Latest Daily update Updated Friday November 20, 2020

Live Updates:

Public Opinion on The Vote: 2020 Election Poll Results

This analysis seeks to understand several critical issues that were ultimately determinative in the election.

Key takeaway This analysis seeks to understand several critical issues that were ultimately determinative in the election.
Friday, November 20, 2020

Welcome to NAVIGATOR – a project designed to better understand the American public’s views on issues of the day and help advocates, elected officials, and other interested parties understand the language, imagery, and messaging needed to make and win key policy arguments.

This release features findings from a national online survey of 3,003 registered voters conducted October 30-November 3, 2020. The vote shares for Joe Biden and Donald Trump among self-reported 2020 voters were also adjusted to reflect a preliminary estimate of the national popular vote in the 2020 presidential election.

Key takeaways

  • A majority of voters approved of President Trump’s handling of the economy – long considered the most important issue in presidential campaigns. This analysis explores some reasons why, despite this advantage, the president lost his bid for re-election anyway.
  • Specifically, we look closely at “Conflicted” Biden voters. This relatively small group of voters (6% of the sample) approved of the job Trump did in handling the economy as president, but ultimately voted for Biden in 2020.
  • As the analysis shows, this was a politically moderate group who liked some aspects of how the president approached the economy but never bought into Trump or Trumpism. Most importantly, they felt he did too little to control the coronavirus pandemic, they rejected his divisive approach, and they were repelled by his personal behavior – especially his self-absorption and dishonesty.

What We Did

The analysis is based on interviews with 3,003 registered voters who had already voted or planned to vote in the November election, with interviews conducted October 30th to November 3rd, 2020.

Support for Joe Biden and Donald Trump in the presidential election has been adjusted to reflect the actual expected popular vote as of November 16th. The analysis aims to provide a new tool for Americans to understand what happened in the 2020 election, why it happened… and what’s next.

Trump Lost the Election Despite Net Positive Approval on the Economy

While the vast majority of Biden voters disapproved of Trump’s handling of the economy, his job overall, health care, and coronavirus, the issue on which he had the highest ratings among Biden voters was the economy (11% approve).

“Conflicted” Biden Voters Were Mostly Democratic-Leaning But Relatively Moderate

Among the 11% of Biden voters who gave Donald Trump positive marks on his handling of the economy, two in three identify (67%) as Democrats and nearly half (49%) identify as moderate.

  • Demographically, these voters are similar to the average Biden voter, at 67% white and 36% college educated, but 54% are men (compared to 43% for Biden voters overall).

Nearly Half of “Conflicted” Biden Voters Gave Trump Credit for the Pre-Pandemic Economy

More “Conflicted” Biden voters than Biden voters overall said the economy was working before the pandemic.

The Vast Majority of “Conflicted” Biden Voters Prioritized the Pandemic Over the Economy

Three in four (74%) “Conflicted” Biden voters said the pandemic was more important to their vote than the economy.

Nearly Nine in Ten “Conflicted” Biden Voters Felt Trump Did Not Do Enough to Respond to the Pandemic

While seven in ten Trump voters feel Trump and his administration got their response to coronavirus “about right,” more than nine in ten Biden voters and nearly the same share of “Conflicted” voters say they “didn’t do enough.”

Some “Conflicted” Biden Voters Said The Economy Pulled Them Towards Trump, But All Other Issues Pushed the Other Way

As many “Conflicted” Biden voters said the economy was a reason to vote for Biden as it was for Trump (42%).

On Top of Leadership Failures, “Conflicted” Voters Were Put Off By Trump Himself – Especially His Self-Absorption

Top reasons “Conflicted” Biden voters gave to vote against Trump include his failed pandemic response, attempts to divide Americans, and constant tweeting, while three in five say “self-absorbed” best describes what bothered them.

“Conflicted” Voters Overwhelmingly Said the Country Is Worse Off Than It Was Before Trump Came Into Office

Despite more positivity toward Trump’s economic handling, “Conflicted” Biden voters were almost as pessimistic about the state of the country compared to five years ago (78% worse) as Biden voters overall (88% worse).

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Welcome to NAVIGATOR – a project designed to better understand the American public’s views on issues of the day and help advocates, elected officials, and other interested parties understand the language, imagery, and messaging needed to make and win key policy arguments.

This release features findings from a national online survey of 3,003 registered voters conducted October 30-November 3, 2020. The vote shares for Joe Biden and Donald Trump among self-reported 2020 voters were also adjusted to reflect a preliminary estimate of the national popular vote in the 2020 presidential election.

Key takeaways

This analysis seeks to understand several critical voting blocs that were ultimately determinative in the election. This includes:

  • Trump-to-Biden voters (3% of sample) – A small, but important group of voters who switched from voting for Trump in 2016 to voting for Biden in 2020. These voters appear drawn in by Biden’s offer of unity and repelled by Trump’s handling of the pandemic.
  • New Democrats (11% of sample) – This is a larger group of voters who were either too young to vote or sat on the sidelines in 2016 by staying at home or supporting a third- party candidate. These were generally more progressive voters motivated by dislike for Trump and the opportunity for positive change.
  • New Trump voters (9% of sample) – These are the voters that kept Trump competitive, who backed him after sitting out 2016 or backing someone else. These mostly conservative voters have some conflicted opinions about the president but are overwhelmingly positive about his economic approach.

Other important groups included in the analysis are the “ticket splitters.” These voters supported the nominee from one party for president – but backed a candidate from the other party for the U.S. House or Senate.

  • Biden-Republican Splitters (3% of sample) – These voters backed a Republican down ballot while voting for Joe Biden to be president. They are a relatively moderate and college-educated group who disliked Trump and disapproved of his pandemic response while showing more openness to his economic approach.
  • Trump-Democrat Splitters (3% of sample) – These voters were relatively conservative in their disposition and almost universally approved of how Trump has handled the economy, though they backed the president with some reservations while sticking with a Democrat down ballot.

What We Did

The analysis is based on interviews with 3,003 registered voters who had already voted or planned to vote in the November election, with interviews conducted October 30th to November 3rd, 2020.

Support for Joe Biden and Donald Trump in the presidential election has been adjusted to reflect the actual expected popular vote as of November 16th. The analysis aims to provide a new tool for Americans to understand what happened in the 2020 election, why it happened… and what’s next.

Negativity About State of the Country Pervasive Among the Democratic Nominee’s New Supporters

Four in five New Democrats and Trump-to-Biden voters rank the economy, the pandemic, and the overall state of the country negatively, while new Trump voters are far more optimistic.

Both New Democrats and Trump Voters Had Hesitations, With a Majority of Trump-to-Biden Voters Deciding After September

A majority of New Democrats and New Trump voters “strongly supported” their candidate of choice, and majorities of each also decided their vote before September.

  • A majority of Trump-to-Biden voters had hesitations about Biden, and they broke toward him late.

Trump a Key Driver for Those Who Flipped Against Him

For New Democrats, two in five say their vote was more of a vote “for Biden” while just 24% of Trump-to-Biden voters say the same.

  • Three in five New Trump voters (61%) say their vote was more of a vote “for Trump.”

Biden’s Coalition Generally United in Political Views, Particularly on Economic Issues and Coronavirus

Though they are less progressive than New Biden and Biden voters overall, more than 60% of voters who reported voting for Trump in 2016 and Biden in 2020 agree with the more progressive of two statements on a range of issues.

Concerns About Pandemic and Health Care Unite Biden’s Coalition

At least three in five Trump-to-Biden voters and New Democrats said the pandemic was one of the most important issues for them in deciding their vote for President, and at least two in five of each said the same of health care.

Age a Distinguishing Factor Within New Democratic Coalition

As reasons to support Biden, his voters most often cite his plan for the pandemic, national unity, and health care, but the younger cohort of New Democratic voters were drawn in by a wider set of issues.

Biden Drew in Voters Looking for a President with “Honesty and Good Character” Who Would “Bring People Together”

A majority of older New Biden and Trump-to-Biden voters (52% each) said “honesty and good character” was one of the most important qualities in their vote this year, as did 39% of younger New Biden voters. A third of younger New Biden voters (33%) also said “can bring change” was one of the most important.

Failures Handling Pandemic and Attempts to Divide Americans: Top Reasons for New Biden Voters to Vote Against Trump

Among Trump-to-Biden voters, another top reason (45%) was Trump’s constant tweeting and putting himself first.

Ticket Splitters Especially Likely to Identify as Politically Moderate and Independent

A quarter of both Biden-Republican and Trump-Democrat ticket splitters identify as independents without any partisan lean. A majority of Biden ticket splitters identify as moderate, as do two in five Trump ticket splitters.

