of Hunter Biden’s laptop on the same day it was told by the FBI that the laptop’s contents were real. That certainly might chip away at the perception of legitimacy surrounding the election.
Maybe we can talk about the establishment media in general, which still views questions about what Biden may or may not have known about his son’s foreign business deals as if they were evidence of a conspiracy theory themselves. (Because, remember, Joe said he knew nothing, notheeeng!)
Perhaps the establishment media’s willingness to cover up Biden’s obvious mental deficiencies played a part in it.
In short, the results might just be showing more Americans are realizing how much the powers of social media and the establishment media played a role in putting Biden in the White House — and how dishonest major players in those industries were with American voters.
As for the change in attitudes about Jan. 6, we’ve now seen video that confirms most of the people inside the Capitol during the incursion weren’t shirtless, horn-wearing “insurrectionists” but, at worst, chaos tourists who made what turned out to be a serious blunder. It’s hard to maintain outrage over the events of that day when one realizes so much of it resulted from a concatenation of disconnected decisions — not from an attempted, organized coup.
Or, perhaps it’s just another piece of bad polling for a president who keeps plumbing the depths in both approval ratings and re-election chances. It’s safe to say that, after looking at survey after survey that shows Biden with dismal numbers, the Post could conclude this was nothing more than “Biden fatigue.” Americans have certainly had enough of it.
But, no. The Post talked to “several” people who apparently spouted “long-debunked” theories. Hands dusted of any of that nonsense. And we’re supposed to believe the newspaper’s interpretation of the numbers — and be outraged by it.
That might work for the Post’s devoted readers — the kind of inside-the-Beltway and suburban D.C. federal employees who love nothing better than to be reassured by their hometown newspaper that they’re superior to their fellow citizens in the real world.
But for the rest of the country, the takeaway is different: The bad polling news for Biden only gets worse, and the 2024 election is coming closer by the day.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.