Most U.S. registered voters expect demonstrations if President Donald Trump wins the election on Tuesday than if Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden wins, according to poll data released Monday by The Economist and YouGov.
Trump has told his supporters that the Democrat-backed postal vote could lead to widespread electoral fraud. Some observers expressed fears that if Trump loses, he will not leave the White House without challenging the election results. Some major metropolitan areas have already made contingency plans for election night protests, regardless of which candidate wins.
According to the poll, 58 percent of likely U.S. voters believe that there will be mass protests if Trumps is re-elected. While 63 percent of them have already voted, 54 percent have not voted. The largest number of these voters – 61 percent – live in the western region of the USA.
Only 23 percent of voters consider the likelihood of protests against Trump’s election reasonably likely, while 4 percent say demonstrations are not likely at all.
If Biden wins, 22 percent of respondents believe protests are very likely, while 29 percent of respondents say demonstrations are more likely. In the Southern states, 26 percent of respondents thought demonstrations were very likely because of Biden’s victory, followed by the Midwest states, where 23 percent of respondents thought mass protests were very likely.
Washington Newsday asked the Biden campaign for a comment.
The Economist/YouGov survey was conducted online from a pool of 1,500 registered U.S. voters and showed an error margin of plus or minus 3 percentage points.
Early voters contributed to Biden’s overall 10 percentage point lead over Trump in the Economist/YouGov survey. Of those who had already voted by mail, 70 percent of those surveyed said they would vote for Biden. Trump has expressed doubts about the legitimacy of postal ballots, which means his government would challenge the election results.
During a press conference at the White House in September, Trump said that postal ballots were a “catastrophe.
“If you get rid of the ballots, you will have a very peaceful one – there will frankly be no transfer,” Trump said. “There will be a follow-up.”
Trump’s comments left Biden speechless in September.
“You see, he says the most irrational things,” Biden said. “I don’t know what to say.”
In September, Trump told Fox News anchorwoman Jeanine Pirro that if there were demonstrations on the night of the election, his government would end them “within minutes.
“You see,” Trump said, “that’s called an uprising. We just send it in and do it, very simply. I mean, it’s very simple. I’d rather not do it because there’s no reason for it, but if we had to, we would do it and put it down within minutes.
Members of the Texas National Guard are on alert on election night in case of riots. On Wednesday, Governor Greg Abbott said he would send units “to ensure that we will be able to respond to any protest that could lead to riots.