Which candidate is likely to send US troops to war?

Graeme BruceBusiness Data Journalist
September 17, 2020, 7:00 PM UTC

Supporters of both President Donald Trump and his Democratic opponent Joe Biden think war is likely if the other side wins.  

New Economist / YouGov Poll data shows more than half (57%) of Trump supporters think Biden will get the United States into a war. The figure among Biden supporters who think Trump will get the country into a war is even higher, at 74 percent. 

Overall, roughly a third (31%) of the American people think Biden will get the United States involved in combat; 44 percent think so of Trump. 

America’s military veterans are more likely to think Biden will pull the country into military action, compared to registered voters, and are less likely to think Trump will get the country involved in a war.  

This data comes after Trump threatened Iran with military action if it follows through on reported plans to assassinate Lana Marks, the American ambassador to South Africa. Tensions between the United States and Iran remain high since the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s top military commander in January. 

According to Economist / YouGov data from late August, about three-quarters (74%) of the nation sees Iran as unfriendly or an enemy, just behind North Korea (77%) and ahead of China (70%) and Russia (67%). 

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 U.S. adult citizens interviewed online between September 13 - 15, 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 3.4% for the overall sample.

Image: Getty