Three in Four Voters Expect Contested Presidential Election, According to CloudResearch Survey

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Fully 43% of Americans Doubt Ballots Submitted by Mail will be Counted Accurately; Top Voter Concerns in Event of Contested Results: Street Violence; Economic and Market Downturn

More than four in 10 voters doubt ballots submitted by mail will be counted accurately

Three in four Americans expect the Nov. 3 presidential election to be contested, according to a survey of likely voters conducted by CloudResearch, which conducts studies and in-depth research for some of the country’s top universities and technology companies.

The dour outlook likely stems, in part, from the number of Americans – fully 43% of voters-- who doubt ballots submitted by mail will be counted accurately, according to the survey. The “election-accuracy doubters” broken down by political party: 24% of Democrats and 62% of Republicans. Only six in 10 Americans (63%) believe voting by mail is secure (85% of Democrats vs. just 44% of Republicans).

Voters across parties share the same concerns if there's a contested election and prolonged uncertainty on the outcome:

  • the future of the country (80% of Democrats; 67% of Republicans);
  • increased racial tensions (76% of Democrats; 67% of Republicans);
  • violence in the streets (73% of Democrats; 72% of Republicans);
  • economic upheaval (63% of Democrats; 55% of Republicans) and
  • a stock-market drop (57% of Democrats; 63% of Republicans).

The online survey of 800 voters was taken on Oct. 1-2, matching the U.S. population on gender, age, race, ethnicity, education, income and political-party affiliation. The margin of error is 3.5 percentage points. Data were collected using CloudResearch's Prime Panels, a platform that rigorously vets survey participants from an aggregate of online research panels.

Drs. Leib Litman and Jonathan Robinson, experts in experimental psychology and data science, respectively, led the study on behalf of Queens, N.Y.-based CloudResearch. Dr. Litman is an associate professor of psychology at Lander College, part of New York City’s Touro College. Dr. Robinson is also an associate professor at Lander, where he chairs the computer science department. They co-wrote “Conducting Online Research” (SAGE Publications, 2021).

For more information and full survey findings, contact Sean Healy, sean@healycorp.com, 201-857-2520 or 201-218-2039/cell; or visit https://www.cloudresearch.com/resources/blog/poll-americans-expect-contested-2020-president/.

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