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ASHCROFT pensive

More than half of Republicans will blame the media if Donald Trump loses the presidential election tomorrow, according to my poll of American voters. Asked what would be the most likely explanation if the result went against them, 54 per cent of Republicans chose “the media has worked overtime to undermine the candidate you supported”. A further 25 per cent said they would blame “a systematic effort by the authorities to rig the outcome”.

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Nearly half (49 per cent) of Democrats said defeat for their preferred winner would mean “another candidate has won fair and square in a tough but above-board election”; only 21 per cent of Republicans chose this option.

And in an echo of Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric, 54 per cent of GOP supporters strongly agree that “reporters who knowingly write false stories should face criminal penalties”, compared to 32 per cent of Democrats.

The poll of nearly 30,000 voters also reveals how Trump and Clinton supporters would react if their opponent were to win – with both sides expecting to feel “fear”, “concern”, “disbelief” and “despair”.

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As I found in my research on the Brexit referendum, the poll reveals stark differences in attitude between different voters. While Republicans are more likely than Democrats to believe that “if you work hard, it is possible to be very successful in America no matter what your background”, they are much more likely than Democrats to say that “for most children growing up in America today, life will be worse than it was for their parents”, that changes in society and the economy will bring “more threats to my standard of living than opportunities to improve it”, and that “life in America is worse than it was 30 years ago”.

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This survey will form part of a major study of American voters to be published after the election. Other findings include:

  • 14 per cent of Republicans and 48 per cent of Democrats say social liberalism has been a force for good.
  • 28 per cent of Republicans and 60 per cent of Democrats say feminism has been a force for good.
  • 35 per cent of Republicans and 60 per cent of Democrats say the Green movement has been a force for good.
  • 23 per cent of Republicans and 44 per cent of Democrats say globalization has been a force for good.
  • 18 per cent of Republicans and 43 per cent of Democrats say immigration has been a force for good.
  • 41 per cent of Republicans and 77 per cent of Democrats say the climate is changing and that this is “mostly caused by humans doing things like burning fossil fuels”. 13 per cent of Republicans and 5 per cent of Democrats say the climate is not changing.
  • 62 per cent of Republicans and 32 per cent of Democrats say the US Supreme Court “should base its decisions on the Constitution as it was originally written” rather than “its interpretation of what the Constitution means today”.
  • 26 per cent of Republicans and 41 per cent of Democrats say that “in general, the US has benefited from free trade agreements with other countries”.

29,706 adults were interviewed online between 13 and 31 October 2016. Full data tables are available at LordAshcroftPolls.com.

21 comments for: Lord Ashcroft: How would Trump and Clinton supporters react to defeat tomorrow?

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