Most of the public – though not Republicans – want Congress to certify the election results

January 06, 2021, 2:00 PM UTC

Most Americans (56%) want Congress to certify the election of Democrat Joe Biden as President on Tuesday afternoon, but Republicans’ resistance to the President-Elect's win continues in the latest Economist/YouGov poll

Most Republicans (78%) believe that there was enough fraud to change the outcome of the election, as they have since November. Consequently, it might be expected that most of them (64%) don’t want Congress to certify the outcome. 

Even more of those who voted for the President’s re-election are opposed to certification (73%). But the rest of the country — both Democrats (90%) and Independents (53%) — want Congressional certification. 

This poll was mostly completed after news reports about President Trump’s phone call to the Georgia Secretary of State asking him to change the official election results in his favor.  

There are several indications that some Republicans may have been affected by President Trump’s ongoing refusal to accept his loss. Approval of how the president is handling the transition period has slipped eight points among Republicans (73% to 65%) since before Christmas.  

A slightly increasing majority of Americans overall approves of how President-elect Biden is handling the transition: it increased from 49% to 53% in the same period. 

Despite their desire for Biden to not assume the White House, Republican recognition that Biden will be inaugurated on January 20 continues to rise, albeit slowly. By 42% to 23%, Republicans say that Biden will be inaugurated this month, up from 32% in late-November

However, that’s not true for Republicans opposed to Congressional certification of the outcome. Only 22% of them say Biden will be inaugurated, while a third think he will not take the oath of office, and nearly half (45%) aren’t sure what will take place in two weeks. 

President Trump has not been willing to concede the outcome; most of his partisans agree with him, though the share of Republicans who favor a concession is growing. In this week’s poll, two in five Republicans believe the president should concede, up five points since the Economist/YouGov poll conducted before Christmas.  

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 US Adult Citizens interviewed online between January 3 - 5, 2021. 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 3.3% for the overall sample.    

Image: Getty