By Cheskie Rosenzweig, MS, Leib Litman, PhD, Aaron Moss, PhD, Jonathan Robinson, PhD, Adam Dietrich & Shalom Jaffe
As the 2020 Presidential election nears its end, conversations about a contested election are picking up. According to the Washington Post and other news organizations, both the Trump and Biden campaigns are hiring teams of lawyers in anticipation of legal challenges after Election Day. New data gathered by CloudResearch.com quantifies how much the American people share concerns about a contested election and what consequences people think a contested election might have.
According to a CloudResearch.com poll taken in early October, people across the political divide expect disagreement about the outcome of the Presidential election.
People believe a contested election will pose a great threat to life in the U.S. About equal numbers of Democrats and Republicans expect increased racial tension, violence in the streets, and economic upheaval.
Most people would agree that 2020 has been a bewildering year. A contested Presidential election would only add to the chaos. Unsettlingly, large majorities of people within our surveys reported that they expect disagreements about the outcome of the Presidential contest and that such a disagreement would likely exacerbate much of the social unrest 2020 has already created.
Results based on an online survey of 800 U.S. adults by CloudResearch.com on Oct. 1-2, 2020. Data were collected using CloudResearch’s Prime Panels, a platform that incorporates data quality checks in sample recruitment and sources participants from an aggregate of online research panels (Chandler et al., 2019). Participants were matched to the U.S. population on gender, age, race, ethnicity, education, income and political-party affiliation. The margin of error is 3.5 percentage points.