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Republicans are more pessimistic about democracy than Democrats

There’s
little
question
that
Republican
candidates
on
the
ballot
in
November
believe
that
immigration
is
the
most
useful
issue
for
them
to
highlight.
Fox
News
went
from

mentioning
the
border

(or
migrants
or
immigration)
about
1,400
times
in
July
to
more
than
9,200
times
in
February
and
over
9,600
times
last
month.
This
wasn’t
obviously
linked
to
the
situation
at
the
border;
the
number
of
people
stopped
at
the
border
was

about
the
same

in
February
as
it
was
in
July,
though
higher
in
between.

End
of
carousel

There
is
similarly
little
question
that

President
Biden

and
his
party
seek
to
frame
the
campaign
as
a
defense
of
democracy
itself.
This
is
in
part
sincere,
as
Biden
(and
many
others)
fret
about
the
repercussions
of
a
second

Donald
Trump

administration.
It
is
also
useful,
centering
the
presidential
choice
on
something
other
than

the
unpopular
incumbent
.

You
can
see
this
dynamic
reflected
in
polling
conducted
by

Quinnipiac
University
.
In
August,
a
plurality
of
respondents
said
that
the
economy
was
the
most
urgent
issue
in
the
country.
Since
then,
immigration
has
steadily
climbed,
driven
by
Republicans
citing
it
as
the
most
urgent
issue.
Now,
immigration,
the
economy
and
preserving
democracy
are
all
in
the
same
range,
with
the
latter
issue
the
most
common
choice
among
Democrats.

Quinnipiac’s
poll
has
the
presidential
race
in
a
dead
heat,
as
do
most
polls
and
as
most
polls

almost
certainly
will

until
Election
Day.
Among
those
who
say
that
immigration
is
the
most
urgent
issue,
Trump
has
a
73-point
lead.
Among
those
who
say
preserving
democracy
is,
the
73-point
lead
is
Biden’s.

But
there’s
a
curious
subtext
to
this.
When
Quinnipiac
asked
Americans
whether
democracy
was
working
in
the
United
States,
Republicans
expressed
the
most
skepticism.
Most
Democrats
said
it
was
working;
most
Republicans
said
it
wasn’t.

While
most
people
didn’t
indicate
concern
that
American
democracy
would
end
in
their
lifetimes,
Republicans
were
significantly
more
likely
to
say
they
had
that
concern
than
were
Democrats.

So
what
gives?
How
is
it
that
Democrats
are
so
eager
to
preserve
democracy
but
also
are
so
confident
that
democracy
is
faring
well?

The
answer
comes
in
another
question
presented
by
Quinnipiac.
Asked
how
much
confidence
they
had
in
the
counting
of
the
results
of
the
2024
presidential
election,
most
respondents
said
they
were
at
least
somewhat
confident.
Most
Republicans,
on
the
other
hand,
said
they
were
not
so
confident
or
not
confident
at
all.

This
comports
with

other
polling

showing
that
Republicans
believe
(incorrectly)
that
the
2020
election
was
tainted
by
fraud.
If
you
think
that
President
Biden’s
election
was
illegitimate,
as
most
Republicans
(incorrectly)
do,
you
are
going
to
be
dubious
of
the
vote
count
in
2024,
too.
And
you
are
going
to
think
that
democracy
is
already
shaky,
to
put
it
mildly.

This
is
the
distinction.
Democrats
generally
understand
that
Biden’s
win
was
legitimate
and
that
Trump
and
his
allies
tried
to
block
Biden’s
inauguration.
They
worry
that
Trump
will
engage
in
other
actions
meant
to
subvert
democracy
and
American
institutions.
But
many
Republicans
think
that
subversion
already
took
place.
They
think
democracy
is
already
damaged.

There’s
an
interesting
coda
to
all
this.
Asked
who
is
better
suited
to
preserve
democracy,
responses
were
split
on
party
lines,
just
as
they
were
on
the
whom-do-you-support
question.
Democrats
think
Biden
is
better
suited
to
defend
democracy,
as
do
independents
by
a
small
margin.
Republicans
say
it’s
Trump.

Only
one
of
those
answers
can
be
right.

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