Vanderbilt Poll: 88 Percent of Tennessee’s Republican Voters Doubt Legitimacy of Presidential Election


A Vanderbilt University poll suggested that 88 percent of Tennessee’s registered Republican voters doubt the legitimacy of the presidential election. According to the university, the poll’s purpose was to discover any correlation between support of the COVID-19 vaccine and views on the election’s integrity. The poll lasted 21 days, surveying just over 1,000 individuals. Nowhere in their methodology did the research include the exact number of Republicans, Democrats, independent, and “other” respondents.

The co-director of Vanderbilt University’s latest poll, John Geer, issued commentary on the poll’s implications that resonated with one of the top buzzwords utilized by the Biden-Harris campaign: unity.

“The disparities in decision-making between Tennessee Republicans and Democrats are at an all-time high, a signal to the new administration on the challenges that lie ahead to unify America,” stated Greer.

A supplementary video summarizing the polling results noted that 83 percent of Democrats pose a large public health problem, as opposed to 47 percent of Republicans. After providing that information, the video noted that 97 percent of Democrats believed nationwide votes from the presidential election were counted fairly and accurately, as opposed to 12 percent of Republicans.

The poll also compared the willingness between Republicans and Democrats to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. They stated that 36 percent of Republican respondents were unlikely to get the vaccine compared to 15 percent of Democrats.

“This [response] in spite of increased concern and awareness of coronavirus at the community level,” read the report.

The report added that, purportedly, 52 percent of Republican respondents wouldn’t change their holiday plans as opposed to 14 percent of Democrats; 22 percent of Republicans don’t usually wear masks as opposed to 0 percent of Democrats and 11 percent of independents.

“The ‘0 percent’ is rare in polling and underscores the dramatic polarization on this issue,” stated the report.

The Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions supported the poll. The research program describes itself as a means of answering “questions central to the survival and flourishing of democratic institutions in the United States and abroad.” However, they’ve had a pattern of issuing skewed and inaccurate studies in the past.

A poll published this past May suggested that Nashville Mayor John Cooper had “sky high” approval rating, but The Tennessee Star reported that only 19 percent of respondents identified as Republicans.

Additionally, The Star addressed the university’s failed track record for predicting margins in Tennessee elections dating back to the 2016 presidential election, usually off by double digits.

The poll results were released on the same day that some of Tennessee’s first COVID-19 vaccines were administered at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

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Corinne Murdock is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and the Star News Network. Follow her latest on Twitter or email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Trump Supporters” by Elvert Barnes. CC BY-SA 2.0.






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