Trump hasn’t diminished America’s faith in elections, but he has polarized it

Pick a random person out of the phone book, and there’s a better chance he or she will get struck by lightning than commit voter fraud. That didn’t stop President Trump from launching a commission on “election integrity” on Thursday. It’s only the latest Trump move that casts doubt on the trustworthiness of the U.S. electoral system.

But here’s the good news: There’s no sign, yet, that Americans’ faith in U.S. elections has been diminished. There is some bad news, too, but I’ll get to that a moment.

Just before the 2016 election, in the midst of all that “the system is rigged” talk, most Americans still had at least some faith in that system. A Gallup poll taken in the month before the election found that 66 percent of Americans were “somewhat confident” or “very confident” that the votes cast in the 2016 election would be counted fairly. A CBS News survey, also conducted mostly in late October, showed that 74 percent of voters had some or a lot of confidence that the votes would be counted properly. A significantly smaller 25 percent had not much to no confidence. Indeed, I couldn’t find any poll in the Roper Center polling archive showing that more than a majority had little to no faith in the U.S. vote-counting process.