For both sides in this election, defeat will mean a fundamental change in the country, for the worse

Matthew SmithLead data journalist
November 03, 2020, 1:29 PM UTC

Even the majority of Independents fear the government will be irreparably damaged if the candidate they’re backing doesn’t win 

With voters trudging to polling places across the country, a new Washington Examiner / YouGov poll shows how high people consider the stakes to be. 

Long gone are the days where someone might proclaim ‘it doesn’t matter who you vote for, they’re all the same’. Three quarters (73%) of registered voters say that, should their preferred candidate be defeated, the country will be changed fundamentally, and for the worse. That figure rises to more like four in five for Republicans (78%) and Democrats (79%). 

Even among Independents, who perhaps by their nature are less likely to be partisan, a majority (57%) still think a fundamental deterioration will take place if their preferred candidate doesn’t win. 

Only 17% of voters think that things won’t change fundamentally should their rival man win the battle. This includes 13% of Democrats, 14% of Republicans and 26% of Independents. 

See the toplines and crosstabs from this Washington Examiner/YouGov Poll 

Methodology: YouGov polled 1,200 registered voters on October 30 between 4:45 p.m. and 7:49 p.m. EST. The survey was carried out through YouGov Direct. Data is weighted on age, gender, education level, political affiliation and ethnicity to be nationally representative of adults in the United States. The margin of error is approximately 3.8% for the overall sample.