A new Harvard CAPS/Harris poll of more than 2,500 registered voters found that 58% of those surveyed thought President Donald Trump should concede the election now, and they also wanted the Senate to be run by Republicans so that government power would be divided.
As with most things in recent years, Democrats and Republicans were split in the poll, with 70% of Republicans saying Trump should not concede, with two-thirds also saying they did not think the election was free and fair.
Trump has said he thinks there was widespread voter fraud in the election and that he was actually the winner. He has been pursuing legal action based on voter fraud reports and affadavits as well as last-minute rule changes about counting mail-in and absentee ballots that he has said were unconstitutional and unfair.
Overall, 61% of poll respondents thought mail-in ballots were fair, and 57% thought there was no systemic fraud, although 72% of Republicans thought there was systemic fraud.
Majority didn’t vote on Election Day
Most voters either voted by mail (44%) or voted in person before Election Day (29%). Only 27% voted in person on Election Day.
Of the voters surveyed, 29% said the coronavirus was their top issue, while 26% said it was the economy and 14% said it was personal character. Most other polls taken before the election had identified the economy as the top issue.
“Voters see Biden as the clear and fair winner of a close race that was decided by Trump’s poor performance on the virus,” Harvard CAPS-Harris director Mark Penn said. “That is the reason he lost and voters are expecting the virus to be the day one priority of the Biden administration.”
Trump should have fought mail-in ballots harder
Penn also thought that Trump’s biggest error in the election was not fighting harder against easy mail-in balloting favored by Democrats.
“Trump made a series of errors despite his clear comeback in the last 10 days,” Penn said. “The top error was in ceding easy mail balloting to the Democrats.”
In other words, there probably was voter fraud with mail-in ballots, and because of that, Trump will likely not go on to a second term.
A majority of voters surveyed did not think the next election should proceed the same way as 2020’s. 36% thought mail-in balloting should be more limited and only available if you can’t vote in person, and 29% thought mail-in balloting should have more scrutiny. Only 29% thought the next election should be just the same as this one.
Ironically, Trump’s approval rating jumped to 51% in the new poll, down from 46% before the election.