Poll: Majority say Trump should concede
A strong majority of voters say the election was fair and that President Trump should concede defeat to President-elect Joe Biden, according to a new poll.
The latest Harvard CAPS-Harris survey finds that nearly two out of three voters believe the election was fair and that Biden won. Fifty-eight percent of all voters said it’s time for Trump to concede.
“Voters see Biden as the clear and fair winner of a close race that was decided by Trump’s poor performance on the virus,” said Harvard CAPS-Harris director Mark Penn. “That is the reason he lost and voters are expecting the virus to be the day one priority of the Biden administration.”
Still, most Republicans do not believe the election was fair or that Trump should concede. Two-thirds of Republicans said the election was not fair and that Trump won. Seventy percent said that Trump should not concede.
Those findings come as Trump makes unsubstantiated claims that the election was stolen from him through fraud.
The president’s legal team has been trying to overturn the results in court and the General Services Administrator has refused to ascertain Biden as the winner, depriving him of transition resources and government intelligence briefings.
Sixty-one percent of voters said the mail ballots system was fair and 57 percent said there was not systemic fraud, although 72 percent of Republicans believe there was.
A plurality of voters, 44 percent, said they voted by mail. Twenty-nine percent said they voted in person before Election Day and 27 percent said they voted in-person on Election Day.
The coronavirus was the top issue for 29 percent of all voters, followed by the economy at 26 percent and personal character at 14 percent.
Many states expanded access to mail ballots due to the pandemic.
Trump warned in the run-up to the election that mail voting was rife with fraud, and many believe this suppressed his own voters.
On Election Day, Trump ran up a lead in several states based on the in-person vote count, but Biden has been pulling away ever since as mail ballots are tallied.
“Trump made a series of errors despite his clear comeback in the last 10 days,” said Penn. “The top error was in ceding easy mail balloting to the Democrats.”
The public is split over mail voting going forward, with 36 percent saying we should go back to making mail ballots the exception, 35 percent saying it should be widespread but with additional scrutiny, and 29 percent saying elections should be run exactly as they were in 2020.
“Voters do want to tighten up controls on mail ballots going forward though they have no appetite for overturning the results of this election,” said Penn.
The poll found Trump’s approval rating jump in the wake of his loss and as he’s waged an effort to undermine faith in the electoral process.
The poll found the president’s job approval rating jump to 51 percent positive and 49 percent negative, up from a negative 46-54 split in the prior poll.
Trump is above water on the economy, jobs, immigration, terrorism and foreign affairs. He has a negative approval rating on the coronavirus, race and policing, and civil disorder.
“Surprisingly Trump is doing better nor worse after the election, underscoring that his best strategy is simply doing his job until Jan 20,” said Penn.
Sixty-one percent of voters said they’re satisfied with the outcome of the election.
Sens. David Perdue (R) and Kelly Loeffler (R) face runoff elections in Georgia in January that will determine which party has control of the Senate.
Fifty-six percent of voters said they want divided government with Republicans leading the Senate.
“It’s a very smart public that sent clear signals by electing Biden but rejecting the far left of the Democratic Party by showing support for divided government,” said Penn. “With Democrats and Republicans now having about the same image, it underscores why there was a close race rather than the predicted blue wave.”
The Harvard CAPS-Harris poll of 2,205 registered voters was conducted between Nov. 17 and 19. It is a collaboration of the Center for American Political Studies at Harvard University and The Harris Poll.
Full poll results will be posted online later this week. The survey is an online sample drawn from the Harris Panel and weighted to reflect known demographics. As a representative online sample, it does not report a probability confidence interval.
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