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Election 2020: Voters are highly engaged, but nearly half expect to have difficulties voting

Voting systems Election campaigns Elections Voter sentiment Early voting United States of America

Pew Research Center conducted this study to understand American voters’ attitudes toward and engagement with the 2020 presidential election and campaigns. For this analysis, they surveyed American adults online and by telephone.


  • Voters who support Donald Trump are far more likely than those who support Joe Biden to say it will be easy to vote this year. However, the shares of both Trump and Biden supporters who expect it will be easy to vote are much lower than the shares of voters who said this in 2018 – regardless of which party’s candidate they supported.
  • There also are stark differences between Trump and Biden supporters about how they prefer to vote. Most registered voters who support Trump or lean toward supporting him would rather vote in person in the presidential election (80%), either on Election Day (60%) or earlier (20%); only 17% prefer to vote by mail. By contrast, a majority of voters who support or lean toward supporting Biden say their preference is to vote by mail in the presidential election (58%).
  • In the midst of a pandemic that has taken more than 160,000 American lives and ravaged the nation’s economy, interest in the presidential campaign is about as high as it was in June 2016 and much higher than during the previous three elections when incumbent presidents were on the ballot.
  • With less than three months until Election Day, Biden has an advantage over Trump in voter preferences: 53% of registered voters say if the election were held today they would vote for Biden or lean toward voting for him, while 45% support or lean toward voting for Trump.
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