Poll: Majority Say Public Officials Should Not Be Punished for Saying 2020 Election Was ‘Stolen’

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 6: Pro-Trump protesters gather in front of the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021 in Washington, DC. Trump supporters gathered in the nation's capital to protest the ratification of President-elect Joe Biden's Electoral College victory over President Trump in the 2020 election. A pro-Trump mob …
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A majority of likely voters do not believe that public officials should be punished for suggesting that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen” from former President Donald Trump, a Rasmussen Reports survey released Friday found.

“Should public figures be punished for saying they believe the 2020 election was stolen?” the survey asked.

Fifty-four percent of likely voters said “no,” followed by 35 percent who said “yes” they should be punished and 11 percent who remain unsure. Opinions are sharply divided on party lines. A majority of Democrats, 54 percent, believe public figures who made such claims should be punished, compared to 21 percent of Republicans. Twenty-eight percent of those unaffiliated with either major party agreed.

A majority of Republicans and independents, 73 percent and 59 percent, respectively, do not believe that those figures should be punished. The survey comes as House impeachment managers attempt to present a compelling case to the Senate, connecting the January 6 Capitol protest directly to Trump’s rhetoric — particularly that Democrats stole the election for President Biden. Others, particularly members of the far-left “Squad,” have demanded accountability for Sens. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) for highlighting such concerns and their intention to object to the electoral vote in disputed states.

“Sen. Cruz, you must accept responsibility for how your craven, self-serving actions contributed to the deaths of four people yesterday. And how you fundraised off this riot. Both you and Senator Hawley must resign. If you do not, the Senate should move for your expulsion,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said the day after the riot, triggering a sharp response from Cruz:

While Biden has been in office over three weeks, the survey found that a majority of GOP likely voters do not believe that he was fairly elected, maintaining the concerns that dominated the political landscape in the weeks following November’s presidential election.

The survey asked, “Did Joe Biden win the 2020 presidential election fairly?”

While 57 percent of likely voters said yes, over one-third, 33 percent, said no, and eight percent indicated that they remain unsure.

Sixty-one percent of Republicans do not believe he was fairly elected compared to 28 percent who said “yes” and 11 percent who remain unsure. Ninety percent of Democrats say Biden was fairly elected. Fifty-one percent of those unaffiliated with either major party agree.

The survey, taken February 10-11 among 918 likely U.S. voters, has a margin of error of +/- three percent.

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