A significant minority of Americans continue to reject Joe Biden’s legitimacy as the President-elect, and most in this group say they will be unpersuaded of his win even after Congress certifies the Electoral College results, according to a new Axios|SurveyMonkey poll.
Two weeks shy of Inauguration Day, just 58% of the American public accept Joe Biden as having legitimately won the 2020 presidential election, leaving 27% who do not accept his win and 11% who remain unsure. While all Democrats (96%) and a majority of independents (57%) accept Biden as the legitimate next president, most Republicans (62%) do not accept Biden’s win.
Among those who say Joe Biden is not the legitimate winner, the overwhelming majority (77%) say they would still not accept his win even if Congress certifies the Electoral College results, as is expected to take place on Wednesday. Among those who are currently not sure whether Biden is the legitimate winner, 46% say Congress’ certification would convince them of the legitimacy of Biden’s win, while 51% say they would remain unsure.
Wednesday’s Congressional proceedings would typically be just yet another in a series of routine steps in the democratic process, but this weekend a group of Republican senators announced plans to block Congress’ certification of the electoral votes until an “emergency audit” can take place in several states whose results they claim to be in dispute. This is an unprecedented gambit, and Americans are split on their assessment of it along party lines: more than two thirds of Democrats (72%) say it represents a threat to American democracy, while most Republicans (59%) say it represents a defense of American democracy.
Overall, 39% of the public consider it to be a threat to American democracy, 29% consider it to be a defense of American democracy, and 24% consider it to be neither.
For his part, President Trump has fed the narrative that the 2020 presidential election results are illegitimate, refusing to concede to Biden and declaring himself to be the real winner. Half of Republicans (50%) consider Trump’s refusal to concede to be a defense of American democracy rather than a threat to it (10%), while 33% say it is neither. Nearly eight in 10 Democrats (79%), on the other hand, consider Trump’s statements to be a threat to American democracy.
Read more about our polling methodology here.
Click through all the results in the interactive toplines below: