Public Opinion on The Vote: Navigator Update

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 1,009 self-reported 2020 voters conducted November 4-5, 2020.

Key takeaways

  • Seven in ten voters think Joe Biden is winning the election.
  • Both Biden and Trump voters believe states should count every single vote even if it takes time.
  • Nine in ten Biden voters express confidence that ballots are being counted correctly, though fewer than half of Trump voters say the same.

What We Did

Americans Are Closely Following Election Coverage

Americans report hearing a range of things from news coverage of the election, including that the race is close, Joe Biden is in the lead, and Donald Trump and his legal team are currently disputing the results of the election in court.

  • On a separate question, 72% of Americans say they are following coverage of the election “very closely” or “somewhat closely,” including 79% of Biden voters and 70% of Trump voters.

Most Americans Think Joe Biden is Winning the Election

Respondents who completed the survey after 7PM (EST) on Wednesday were more likely (57%) to feel confident Biden was winning than those who took the survey earlier in the day (48%). Nearly half of respondents completed the survey after this cutoff.

Vast Majority Say States Should Take the Time to Count Every Single Vote Instead of Stopping to Declare a Winner

Three in four agree states should take the time needed to count every single vote, rather than that states that continue counting votes are just trying to change the outcome of the election.

Most Think Election Results Will Come Within the Next Week

Nearly three in four Americans say the results of the presidential election will be known within the next week, while two in five say the results will be known in the next day or two.

  • Biden voters (83% next day or two/in the next week) are more likely to believe we will know results in the next week than Trump voters (65%).

Overwhelming Majority Want Counting to Continue

The vast majority of Americans feel that we should continue to count ballots, including nearly two in three who say they feel this way strongly.

  • More than four in five (83%) Biden voters feel “strongly” about continuing the count, along with 49% of Trump voters who say the same.

Americans Remain Confident Both the Results Overall and Their Ballot Personally Will Be Counted Fairly and Accurately

Nearly seven in ten say they are confident the results overall of the presidential election will be counted correctly and fairly, and more than four in five say the same of their own ballot.

Most Say They Experienced No Problems In Voting – Though Almost One in Ten Report Waiting in Long Lines

Nine in ten say they experienced no trouble in casting their ballot in the 2020 election.

Most Americans Approve of Biden’s Reaction to Election Results and Disapprove of Trump’s

Three in five approve of Joe Biden’s response to the election results so far, while the same share disapprove of Trump’s response. More than two in five “strongly disapprove” of Trump’s response.

Americans Believe Biden Wants an Accurate Count, While Trump “Just Wants to Win”

Three in five Americans think Donald Trump just wants to win the election rather than have an honest and accurate count of the votes, including almost a quarter of Trump voters.

  • More than half of Americans think Biden wants an honest and accurate count of votes more than that he “just wants to win,” and nearly one in five Trump voters say the same about Biden.