ATLANTA — Amid President Donald Trump's continued insistence that the election was stolen from him, Republicans in Georgia are increasingly seeing the 2020 outcome as illegitimate, according to findings in a new 11Alive poll.
The sprawling allegation of a conspiracy to keep Trump from winning, broadly pinned on the Dominion voting machines used in Georgia and other states, has been dismissed by just about every courtroom it's been presented in.
But it is winning over Georgia Republicans in the court of public opinion, according to the poll conducted exclusively for 11Alive by SurveyUSA. And it could have an impact on the state's critical Jan. 5 Senate runoffs.
Perhaps most immediately concerning for national Republicans looking for Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue to maintain control of the Senate, Republicans here in Georgia appear to be increasingly turned away form the runoffs over rhetoric about the election.
Out of 691 registered voters polled in the survey of 800 Georgians, 78 said they were not likely to vote. Of those 78, the split broke 32% Republican to 25% Democrat.
That's a stark reversal from the poll conducted for 11Alive at the end of November and start of this month. In that poll, 118 voters who said they were likely not to vote out of 717 registered voters broke 43% Democrat to 33% Republican.
In the earlier poll, 20% of Republicans who weren't likely to vote said they wouldn't because the process is rigged. In the latest poll, that number has more than doubled to 42%.
Among those from both parties who said they wouldn't vote because the process is rigged, they're boycotting the runoffs or they believe their vote doesn't matter, they favored Sen. Perdue over Jon Ossoff 45-34% and Sen. Loeffler over Rev. Raphael Warnock 38-31%.
The polling indicators consistently showed increasing Republican skepticism of the process cutting across a range of other questions: Asked if they have confidence the January runoff votes will be counted accurately, nearly half of Republican respondents - 48% - said they had no or little confidence.
SurveyUSA asked that same question for 11Alive in the earlier poll, and at that time only 39% of Republicans said they had no or little confidence. Those Republican voters explicitly stating they had no confidence at all more than doubled, from 9% to 20%.
That trend held with questions about President-elect Joe Biden. In the earlier poll, 65% of Republican respondents said they believed Trump won the election and that votes were lost or changed. Now, 73% of Republicans are saying they believe that.
Asked if they would accept Biden as president once he's sworn in, 40% of Republican respondents said they would reject him, while 39% said they would reluctantly accept him.
About 15% said they would wholeheartedly accept him.
More than half of Republican respondents - 54% - said the president should ask members of Congress to object to the Electoral College votes when they're counted on Jan. 6.
The poll was conducted between Dec. 16-20. SurveyUSA cautions "consumers of this research to reflect on how unfamiliar the footing is for anyone attempting to measure what is happening in Georgia as Bulldogs hang Christmas lights during a pandemic and the Republican President is at war with the Republican Governor and the state's Republican Secretary of State."
The pool of respondents "was weighted to US Census targets for gender, age, race, education, home-ownership, and political party identification."