Uh oh.

Courtesy of Reuters

About half of all Republicans believe President Donald Trump “rightfully won” the U.S. election but that it was stolen from him by widespread voter fraud that favored Democratic President-elect Joe Biden, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll.

The Nov. 13-17 opinion poll showed that Trump’s open defiance of Biden’s victory in both the popular vote and Electoral College appears to be affecting the public’s confidence in American democracy, especially among Republicans.

Altogether, 73% of those polled agreed that Biden won the election while 5% thought Trump won. But when asked specifically whether Biden had “rightfully won,” Republicans showed they were suspicious about how Biden’s victory was obtained.

Fifty-two percent of Republicans said that Trump “rightfully won,” while only 29% said that Biden had rightfully won.

Asked why, Republicans were much more concerned than others that state vote counters had tipped the result toward Biden: 68% of Republicans said they were concerned that the election was “rigged,” while only 16% of Democrats and one-third of independents were similarly worried.

Even before winning the 2016 election, Trump kept up a drumbeat of complaints about the process, claiming without evidence that it was unfair to him.

Since Biden amassed enough electoral votes to win the White House on Nov. 7, Trump has ramped up those criticisms, telling his supporters that he is the victim of widespread illegal voting.

This both amazing, and quite concerning. 

If the Republicans start to believe that every election is rigged against their party they might completely stop trusting the process and that would mean that they will never accept another Democrat as legitimately elected to their job. 

Strangely enough, I bet that when their side wins they will have nothing but faith in the results.

Odd how that works, isn’t it?