Oct 25, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Poll: Majority of Americans ready to accept the election result

People vote at a Masonic temple in Brooklyn

People vote at a Masonic temple in Brooklyn. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

A majority of Americans say they will accept the U.S. election result, even if the candidate they support loses, a Reuters/Ipsos poll shows.

Why it matters: There are heightened concerns of post-election violence this year, prompting officials in some cities and states to take unusual measures to prepare.

  • "There is significant concern that we may see voter intimidation efforts and protests, some possibly violent, in the days leading up to November 3, on that day, and on the days following," according to the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
  • Trump said at a campaign rally on Friday, “They ask me, ‘If you lose, will there be a friendly transition?’ Well, when I won, did they give me a friendly transition? They spied on my campaign, they did all this stuff. That was not a friendly transition.”
  • The president has also made clear he will continue to call the results fraudulent — and contest the outcome in key states — no matter how wide the margin.

By the numbers:

  • About 79% of Americans, including 59% of Trump supporters, will accept Biden as the winner.
  • About 73% of Americans, including 57% of Biden supporters, would accept a Trump second term if the president wins the election.
  • However, 22% of Biden supporters said they would take action to challenge the result, while 16% of Trump supporters said they would challenge a Democratic win by protesting in public or resorting to violence.
  • The poll also shows Biden leading Trump by 8 points nationally, with 51% of likely voters saying they back the Democratic nominee while 43% say they are voting for the president.

Methodology: The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online, in English, throughout the United States Oct. 13–20. It gathered responses from 2,649 American adults, including 1,039 who said they had voted for Trump or were planning to vote for him, and 1,153 who said they were similarly backing Biden. The poll has a credibility interval, a measure of precision, of 4 percentage points.

Go Deeper: U.S. officials: Iran and Russia aim to interfere in election

Go deeper