Already, both Joe Biden and Donald Trump have indicated that the 2020 election may wind up being plagued by fraud and/or inconsistencies. Specifically, according to a companion USA Today report, Trump and his Republican allies have steadfastly opposed expanding voting by mail, something some states are keen to do in order to prevent voters from having to crowd into polling places during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Indeed, Trump has even gone so far as to say that voting by mail would lead to a “rigged” election.
Biden, for his part, has accused Republicans of outright voter suppression and is concerned that Trump and his Republican allies are trying to “steal” the election.
What’s more, Biden has suggested that Trump may simply refuse to leave the White House if he loses.
Regardless of how the election shakes out, a majority of poll respondents, according to a new Democracy Fund poll posted on voterstudygroup.org, say that both men should accept the results rather than trying to fight them out in court.
Specifically, in Trump’s case, 67 percent of Americans think it would be “inappropriate” for Trump to refuse to leave office, even if he claims he has credible evidence that the election was unfair. Among party lines, 56 percent of Republicans believe it would be inappropriate for him to refuse to leave; 81 percent of Democrats believe it would be inappropriate; 53 percent of independents believe the same.
Conversely, 29 percent of Republicans said that it would be perfectly appropriate for Trump to refuse to leave office if he had credible evidence the election was unfair. A comparatively small number of Republicans — 11 percent — say some amount of violence would be justified if Trump lost the election but had evidence that it was unfair.
And if Biden loses?
Just under half of Americans (45 percent) say it would be inappropriate for the presumptive Democratic nominee to dispute the election if he loses. Among Republicans, 69 percent say it would be inappropriate for Biden to dispute the election, while only 27 percent of Democrats say the same.
Joe Goldman, a co-author of the study, notes that the percentages of people on both sides of the aisle who are open to disputing the election are still large enough to not be taken lightly.
“A substantial portion of the public appears to be quite open to invalidating the results of the 2020 election, if their side loses,” he said.