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Poll: GOP confidence in 2020 election results rises slightly

March 2, 2022 GMT

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Republicans’ confidence in the 2020 election results has grown slightly over the last five months, according to a poll the Marquette University Law School released Wednesday.

The poll also found approval continuing to slip for Republican U.S. Sen Ron Johnson and rising for Democratic Gov. Tony Evers, while concerns over COVID-19 are waning.

The law school queried 802 registered Wisconsin voters by cellphone and landline between Feb. 22 and Sunday. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points.

Respondents were asked to rate how confident they are that votes were accurately cast and counted in the 2020 election. The question comes as former President Donald Trump continues to falsely claim that President Joe Biden stole the election in Wisconsin, even though multiple court cases and a state audit found no evidence of widespread wrongdoing and an Associated Press investigation found far too few potentially fraudulent votes to affect the outcome.

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Nearly 70% of respondents said they were very or somewhat confident the results were accurate. Almost a third said they were not too or not at all confident.

Almost 40% of Republican respondents said they were confident in the results. That’s up from the 33% of GOP respondents who said they were confident when asked in the law school’s October poll and from 29% in August.

Pollster Charles Franklin offered no explanation for the trend.

The October poll was conducted just days after the state audit was released. The February poll was conducted days before former state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman released interim findings Tuesday from an investigation he’s been conducting into the election.

Gableman suggested state lawmakers should consider decertifying Wisconsin’s presidential results. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos hired Gableman last summer to review the election under pressure from Trump, but Vos and other Republican legislators have said they can’t legally void the election. Gableman said Tuesday his investigation isn’t over.

The poll also queried respondents on Johnson’s favorability as he heads into the November election. A third of respondents said they view him favorably. That’s down from 36% in October.

Evers, meanwhile, is trending up with the election five months away. His job approval rating was at 50%, up from 45% in October.

Vos’ approval rating stood at 13% statewide, with just 21% of Republicans saying they hold a favorable opinion of him, according to the poll. Franklin cautioned, though, that Vos remains relatively unknown statewide.

A little more than a quarter of respondents said they’re very concerned about COVID-19 in the state. Another 34% said they were somewhat concerned. The October poll asked respondents how concerned they were about COVID-19 in the United States; 40% said then that they were very concerned and 34% said they were somewhat concerned.

Franklin said the February findings are likely linked to decreasing cases in the state as the omicron variant surge wanes.

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Follow Todd Richmond on Twitter at https://twitter.com/trichmond1