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Who believes in the myth of voter fraud?

Republicans do. Next question.

A new University of Houston survey reveals the stark partisan divide among Texans on the issue of voter fraud in the November election.

The survey found that 87 percent of Democrats believe there was no widespread fraud, while 83 percent of Republicans believe there was — despite the lack of evidence to indicate that it occurred. Overall, 55 percent of Texans believed there was no widespread fraud.

“While a sizable number of Texans believe that voter fraud occurred last November, a majority of Texans don’t agree,” said Kirk P. Watson, founding dean of the university’s Hobby School of Public Affairs and a former Democratic state senator. “We can and should build on that foundation of trust in our elections through education and potential reforms that protect election integrity without resulting in voter suppression.”


“Even though there have been multiple audits, recounts and dozens of court cases dismissed, many Republicans insist the election was compromised,” said Renée Cross, senior director of the Hobby School.

The same survey also found that most Texans, or 83 percent, opposed the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol led by supporters of former President Donald Trump who believed the election was stolen. Thirty-two percent of Republicans, 15 percent of independents and 8 percent of Democrats supported the events, however.

See here and here for previous blogging about this four-pack of polls. The press release for this survey is here and the full data set is here. There’s not a whole lot to add to this part of the discussion. It’s true that these Republicans are just believing the lies that their leaders have been repeatedly feeding them, and it’s hard to blame someone for being brainwashed. It’s also true that the facts are out there in abundance, that even Trump’s legal teams did not make any specific claims of fraud in their many lawsuits because they had to limit themselves to factual evidence, and that nothing is stopping anyone from learning the very simple and basic truth for themselves. I will welcome anyone who can find their way back to objective reality into the fold, but I will not forget where they had been before.

Not mentioned in this story are the questions the pollsters asked about favorability ratings for numerous politicians. Here’s a sample of the interesting ones, with the “very” and “somewhat” responses for each combined:

Greg Abbott – 39 favorable, 40 unfavorable
Dan Patrick – 27 favorable, 35 unfavorable

Joe Biden – 41 favorable, 42 unfavorable
Kamala Harris – 39 favorable, 43 unfavorable
Donald Trump – 39 favorable, 51 unfavorable

Ted Cruz – 38 favorable, 47 unfavorable
John Cornyn – 23 favorable, 44 unfavorable
Beto O’Rourke – 35 favorable, 41 unfavorable
Julian Castro – 29 favorable, 28 unfavorable

They also asked about Joaquin Castro, Dan Crenshaw, and Dade Phelan, but I’m skipping them because not enough people had an opinion to make it worthwhile. They did not ask about Ken Paxton, which I wish they had done.

Overall, that’s a better look for Dems, especially Beto, than that Data for Progress poll. Joe Biden’s number is all right – if you notice, basically no one has a net favorable total – Trump’s is terrible, and Dan Patrick and Ted Cruz are more negative than Beto. I have no idea how someone like John Cornyn can be in statewide elected office for that long and have so many people have a neutral opinion or not enough information to have an opinion about him (15% neither fav nor unfav, 18% not enough info). There’s a lot of room in most of these (Trump excepted) for opinion to swing, and it will be very interesting to see how this looks in six months or a year, when (hopefully!) things are better both economically and pandemically. And as always, this is just one poll so don’t read more into it than that.

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  1. David Fagan says:

    Seeing how people don’t have much of a choice in political parties, I think taking voters for granted is one of the Democrats’ shortcomings. Apparently, there are people who would rather believe anything under the sun than vote for the opposing party, no matter how logical or illogical it may seem.

    Would this issue exist if there were other viable parties?

    Independents in Texas already know what it’s like to be kicked off a ballot by laws passed against them, now one of the major parties are bitching because voter laws didn’t favor them. Where are elections really being won? If you ask independents, and now Republicans, it is apparently before a single vote is even cast. Of course Democrats will say, as long as they are ‘winning’, it is all in the name of democracy and freedom. Republicans would say the same if they won.

  2. Lobo says:


    “The Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston conducted an online survey in English and Spanish among Texans 18 and older Jan. 12-20, with 1,329 YouGov respondents, resulting in a confidence interval of +/-2.7%. The respondents were matched to a sampling frame on gender, age, ethnicity/race and education, and are representative of the Texas adult population.”

    Note that this is a better poll than that other one of “likely voters” (which is obviously not the same as adult population) in several respects: larger sample, two languages. Still, if inferences are to be made about likely voting behavior in 2022, perhaps 16-17 year-olds should have been included in the sample frame, along with a question regarding intention to vote or not in 2021 (and perhaps voter registration status).

    Also: It’s possible that the timing of the survey (1/12-1/20) may make the results noncomparable with other polls regarding the insurrection-related questions even if the question were the same or similar. Attitudes on these events may be more volatile than favorability ratings of politicians.

    Interesting to see that favorable/unfavorable percentages are balanced for both Abbott and Biden overall in the sample, even though they belong to different parties — Current chief executive bonus? Non-extremism bonus?

  3. voter_worker says:

    Some measure of low-grade belief in election irregularities is historically endemic among both Rs and Ds and was inflamed into gargantuan proportions among Rs by Trump’s alliance with the conspiracy community in their attempt to overturn the 2020 result. The average voter knows little to nothing about how voter registration and elections are administered in this country, and where ignorance reigns scoundrels can, and do, use social media to successfully promote fictional narratives. The “we wuz robbed” mentality nurtured by athletic contests bleeds over into politics in my opinion.

  4. Jason Hochman says:

    Voter fraud was stopped this year. I remember when the voters of Houston wanted to put repeal of the HERO law on the ballot, and the petition had enough signatures, but wait, the city got Super Lawyer David Feldman to come in and say that many of the signatures simply had too many irregularities to be for real. I also recall how the Russians came and completely manipulated the 2016 presidential election. The election of 2020 was the most secure, fair, and properly conducted election ever, because, following up on the debacle of 2016, the great visionary, President Trump made sure that the elections going forward would all be secure. There was no need for fraud in 2020, because, Time magazine explained how the shadow campaign saved the election and protected democracy by getting states to change election laws, censorship, ignoring the Hunter Biden information, and other techniques to make sure that the outcome would go a certain way.

  5. Paul kubosh says:

    Voter fraud is a part of every election every primary both republican and democrats. The extent of the fraud is anyone’s guess. The fact that some people don’t realize it is not surprising. Some people believe the world is flat.

  6. C.L. says:

    And some believe DJT to be a great visionary.