By Leib Litman, PhD, Aaron Moss, PhD, Cheskie Rosenzweig, MS, Jonathan Robinson, PhD, Adam Dietrich & Shalom Jaffe
In the early hours of Saturday, November 7th, Vice President Joe Biden was declared President-Elect. However, not all Americans believe that the election was won fairly. According to a survey of 800 adults conducted by CloudResearch.com just a few hours before the election was called, 60.5% of Republicans agreed with the statement “The 2020 Presidential election was stolen”. By comparison, just 5% of Democrats and 29% of Independents agreed. When asked whether “President Trump is being cheated out of winning the election”, 72% of Republicans agreed, compared to 5% of Democrats and 31% of Independents. While 77.5% of Democrats believe that no credible evidence of voter fraud in the presidential election has been presented, only 24% of Republicans agree.
A large percentage of Republicans view the delay in vote counting as evidence of fraud. Specifically, 65% of Republicans agreed with the statement, “Delays in counting votes are an example of fraud in the 2020 presidential election,” while just 14% of Democrats and 31% of Independents agreed. In several questions asking about allegations of voter fraud, we find substantial numbers of Republicans expressing agreement while Democrats are more likely to disagree. The views of Independents are in the middle, although they tend to lean closer to Democrats. For example, in response to the statement, “Fake votes were mysteriously created by Democrats in the middle of the election night to push totals toward Biden,” 66% of Republicans agree while just 6% of Democrats and 25% of Independents do. Similarly, 66% of Republicans and 27% of Independents agree that the votes of many dead people were illegally counted for Biden, while just 7% of Democrats agree. In other instances we asked whether poll workers were illegally being blocked from observing ballot counting, and whether people believed some counties had more votes counted than registered voters. On all of these questions we found much greater shares of Republicans agreeing than Democrats or Independents.
Despite the deep divide in how Democrats and Republicans view the fairness of the election, we found similar numbers of Republicans, Democrats, and Independents expressing faith that the legal system would discover if there was fraud that impacted the election. Specifically, 61% of Republicans, 64% of Democrats, and 54% of Independents agreed with this statement. We also found, heartingly, that 86% of Republicans, 92% of Democrats, and 89% of Independents say that violence is not the answer no matter what happens in this election.
NOTE: The data reported in this blog were collected on 6 November 2020 via CloudResearch’s Prime Panels platform. We conducted a follow up study following the media’s declaration of Vice President Biden as the victor to see if the data would shift; find our updated results and methodology details here.