Just One Third of Americans Think the Election Will be Free and Fair: Poll

Only about one third of Americans expect that the presidential election will be conducted fairly, according to a new poll.

In the latest Yahoo/YouGov poll, conducted between October 9 and October 11 among 1,525 registered voters, 35 percent said they believed that "this year's presidential election will be free and fair," while 38 percent disagreed and 26 percent were not sure.

Even fewer had faith in the election process in a Yahoo/YouGov poll released last month, when just 22 percent said they believed the election would be free and fair.

A 47 percent plurality of Democrats thought there would be a fair election, with 31 percent saying there would not and 22 percent responding that they were unsure. Among Republican voters, 48 percent said it would not be free and fair, 28 percent said it would and 25 percent were unsure.

Thirty eight percent of Independents said the election would be unfair, 31 percent said it would be fair and 31 percent were unsure.

Ballot Drop Box
A voter drops a mail-in ballot into an election drop box in North Las Vegas, Nevada on October 13, 2020. Ethan Miller/Getty

Amid sagging poll numbers, President Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed that the election will be unfair, focusing on mail-in voting as an especially likely source of "fraud." Experts say such a scenario is highly implausible and that there's no evidence that mail-in ballots have ever been a significant source of election fraud.

In a sampling of 14.6 million mail-in ballots cast in the 2016 and 2018 elections, only 372, or 0.0025 percent were identified as potentially fraudulent, according to a Washington Post analysis. A separate analysis from the Brennan Center found a similar rate for overall voter fraud—between 0.0003 percent and 0.0025 percent.

Democratic nominee Joe Biden has also expressed concerns about possible fairness issues in the election, including alleged voter suppression tactics from Republicans and the possibility that Trump's baseless rhetoric about voting by mail could be used to fuel efforts to invalidate mail-in ballots, which are expected to lean heavily Democratic.

Among those who said they would vote for Trump in the current election, 54 percent said they believe that enough voter fraud will occur "to influence the outcome of the election," while 25 percent said not enough would occur and 21 percent were unsure. Only 19 percent of Biden voters agreed that voter fraud would influence the election, while 59 percent said that it would not and 22 percent were unsure.

An even larger share of Trump voters—58 percent—agreed with the statement that "the only way Donald Trump is going to lose in November is if the election is rigged." A 47 percent plurality of poll respondents said that they would vote or had already voted for Biden, compared to 39 percent for Trump.

Newsweek reached out to the Trump and Biden campaigns for comment.