by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
On Sunday, the Daily Caller’s Peter Hasson highlighted the nation’s deep partisan delusion. He did so by pointing to a new poll which suggests that a supermajority of Democrats believe Russia changed vote tallies in order to get Donald Trump elected.
Conducted by the respected pollster, YouGov, the poll is alarming for two reasons.
First, because as Hasson notes, there is no evidence to suggest that the Russians actually tampered with any voting tallies. While Russia’s GRU intelligence service did access state voter registries, there is no evidence — at least that I have seen — to indicate voter selections were altered. It’s a lot easier to hack a state government portal and access voter registration lists than it is to change a tally without being detected. Moreover, even the Russians would be reluctant to attempt such an effort in light of the risks of detection and ensuing retaliation.
But the polling data also shows that of those respondents who voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, 28 percent believe it is “definitely true” that Russia messed with the voter tallies. Though a minority portion of the responses, 28 percent is a sizable portion of the electorate. By my calculations, if applied to all Clinton voters in 2016, that 28 percent return would represent 18.4 million people! In my mind, this reflects the triumph of anger and arrogance over introspection and fact.