In the state of Tennessee, the results of a new research survey suggest Republican and Democrat voters live in two totally different realities where critical issues are concerned.
According to The Times Free Press, a staggering 71% of Republican voters and 30% of independents agree with the claim "Joe Biden stole the 2020 presidential election."
For months, former President Donald Trump circulated false claims about the outcome of the presidential election as his legal team filed tons of baseless lawsuits in states across the country; namely the battleground states he lost in. Despite his efforts, his legal team was never able to provide substantial evidence to support his claims.
As the weeks after the presidential election passed, Trump's election challenges were ejected on several levels of government; state officials, the courts, the Electoral College, and eventually Congress ultimately rejected Trump's claims. In fact, some members of his own administration slowly began to acknowledge President Joe Biden's win.
But despite the institutional recognition of Biden's win, voters in deep red states still believe Trump won the 2020 election.
Dr. Josh Clinton, a Vanderbilt University political science professor who also serves as the co-director of the university's Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, weighed in on the results of the survey.
"This is a remarkable number — that the vast majority of a political party feels the other party is illegitimate, despite the lack of any evidence," said Clinton.
Another aspect of the survey that raises questions is the use of Biden's name. When respondents answered questions directly related to the president, the approval ratings were notably lower. But when questions were asked that highlighted details about the same plans without the use of the president's name, approval ratings nearly doubled.
When the question used Biden's name as well as that of his plan, just 29% of Republicans said they approved of it, while 96% of Democrats supported it. Pollsters then posed the question to other survey participants without mentioning either Biden's name or the name of the proposal: GOP support doubled to 59%, according to the results, while Democrats' support dipped slightly.
According to Clinton, political context appears to be a major influential factor in people's decisions were the economy is concerned.
He added, "The fact that there is broad support for these economic issues when partisan indicators are omitted shows that political context can really affect people's reactions to important policy issues, depending on how the issues are framed."