Democrats and Republicans are expecting completely different election outcomes

Jamie BallardData Journalist
October 26, 2020, 6:30 PM UTC

With just a handful of days before the presidential election, the results of a new Economist/YouGov survey show that Republicans and Democrats are living in two entirely different elections, with large majorities on each side convinced that their own candidate is going to win.  

Among Democrats, 87% think Joe Biden is going to win the popular vote, including 63% who think he will win it by “a lot”. Yet among Republicans 65% think Donald Trump is set to pick up the most votes, including 40% who say he will win the popular vote by “a lot”. 

At present YouGov’s election model has Biden on 53.2% of the popular vote, compared to Trump’s 44.7%. 

Only 7% of Democrats think Trump is going to win the popular vote, while 16% of Republicans think Biden will do so. 

When it comes to the Electoral College, Republicans are even more convinced of an impressive victory. Overall 81% think Trump will win the most EC delegates, including 54% who think he will win by “a lot”. 

Democrats, by contrast, are more circumspect. Only six in ten (62%) expect Biden to win the Electoral College, with just 34% thinking he will do so by “a lot”. 

The YouGov election model currently has Biden taking 356 Electoral College votes to Trump’s 182. 

Just 8% of Democrats think Trump is going to win the popular vote, while a mere 4% of Republicans think Biden is set to become the next President. 

With just 37% of voters expressing “a great deal” or “quite a bit” of confidence that this year’s election will be held fairly, the fact that so many on both sides thinking their own candidate is on course for a strong victory could be a sign of trouble to come in accepting the election result.  

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 October 18 - 20, 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 2.9% for the overall sample. 

Image: Getty