Poll: One-Third of Americans Believe ‘Misinformation’ Swayed Election Results

President Donald Trump, left, and former Vice President Joe Biden during the first presidential debate at Case Western University and Cleveland Clinic, in Cleveland, Ohio. Trump and Biden have starkly different visions for the international role of the United States — and the presidency.
AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

One-third of Americans believe that misinformation swayed the results of the election, with three-quarters of Republicans expressing the same belief, according to a Knight Foundation/Gallup study released Monday.

The study examined post-election opinions among 2,752 respondents from November 9-15. It found that a majority of Americans, 64 percent, believe that misinformation was greater this election year than it was in 2016.

The survey also asked respondents, “If [former Vice President] Joe Biden is the next president, in what way do you believe that misinformation swayed the election?”

Thirty-four percent of Americans overall said the outcome would have favored President Donald Trump over Biden, whom the media has declared the winner as states continue certifying their results in the wake of pending legal challenges.

A majority of Republicans agree, with 76 percent indicating the Trump “would have won the election instead of Joe Biden” if not for the prevalence of misinformation. Only two percent of Democrats agreed.

However, 37 percent of Americans overall said misinformation did not sway the election, while 24 percent said the purported misinformation would have resulted in Biden winning “but by more than he did.”

Per the survey:

Likewise, 61% of those with an overall unfavorable opinion of the news media think the election was swayed by misinformation and that without it, Trump would have won. Yet, 51% of those with a favorable view of the news media do not think the election was swayed by misinformation.

Clear majorities of Americans who say misinformation swayed the election outcome think internet websites, television, and radio talk show hosts or commentators, national cable TV news and social media posts from individuals in the U.S. were major sources.

 Overall, 69 percent of Republicans say they were exposed to “a great deal” of misinformation this election year.


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