Most Arizona Republicans said they believe that an ongoing ballot audit will eventually show that former President Donald Trump edged out President Joe Biden in their state.
According to a new OH Predictive Insights survey, 62 percent of Arizona GOP voters think that Trump will wind up with more votes than Biden after the state Senate Republican-led audit is completed.
Meanwhile, 21 percent believe that Biden’s victory will be reaffirmed, while 16 percent said they weren’t certain one way or the other.
Critics of the findings say the majority of Republicans in Arizona who believe the audit will reveal that Trump won instead of Biden are victims of his thus-far-unsubstantiated claims that fraud and “rigging” of elections in several battleground states including theirs took place last fall.
According to the survey, 61 percent of Republicans said they agree with the statement that “evidence has been uncovered which shows that the election was stolen from President Trump in a number of states that the media and election officials have called for Joe Biden.” Meanwhile, 55 percent said they view the audit favorably, which was launched by GOP senators following claims of potential fraud.
Provided the audit does not credibly show that fraud occurred that was detrimental to Trump and the results stand, Biden — who won by more than 10,000 votes — will remain the first Democratic presidential contender to have won Arizona since Bill Clinton did during his 1996 reelection campaign.
Arizona Senate Republicans led by Senate President Karen Fann undertook the audit after Trump repeatedly claimed that fraud led to his loss. The audit has been ripped as bogus by Democrats, while Republicans have complained that election officials are failing to turn over documents to ensure that the audit is thorough.
Initially, Republicans said that the audit was going to be wrapped up by May, but because the audit team, led by Cyber Ninjas, has had difficulty in obtaining documents and, now, ballot machine routers, the completion date has repeatedly been pushed back.
Auditors are concentrating on the 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous and home to the Phoenix-Scottsdale areas. Biden reportedly won the county by more than 2 percent.
Other Republican officials and lawmakers from other states have spoken approvingly of the Arizona audit, with many suggesting they could move to emulate the process. In Texas, for instance, state Rep. Steve Toth filed legislation on Monday to require an audit of his state’s 13 most populous counties.
“Democrats said in 2016 there was fraud. They said Russia, Russia, Russia,” he said.
“Here we are after 2020, we’re convinced and I’ve seen it, there has been fraud in this election. Now it’s time to make sure we put it all to bed,” he said.
“The irregularities revealed at the hearing today amount to hundreds of thousands of votes or, many times what is necessary for us to have won,” Trump said in a statement after a briefing in Arizona on Thursday on the audit. “There was no victory here, or in any other of the Swing States either.”
Meanwhile, a newly-released analysis of polling data from the 2020 election cycle found that surveys consistently underestimated Trump’s support by anywhere from 4 to more than 5 percent, which is consistent with what happened in 2016 when Trump defeated Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president.
During the previous election cycle, pollsters said they merely underestimated the groundswell of support for Trump while overestimating Clinton’s popularity. But this time around, they can’t say why surveys were heavily skewed for Biden.
The American Association for Public Opinion Research, which conducted the study, isn’t sure what happened.
“Some explanations of polling error can be ruled out according to the patterns found in the polls, but identifying conclusively why polls overstated the Democratic-Republican margin relative to the certified vote appears to be impossible with the available data,” the report states.
“Reliable information is lacking on the demographics, opinions, and vote choice of those not included in polls (either because they were excluded from the sampling frame or else because they chose not to participate), making it impossible to compare voters who responded to polls with voters who did not,” the report continued.
“Some educated guesses are possible based on patterns emerging from available data but conclusive statements are impossible. It cannot be ruled out that there is a multitude of overlapping explanations for the pattern of polling error.”
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