Gallup: Americans’ Trust of Elections Has Plunged

Eric Zuesse

Among Americans who lean toward the Democratic Party, trust in their nation’s elections plunged from 71% on 10-13 January 2008, down to 31% on 15-18 December 2011, and has since edged slightly down to 28% on 13-15 May 2016.

Among Americans who lean toward the Republican Party, trust in their nation’s elections plunged from 46% on 15-16 January 2016, down to 30% on 16-17 March 2016, and is now 29% on 13-15 May 2016.

This is shown in a Gallup news report on May 23rd, “Sanders’ Backers Most Likely to Say Election Process Faulty”,  and the question that the respondents there were answering was: “Does the way the presidential campaign is being conducted make you feel as though the election process is working as it should, or not?”

Their recent poll showed that the electoral process is now trusted by 39% of Hillary Clinton supporters, 35% of Donald Trump supporters, 23% of Republicans who supported a different Republican than Trump, and 17% of Democrats who support Bernie Sanders.

Consequently, achieving Party-unity will be determined only by the Republican Party’s major donors, if at all (with them uniting to donate to his campaign instead of to Clinton’s); whereas, achieving Party-unity will be achieved only by the Democratic Party’s voters, if at all; and the possibility that a popular well-known and well-respected person who has high name-recognition and high net-favorable rating could possibly beat both Trump and Clinton (each of whom has high net-unfavorable ratings) if a well-financed write-in campaign for that person were to be waged vigorously nationwide, exists now for the first time in history, but only if such a person comes forward to organize and run such a Presidential campaign, and only if not more than one such person does so (because otherwise a split of the write-in votes could assure victory for one or the other of the major-Party nominees).

If that write-in candidate were to be someone like Michael Bloomberg, whose write-in votes would be at the expense of Trump more than at the expense of Clinton, then he could be throwing the election to Clinton, or else he could win the Presidency.

If, instead, that write-in candidate were to be either Bernie Sanders or else Robert F. Kennedy Jr., whose write-in votes would be at the expense of Clinton more than at the expense of Trump, then he could be throwing the election to Trump, or else he could win the Presidency.

However, clearly — considering the plunge that has occurred (after 2008 for Democrats, and after 2015 for Republicans) in Americans’ trust of their nation’s electoral process, and considering the many other anti-Establishment indications during the current electoral season — the possibility does exist, for the first time in American history, that the U.S. Presidency could be won by a write-in candidate. The only proviso for this possibility would be that there mustn’t be more than one such candidate who has high net-favorables and runs a vigorous national campaign.

The possibility really does exist that some of America’s political rule-books could be thrown out by the 2016 Presidential contest. If that does happen, then one or both of America’s major Parties could thereby be transformed or even ultimately replaced (such as, for example, happened in the 1860 Presidential contest, which ended the Whig Party and started the Republican Party).

History is not always to be copied. Sometimes, it is to be transformed.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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  • diogenes

    American democracy doesn’t have a chance of working until Americans get free from the official delusions. These numbers show some progress on part of this necessary process but as long as people are identifying as “Democrats” or “Republicans,” red sheep or blue sheep, they will still be sheep and the hireling shepherds of the oligarchy will still herd them to the sheering and the butchers.

    That’s why Laurence Gronlund writes about “fleecings.” But for every American who has heard (herd) of him, a thousand have heard of Lenin and ten thousand have heard of Hitler. And the one who has heard (herd) of him, has herd slander. That’s education.

    Voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil. As far as a history of evil actions go, Trump can’t hold a candle to Hitlery, but both stink so bad, who cares which one wins? Filth will continue to rule, either way.

  • Nov 26, 2015 1 in 4 Americans Know Government is the Enemy

    • MrLiberty

      And yet they continue to support government. Go figure. The colonial secession from Great Britain had about as much active support and yet those folks actually accomplished something. 25% may see government as their enemy, yet they certainly don’t speak out, withdraw their support, encourage others, etc. What a shame. I guess it will take more like 50-75% before we finally get somewhere.

  • Feb 22, 2016 Guess What Americans Are Most Afraid Of?

    Out of 88 things this batch of 1,500+ Americans were asked to rank in regard to their personal level of fear, you’ll never guess what the number one thing people are most afraid of in this country.

  • Who’s Afraid of an Open Debate? The Truth About the Commission on Presidential Debates

    The Commission on Presidential Debates is a private corporation headed by the former chairmen of the Republican and Democratic parties. The CPD is a duopoly which allows the major party candidates to draft secret agreements about debate arrangements including moderators, debate format and even participants. The result is a travesty riddled with sterile, non-contentious arguments which consistently exclude alternative voices that Americans want to hear.

    The 2012 Debates – Memorandum of Understanding Between the Obama and Romney Campaigns

  • Baby_Jesus

    I got the feeling that Bernie could pull it off, could win as a write-in. But if the major media makes him disappear from view like they do with so many other stories and candidates, there needs to be another avenue to cement and gather support. He should start that campaign ASAP. People’s doubts about the power of a write-in vote must be alleviated.

    • kimyo

      please, do alleviate my doubts about the power of a write-in vote. if your guy was nader, for instance, you’d only have been able to vote for him in 35 states.

      The Ins and Outs of Write-Ins

      But in Oregon, the computerized tabulation system won’t calculate any specific write-in results unless it appears the contender has enough support to win.

      And five states — Hawaii, Nevada, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and South Carolina — don’t allow any Presidential write-ins, and never have.

      if sanders were truly in the game, shouldn’t he be screaming ‘foul play’ day and night? he’s token opposition, he lets clinton slide on issue after issue, seems to only barely notice rampant voter fraud.

      do you think clinton won’t be cheating in november as well?

  • MrLiberty

    Voting is nothing more than an act of violence against your fellow man. The belief that some in society are more worthy of determining how best to spend everyone’s money, how best to live one’s life, how best to use one’s property, etc. simply because they have been bestowed these powers as a result of the “magical” process of an election is at the core of everything that is wrong with society. NOBODY has the right to steal from someone else. NOBODY has the right to tell someone else what they can and cannot do with their own property (unless of course their actions impact YOUR property, etc.), NOBODY has the right to murder someone else. And yet when someone is “elected” to a position in the government, they get all of these rights and many, many more. And the premise is that we have this government “thing” because we all can’t individually take care of stuff, or we can’t collectively manage “stuff” without some central authority, so we cede some of our rights to create this entity called government to manage these things for us. But where did the right to steal, murder, destroy property rights, infringe upon liberties and freedoms, etc. come from??? It most certainly didn’t come from any of us as NONE OF US HAVE THESE RIGHTS!

    So stop believing the fantasy that does nothing more than empower those in power and those who buy and control them. Government must go along with the completely irrational and DANGEROUS belief that it is necessary for our safety, our security, our benefit, etc. The sooner everyone wakes up to that reality, the sooner we can set a new course that will make us all safer and more prosperous. Pretending that the right candidate, the right party, the right law, the right Supreme Court decision, etc. will set us free completely ignores the truth that we have all enslaved ourselves with our destructive belief in government and its necessity.

  • May 18, 2016 What really happened in the Nevada Democratic Convention (The Video they keep taking down)

    Instead, the media is trying to spin it against Bernie, about the violence and them being upset. If you were present at this, wouldn’t you be upset? I’m not saying threats are warranted, but at what point do the American People say enough is enough?