US Faces Specter Of Violence If Trump Loses Again To Biden
WASHINGTON, DC (IANS) – The US is bracing itself for a major law and order problem post the Presidential elections this November, should the projected re-match between Joe Biden and Donald Trump result in a loss for the latter once again as his supporters still hold onto the belief that 2020 elections were stolen and will continue to do so in 2024 if the same result is repeated.
Supporters of the ex-President Trump − who accept his unsubstantiated claims that the 2020 election was fraudulent − are prepared to believe those allegations again in 2024, setting the stage for protests and worse if the former P: resident runs and loses in November, media reports said.
Trump supporters and GOP voters still hold a deep lack of faith in the integrity of the voting processes and electoral administration and on the flip side, a section of American voters fear threats to America’s democracy, an exclusive USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll shows on the third anniversary of the January 6 Capitol riot.
Doubts and fraud claims among Trump supporters spiked the 2020 election results and the country could well be headed for a repeat of that as Trump has already said several times that he would repeat the claim of elections being stolen if he lost again in 2024.
Those doubts in 2020 culminated in violence as Trump allegedly instigated his supporters to march to the Capitol and stop the announcement of Biden being elected as the President and the motley group of Three Percenters, Proud Boys, and Oath Keepers went on the rampage, scaling walls of the Congress building with sticks and weapons endangering the lives of Senators and then Vice President Mike Pence.
On the third anniversary of the January 6 Capitol riot, an exclusive USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll shows not only a deeply held lack of faith in election integrity among GOP voters but also fears among voters across the political spectrum about threats to America’s democracy.
The poll found a 52 percent majority of Trump supporters said they had no confidence that the results of the 2024 election would be accurately counted and reported. Just 7 percent expressed high confidence that they would be.
In contrast, 81 percent of supporters of President Biden were “very confident” about this year’s election returns; just 3 percent were “not confident.” Another 15 per cent of Biden voters and 38 percent of Trump voters were “somewhat” confident.
The findings highlight the deep political schism and an equally deep skepticism among Trump supporters about whether this year’s election results could be trusted and should be accepted − some of the same attitudes that in 2021 fueled the nation’s most serious insurrection since the Civil War, as per the poll findings.
“I think that there’s a great risk of fraud − not that any ballots would be fraudulent, but that the methods of which they attain them could be and that the people who receive them are not the people who they are for,” said Jake Weber, 24, a contractor for General Motors from Clawson, Michigan, who was called in the poll. A political independent who leans to the GOP, he plans to vote for Trump.
“I believe that there’s enough checks and balances…I don’t have major concerns” about whether the 2024 election will be fair, said Michelle Derr, 55, a Democrat and small-business owner from Alexandria, Virginia, who plans to vote for Biden. But she added that “democracy as a whole” was being tested. “I think that we as a country can get through it, but I think it’s not without effort.”
Trump’s voters have persisted with the view that the 2020 presidential election was “rigged” as the former President has drilled it into them through his social media platforms and speeches at rallies continuously for the last three years even as congressional committees and judges found those charges to be baseless.
Trump, on the other hand, faces 91 counts of felony that include a civil tax fraud trial case in New York and charges of conspiracy and racketeering under the RICO act in four jurisdictions including DC and Georgia for election subversion. Despite these cases, Trump supporters hold onto the belief that he is not guilty as he professes and that the elections were stolen and his acts were in pursuance of his duty as a President as Trump claims, reports said.
Doubts have persisted even after reviews by election officials and state legislatures across the country have consistently concluded that allegations of widespread miscounts, misconduct, stuffed ballot boxes, and ineligible voters were unsubstantiated and without any merit, media reports said.
More than 60 cases brought by Trump and his allies seeking to overturn the results have been defeated in federal and state courts. Those decisions were handed down by both Democratic-appointed and Republican-appointed judges, including federal judges who were appointed by Trump.
But in the poll, two-thirds (67 percent) of those supporting Trump said they didn’t believe Biden had been legitimately elected in 2020, a debunked assertion that Trump has continued to trumpet at rallies and on social media. That view has little traction among other voters: 98 percent of those supporting Biden and 82 percent of those supporting a third party said he was legitimately elected.
In the survey, Trump edged ahead of Biden 39 percent to 37 percent, with 17 percent planning to vote for an unnamed third-party candidate. The poll of 1,000 registered voters, taken December 26-29 by landline and cell phone, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
The continued turbulence and debate over the last election have stoked concern about the next one and those that would follow. An overwhelming 83 percent of those surveyed said they worried about democracy. Half of Americans said they worried “a great deal”.
That alarm, however, is not a reflection of a national consensus. Both sides on a partisan divide blame each other for imperiling democracy. Forty percent (mostly Republicans) said Democrats were chiefly responsible for the threat; another 40 percent (mostly Democrats) said Republicans were.
In response to an open-ended question about what specific threat worries them, the most frequent answer was Trump, cited by 18 percent. Another 10 percent named governmental corruption and dysfunction.
“Democrats/liberals/progressives” were cited by 7 percent, and “MAGA/Trump followers” by 3 percent and “Republicans/conservatives” by another 3 percent.