Sixty-three percent of likely voters nationwide questioned in a Quinnipiac University public opinion survey released on Wednesday said they won’t know the winner of the contest between Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and President Trump when they go to bed on Election Night. Just 30% of those questioned thought that a winner would be determined on Nov. 3.
"Don't hold your breath on Election Night. Nearly two-thirds of likely voters don't anticipate going to bed on November 3rd with the election settled," Quinnipiac University polling analyst Tim Malloy highlighted.
A surge in voting by absentee ballots due to heath concerns over voting in person at polling stations amid the coronavirus pandemic will likely slow the vote count in many states.
There’s no partisan split on the question, with 64% of both Democrats and Republicans – and 60% of independents – saying it’s unlikely the presidential election will be settled the day of the election.
But there was, however, a wide partisan divide on the possibility of foreign tampering in the election.
Two-thirds of those questioned said they were very or somewhat concerned that a foreign government may try to interfere with the presidential election. More than 9 in 10 Democrats said they were concerned, while that figure drops to 59% among independents and 47% among Republicans.
With less than six weeks to go until Election Day – and with early absentee and in-person voting already underway in some states – the poll indicates the former vice president leading Trump 52%-42% among likely voters nationwide. The numbers are unchanged from Quinnipiac’s previous poll from early September.
Biden’s backed by Democrats 96%-2%, with the president supported by Republicans 91%-7%. Biden grabs a 49%-41% advantage among independent voters. Ninety-four percent of likely voters who said they were backing a candidate for president shared that their minds are made up, with only 5% saying they might change their minds before the cast their ballot.
An average of all of the most recent national polls compiled by Real Clear Politics indicates Biden up over Trump by 7.1 points. That’s down slightly from 7.8 points a month ago.
The Real Clear Politics average of national polling on this date four years ago showed 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton ahead of Trump by 3 points. Clinton led Trump by 3.2 points on the eve of the general election – and ended up winning the national popular vote by 2%.
But the race for the White House isn’t a fight for the national popular vote. Trump narrowly topped Clinton in many of the key battleground states, which helped him trounce her in the all-important Electoral College count to win the White House.
The latest polls in the crucial swing states indicate a much closer contest between Biden and Trump than the national surveys.
The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted Sept. 17-21 – both before and after the death of trailblazing Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg – with 1,302 likely voters nationwide questioned by live telephone operators. The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus 2.7 percentage points.