Most Americans don’t want voting to be more difficult; Democrats, GOP see political fortunes at stake – CBS News study

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As a multitude of states attempt to change their voting rules, most Americans say they would rather the voting process be left alone – or made easier. Relatively few want it to be more difficult after an election that saw participation record.

The fight for the attractive vote national attention, supporters say it’s a high-stakes battle that is affecting their electoral fortunes. Republicans believe Democrats will do better in an election if voting becomes easier. At the same time, Democrats believe they will suffer if it becomes more difficult to vote, and they believe that many of their constituencies, including Hispanics and black Americans, would lose their political power.

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Voting rules: who wins and who loses?

Many – more than four in 10 – predict an impact on election results if the rules are changed. Of those who expect a 10-to-one impact, more believe that if the voting rules are made easier for people to vote, it would help Democrats win the election more than Republicans. And by a similar margin, they believe that if the voting rules make it more difficult to vote, it would benefit Republican candidates more than Democratic candidates.

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If the vote is made more difficult, Democrats see a risk to their electoral fortunes, and if it is made easier, Republicans see a risk to theirs.

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Who will gain or lose political power?

Beyond winning or losing an election, different groups of voters can gain or lose power depending on the voting rules.

Democrats believe that easier access to the vote would benefit some of their constituency groups, and even more, than returning the vote Stronger would result in these groups losing Power. They believe that when states make it easier to vote, blacks, Hispanics, the poor, youth and urban dwellers are more likely to gain power than to lose it. Conversely, when states make it more difficult to vote, blacks, Hispanics and the poor are seen as losing power by at least eight in 10, while large majorities view the rich (86%) and whites. (71%) as winners. Power.

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Republicans are less likely than Democrats to see gains and losses for specific groups of voters. But overall, they feel that whites, the elderly, and those in rural areas – groups that tend to vote Republican – lose power, rather than gain it, when states make it easier to vote; and that young people, blacks, Hispanics and those in urban areas gain more power than they lose.

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Vote: what are people expecting from the process?

Eight in 10 of those who voted in 2020 said the process was “very easy”, and most of them, along with the general public, would like the voting process to be left as is or made easier, no more difficult. And most wouldn’t make their own state process any easier or harder – six in ten say that’s about right.

These views extend to support for maintaining some of the measures put in place in 2020 that have made voting more convenient amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Six in ten Americans want these changes to stay in place for future elections. This is especially the case for those who switched from in-person voting to postal voting in 2020, although most said they chose postal voting because of concerns about the coronavirus.

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Republicans stand out from the public in their opinions. More than half believe the voting process in general should be made more difficult, especially Trump voters and those who mistakenly believe the 2020 election was marred by fraud and irregularity. Most Republicans would also reverse rule changes put in place during the pandemic.

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The views of supporters echo the political discourse, in which an easier vote is supposed to increase turnout and therefore benefit Democrats, but they may not be right. While many states have extended postal voting in 2020, for example, it is unclear how much of this was responsible for last year’s historic turnout. Equally as strong was the dizzying interest in the election, with rule changes affecting How? ‘Or’ What people vote more than who actually vote.

For example, a recent historical study of elections since 1996 reveals that universal postal voting – when eligible voters receive ballots before the election – resulted in minor turnout gains without favoring a party. In Texas, allowing people to vote by mail during the pandemic has led many voters to choose to substitute a mail ballot for in-person voting, but neither the share of the vote nor the overall party turnout has increased in the Condition due to this policy.

Additionally, while an easier voting system has boosted turnout, recent electoral history casts doubt on the idea that Democrats would necessarily benefit. In U.S. counties and states, there is a weak relationship between turnout increases and Democratic gains in 2020 (see graph below). Another reason for the hiatus is that people who ran in 2020 but not 2016 – including new voters and former voters – voted Republican at higher rates than expected, helping deliver key states like Florida. and Ohio to Donald Trump.

This is the first in a series of reports from a new CBS News study on elections and the voting process in the United States. The study relies on several data sources: a national survey, data from electoral registers and certified electoral results. The survey includes an oversample of over 2,000 validated voters who were matched to voter files confirming their voting history. We also reference the academic work and data journalism of other researchers on voting rights and election administration.

The survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 2,664 US residents surveyed between July 6 and July 15, 2021. Of the 2,065 self-reported voters in the sample, 2,023 were matched to voters’ records and confirmed to have voted. The sample was weighted for gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as the 2020 presidential vote. and registration status. The margin of error is ± 2.7 points for the total sample.

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