Republicans and Democrats think a rigged election would be the main reason their candidate lost

Hoang NguyenData Journalist
October 28, 2020, 3:34 PM UTC

YouGov’s most recent update to the 2020 Presidential Election Model shows Joe Biden currently leading Donald Trump by 9 percentage points to win the popular vote. Trump’s upset victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016 blindsided both political pundits and the American electorate and left many wondering how Clinton could be the one to lose?

In a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll, the same question was posed on the current race and voters say that if Biden or Trump were to lose this election, it would be for completely different reasons.

If President Donald Trump were to lose, more than half of voters (54%) think his performance on the COVID-19 pandemic would be one of the most important factors. A similar number (52%) also say that if Trump were to lose, it would be because voters in general thought Joe Biden would make a better president than Trump currently is.

But among Republicans, by far the most plausible explanation for a Trump loss would be that the election was rigged. A majority of Republicans (56%) say this would be the most important factor in a Biden victory – far more than think the same of Trump’s COVID-19 performance (29%) or the idea that voters just like Biden better (21%). 
Faced with having to explain another shock loss for the Democrats, nearly half of voters say that the most explanation would be voters thinking Donald Trump made for a better president (49%).

The data reveals that elections rigging is not just a Republican concern. The majority (57%) of Democrats are of the mind that if Biden were to lose the presidential elections, Republican meddling would be the most important factor in why he lost. 

At least a quarter of voters also say that if Biden were to lose, his racism (27%) or the way he ran his campaign (25%) would be the most important reasons as to why he lost.
See the toplines and crosstabs from this week’s Yahoo News/YouGov Poll  

Methodology:  The Yahoo! News survey was conducted by YouGov using a nationally representative sample of 1,500 U.S. registered voters interviewed online between October 23-25, 2020. This sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the American Community Survey, conducted by the U.S. 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 U.S registered voters. The margin of error for the entire sample is ±3.0%  

Image: Getty