Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Searching for smart, safe news you can TRUST?

Support safe, smart, REAL journalism. Sign up for our Axios AM & PM newsletters and get smarter, faster.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Minneapolis-St. Paul

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa-St. Petersburg news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa-St. Petersburg

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!
Data: Axios/Ipsos survey of 1,100 U.S. adults, Aug. 28-31; Chart: Axios Visuals

One in three Americans thinks we'll know who won the presidential election on the night of Nov. 3, and six in 10 expect the winner to be announced within a couple of days, our new poll finds.

Why it matters: The gap between public expectations and what experts are warning — that it may take weeks — shows the risk of a national crisis over trust and acceptance of this year's results, whether President Trump wins a second term or Joe Biden unseats him.

  • The count is expected to take longer than normal in part because of the massive increase in demand for mail-in ballots as a result of the coronavirus.
  • Legal challenges, including attempts to have ballots rejected or restored, could add to delays.

By the numbers: 36% of respondents say they think the winner of the 2020 presidential election will be announced on election night.

  • Another 24% expect an announcement within one or two days.
  • 14% think we'll know in a week.
  • 13% say it could be a few weeks, while smaller groups of Americans predict it could take longer than that.

Between the lines: While so many opinions around the elections are heavily influenced by party ID, so far this question is not.

  • A slightly smaller share of Democrats than Republicans say we'll have same-night results (32% versus 37%). These's even less of a gap by party among those who say we'll know within a couple of days.
  • More Republicans than Democrats think it could take longer than a month, but the difference is just 5 percentage points.

What they're saying: "The time stamp is less of an issue than the legitimacy of the results," said Cliff Young, president of Ipsos U.S. Public Affairs. "The real issue is, is the losing side going to think the other side's legitimate?"

  • "'We'll know when we know' is basically what they're saying," Young said of the current mindset — but that may change as reality sets in. "It hasn't been overly politicized yet."

Methodology: This Axios/Ipsos Poll was conducted August 28-31 by Ipsos’ KnowledgePanel®. This poll is based on a nationally representative probability sample of 1,100 general population adults age 18 or older.

  • The margin of sampling error is +/- 3.3 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.

Go deeper

Oct 30, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Court rules Minnesota absentee ballots must be received by 8 p.m. Election Day

An election judge drops a ballot in a ballot box at a drive through drop-off for absentee ballots in Minneapolis. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

An appeals court on Thursday ruled that Minnesota absentee ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day to be counted.

Why it matters: The ruling, which comes just five days before the election, blocks the state's plan to count absentee ballots arriving late so long as they're postmarked by Nov. 3 and delivered within a week of the election. Now those ballots must be set aside and marked late.

Oct 28, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Supreme Court won't expedite Pennsylvania GOP's request to block mail-in ballot extension

Amy Coney Barrett being sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts. Photo: Fred Schilling/Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States via Getty Images

The Supreme Court voted 5-3 on Wednesday to deny a bid from Pennsylvania Republicans to expedite their request to shorten the deadline for receiving mail-in ballots. Newly confirmed Justice Amy Coney Barrett did not participate in the decision.

Why it matters: A lower court ruling allowing ballots to be counted until 5pm on Nov. 6, as long as they are postmarked by Election Day, will remain in place for now.

2 hours ago - Health

Ipsos poll: COVID trick-or-treat

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note ±3.3% margin of error for the total sample size; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

About half of Americans are worried that trick-or-treating will spread coronavirus in their communities, according to this week's installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

Why it matters: This may seem like more evidence that the pandemic is curbing our nation's cherished pastimes. But a closer look reveals something more nuanced about Americans' increased acceptance for risk around activities in which they want to participate.