Trump voters still see Biden's victory as illegitimate

November 19, 2020, 10:10 PM GMT+0

Two weeks after the Presidential election where Democratic nominee Joe Biden won 270 Electoral College votes and the presidency, those on the other side continue to reject that outcome. President Donald Trump, and the vast majority of his supporters in the latest Economist/YouGov poll, deny that Biden was legitimately elected (88%), say voter fraud affecting the outcome (89%) and believe that recounts may change the election results (43%).

Nearly nine in ten Trump voters (88%) don’t think the President-Elect won legitimately, and their problems with the election mirror those expressed by the defeated incumbent. Nine in ten Trump voters believe that mail balloting was manipulated to favor Biden (91%) and that illegal immigrants tried to vote fraudulently (89%). Nearly all the President’s voters claim fraud occurred in the election (79% said there was “a lot” of it), with most believing fraud changed the outcome.

For Trump voters, recounts are necessary to help them accept the outcome. More than three in five of the President’s voters say recounts would make them more confident in the election results. But that is because most of those voters believe that the results would change after recounts, giving the President a victory. So far, however, ballot recounting has not affected Biden’s victory, and it is not expected to.

Those Trump voters who don’t expect the outcome will change, and those who aren’t sure what the impact of recounts would be, are much less positive about them.

There is even doubt among Trump voters that their own vote was properly counted. Even before the election, Trump voters were more likely to worry about the vote counting than those who supported the former Vice President. Now, approaching half (46%) have little or no confidence that their own vote was counted accurately. Only 2% of Biden voters think this.

Four in five Trump voters have little or no confidence that the overall election was fairly held. In fact, 80% of Trump voters say it is likely that the country will never really know the real outcome of the election.

Last week, in the immediate aftermath of the election, 71% of the President’s voters said they were pessimistic about the future of the country, marking a major shift from the final Economist/YouGov poll conducted before the election. That bleak mood among Trump voters has softened a bit, as that percentage has dropped 12 points (61% to 49%). So has the upbeat mood among those who voted for Joe Biden. As the counting and court challenges continue, the Democrat’s supporters’ optimism dropped 18 points in the last week (73% to 55%).

See the toplines and crosstabs from this week’s Economist/YouGov Poll

Methodology: The Economist survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 registered voters interviewed online between November 15 - 17, 2020. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the US Bureau of the Census, as well as 2016 Presidential vote, registration status, geographic region, and news interest. Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel to be representative of all US citizens. The margin of error is approximately 3.2% for the overall sample.

Image: Getty