Republicans Less Likely Than Democrats to Accept Close Result in Presidential Race: Poll

The 2020 presidential election is going down to the wire, with President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden running within tens of thousands of votes of each other in several key swing states.

Votes—many of them absentee mail-in ballots—are still being counted, despite the Trump campaign's effort to stop them with the backing of his supporters on the ground. Biden, meanwhile, is urging calm and says he is confident that he is on the path to victory.

But even when the final tally is eventually called many supporters of the losing candidate may refuse to accept the result, according to a pre-election Washington Examiner/YouGov poll published Wednesday. The margin of error for the poll was around 3.8 percent for the overall sample.

The survey—conducted with 1,200 representative registered voters on the evening of October 30—found that a significant minority of both parties would refuse to accept that their candidate had lost if it was by a small margin.

Republicans were the most likely to dispute a close defeat, with 49 percent saying they would be not very or at all likely to accept the result. Of the Democrats, 39 percent said the same. Forty two percent of Republicans said they would be very or somewhat likely to accept a close defeat, while 49 percent of Democrats said the same.

Sixty three percent of voters from both parties said they would be either very or somewhat willing to accept a large defeat. Still, 28 percent of Republicans and 25 percent of Democrats surveyed still said they would be not very or at all likely to accept the result, even if their party lost by a wide margin.

Trump and Biden are still waiting for the final votes to be counted in Nevada, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. Biden is currently ahead in the former two, with Trump ahead in the latter three.

The large number of mail-in absentee ballots as a result of the coronavirus pandemic means the vote count is taking longer, and the closeness of the race means that both candidates still have a potential pathway to victory.

But Trump's route is narrowing. The mail-in ballots have largely been breaking for Biden and the Democrats, closing the president's lead in Georgia and Pennsylvania which have 36 electoral college votes between them.

The president and his supporters appear increasingly desperate to intervene and try and undercut Biden's momentum. The Trump campaign has filed lawsuits in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Georgia to try and stop officials from counting the remaining votes.

The campaign has also said it will demand a recount in Wisconsin, which swung narrowly to Biden on Wednesday with its 10 electoral college votes.

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Police officers stand facing supporters of President Donald Trump as they chant slogans outside the room where absentee ballots for the 2020 general election are being counted at TCF Center on November 4, in Detroit, Michigan. JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images/Getty