Poll: Few Believe Winner Will Be Announced Election Night

Only 17% are expecting an immediate result
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2020 6:30 PM CST
Poll: Only 17% Expect to Know Winner on Election Night
A man casts his ballot on the floor of The Forum arena in Inglewood, Calif., Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

President Trump has said the election winner should be announced on election night—but few Americans are expecting that to happen, according to a Politico/Morning Consult poll. The poll found that only 17% of Americans expect to know the winner Tuesday night, while 18% expect to know the following day, 30% expect to know within a week, and 3% believe it will be a month before the winner is determined. The poll found only minor variations between different groups: The people most optimistic about getting a result Tuesday night are Republican men—23% of them believe a winner will be confirmed then.

The poll also found high levels of distrust of the electoral system among supporters of both parties, with 34% of Democrats and 30% of Republicans expressing a lack of faith in the system's integrity. With a rise in mail-in voting and a close vote expected in swing states that don't start counting ballots until polls close, including Pennsylvania, analysts say it could be days before a winner is confirmed unless either President Trump or Joe Biden has a much better night than polls predict. FiveThirtyEight, which lists when results can be expected in every state, predicts that while it may take a while for a candidate to clinch 270 electoral votes, "we should have a pretty good idea of where things are headed on election night," with Florida and North Carolina among the states likely to deliver results promptly. (More Election 2020 stories.)

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