More than half of Republicans will blame the media if Donald Trump loses the presidential election tomorrow, according to my poll of American voters.
Asked what would be the most likely explanation if the result went against them, 54% of Republicans chose “the media has worked overtime to undermine the candidate you supported”. A further 25% said they would blame “a systematic effort by the authorities to rig the outcome”.
Nearly half (49%) of Democrats said defeat for their preferred winner would mean “another candidate has won fair and square in a tough but above-board election”; only 21% of Republicans chose this option.
And in an echo of Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric, 54% of GOP supporters strongly agree that “reporters who knowingly write false stories should face criminal penalties”, compared to 32% of Democrats.
The poll of nearly 30,000 voters also reveals how Trump and Clinton supporters would react if their opponent were to win – with both sides expecting to feel “fear”, “concern”, “disbelief” and “despair”.
As I found in my research on the Brexit referendum, the poll reveals stark differences in attitude between different voters. While Republicans are more likely than Democrats to believe that “if you work hard, it is possible to be very successful in America no matter what your background”, they are much more likely than Democrats to say that “for most children growing up in America today, life will be worse than it was for their parents”, that changes in society and the economy will bring “more threats to my standard of living than opportunities to improve it”, and that “life in America is worse than it was 30 years ago”.
This survey will form part of a major study of American voters to be published after the election. Other findings include:
- 14% of Republicans and 48% of Democrats say social liberalism has been a force for good.
- 28% of Republicans and 60% of Democrats say feminism has been a force for good.
- 35% of Republicans and 60% of Democrats say the Green movement has been a force for good.
- 23% of Republicans and 44% of Democrats say globalization has been a force for good.
- 18% of Republicans and 43% of Democrats say immigration has been a force for good.
- 41% of Republicans and 77% of Democrats say the climate is changing and that this is “mostly caused by humans doing things like burning fossil fuels”. 13% of Republicans and 5% of Democrats say the climate is not changing.
- 62% of Republicans and 32% of Democrats say the US Supreme Court “should base its decisions on the Constitution as it was originally written” rather than “its interpretation of what the Constitution means today”.
- 26% of Republicans and 41% of Democrats say that “in general, the US has benefited from free trade agreements with other countries”.