'Unprecedented': Poll Shows Half of Republicans Would Reject Clinton Win

Republicans' increasing mistrust of the democratic system is due to Trump's "candidate effect," a voting expert told Reuters. (Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/cc)

'Unprecedented': Poll Shows Half of Republicans Would Reject Clinton Win

New survey hints that Donald Trump's supporters have taken up his 'unprecedented' break with democratic tradition

Half of Republicans would "reject" a Hillary Clinton presidency, with nearly 70 percent saying a win for the Democratic nominee would be the result of a rigged election, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll has found.

The survey, released Friday, indicates that Republicans are continuing to take their cues from party nominee Donald Trump, who suggested at the final presidential debate this week that he might contest the election results if he loses--an "unprecedented" break with democratic tradition in America, as many observers pointed out in response.

Conversely, the poll found, seven in 10 Democrats would accept a Trump presidency, and Clinton has said she would not contest the results.

Republican respondents also widely feared so-called "voter fraud," the survey found. Reuters reports:

The poll showed there is broad concern across the political spectrum about voting issues such as ineligible voters casting ballots, voter suppression, and the actual vote count, but Republicans feel that concern more acutely.

For example, nearly eight out of 10 Republicans are concerned about the accuracy of the final vote count. And though generally they believe they will be able to cast their ballot, only six out of 10 are confident their vote will be counted accurately.

Trump has also called on his supporters to "monitor" polling places around the country on Election Day for voter fraud--raising concerns about intimidation and suppression by the right. The independent policy institute Brennan Center for Justice has consistently reported that this kind of widespread illegitimate voter fraud does not exist.

As Lonna Atkeson, University of New Mexico professor and head of the Center for the Study of Voting, Elections, and Democracy, told Reuters, this level of mistrust among Republicans is unprecedented.

"I've never seen an election like this. Not in my lifetime. Certainly not in modern history," she said.

The reason for it is Trump, Atkeson added. "It has to be the candidate effect."

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