Ticket Splitters Differ From Their Straight Ticket Counterparts in Important Ways

Biden voters who voted for Republicans down ballot look less Democratic on a range of metrics: they report higher levels of Fox News consumption, college education, churchgoing, and gun ownership.

  • Much like straight ticket Democratic voters, Biden-Republican splitters gave Trump low marks on his handling of the pandemic: however, on the economy, 41% approve of his handling.

Coronavirus – But Also the Economy – Were Key Issues for Biden-Republican Ticket Splitters in the Presidential Race

While three in five straight ticket Democratic voters said the coronavirus was one of the most important issues in their vote for President, seven in ten Biden-Republican ticket splitters said the same.

  • Similar to straight ticket Republicans, 54% of Trump-Democrat ticket splitters said jobs and the economy was a top issue, and 36% said the same of taxes.

Unity and Coronavirus Plan Especially Important to Biden’s Appeal Among Ticket Splitters

While more than 45% of straight ticket Democrats rated a range of issues from division to Biden working for everyday Americans and not the top one percent as the most important, ticket splitters focused on unity and the pandemic.

More Than Three in Five Biden-Republican Voters on Average Support Progressive Economic, Cultural, and Pandemic Policies

At least 60% of Biden-Republican ticket splitters on average agreed more with progressive statements related to the economy, culture/society, and coronavirus, while majorities of Trump-Democrats also agreed with the more progressive side of key debates related to the pandemic and the economy.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Welcome to NAVIGATOR – a project designed to better understand the American public’s views on issues of the day and help advocates, elected officials, and other interested parties understand the language, imagery, and messaging needed to make and win key policy arguments.

This release features findings from a national online survey of 985 registered voters conducted November 10-12, 2020.

Key takeaways

  • By a 20-point margin, a majority believe Donald Trump should concede the election, including one in five Trump voters.
  • Doubt about the accuracy of the vote count remains high among Trump voters.
  • Three in five Americans believe it is time for the transition process to begin.

What We Did

The Majority of Americans, Including a Fifth of Trump Voters, Say President Trump Should Concede the Election

Since November 5th, there has been a 28-point increase in the share who say Trump should concede the election right now, including a 13-point increase among Trump voters and a 42-point increase among Biden voters.

Most Americans Continue to Say Biden is Winning the Election

About three in four say Biden is winning the election.

  • Nearly eight in ten independents (78%) say Biden is winning the election.

Growing Number of Republicans Expect Long Wait for Election Winner

Three in four Biden voters say we already know who won while just one in four Trump voters say the same.

  • Since November 5th, there has been a 28-point increase in the share of Republicans who say we will know the results of the presidential election “sometime by the end of November” or “not until after” (from 35% to 63%).

A Majority Side With Biden Campaign Instead of Trump Campaign and Its Claims the Election “Is Not Over”

Levels of support for the Biden campaign are higher among Biden voters (92%) than support for the Trump campaign is among Trump voters (83%).

Approval Ratings of Biden’s Response to the Election Results Remain High While Trump’s Remain in the Negative

Biden’s approval ratings on his response to the election results nearly double Trump’s approval ratings on the issue.

Three in Five Say Trump “Just Wants to Win” While Majority Say Biden Wants an “Honest and Accurate Count”

Only a third of Americans say Trump “wants an honest and accurate count of the votes” while more than half say the same of Biden.

  • Nearly one in four (23%) Trump voters say Trump “just wants to win.”

Most Americans Believe It’s Time for the Transition to Begin

More than half of Americans say a range of items – from foreign leaders calling Biden to congratulate him to Secret Service beginning to provide additional protection to Biden – are appropriate and not premature.

  • One in four (27%) Trump voters say it is an appropriate time to start transitioning power between presidents.

Confidence Remains High in Election Results, Though Much Higher Among Biden Voters Than Trump Voters

Since November 8th, there has been a 10-point increase in confidence among Trump voters that the results of the election will be counted correctly and fairly, though still less than half say they are confident.

Concerns About Voter Fraud Remain Higher Than Concerns About Suppression Especially Among Trump Voters

Three in ten Americans say they are not concerned about voter suppression or voter fraud in the ongoing count of the election results, while two in five now say they are more concerned about voter fraud.

  • Seven in ten (70%) Trump voters are more concerned about voter fraud than voter suppression.