Just over a year out from the next US presidential election, a new poll released by the United States Studies Centre and YouGov has provided the first major insight into who Australians want to occupy the White House and how this compares to American voters. 

Key points

  • Only one in five Australians, including only one in three Coalition voters, want Donald Trump to win the US presidential election in 2020. 
  • Three of the top Democrats vying for the party's nomination beat the president in head-to-head polling of American voters, with four others falling short.
  • There is still a clear path for Trump's re-election through the Electoral College. 

Dr Shaun Ratcliff, a lecturer in political science, said the USSC-YouGov poll shows that Australians strongly support a Democratic win. 

“By a ratio of two to one, Australian respondents preferred an unnamed Democrat defeat Donald Trump in November 2020 and become the next US president. Young or old, Labor or Coalition, a Democratic win always appears to be the preferred option for most Australians,” Dr Ratcliff said.

Who Australians want to win the 2020 US election

Candidate

Proportion preferring (%)

The Republican candidate, Donald Trump

19

The Democratic candidate

41

Another candidate

19

Not sure

21

On the other hand, the polling of American voters shows that 2020 is shaping up to be a close contest.  

Three of the Democrats vying for the party's nomination narrowly beat the president in head-to-head polling of American voters (Kamala Harris, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren). 

But United States Studies Centre CEO, Professor Simon Jackman, said that recent US political history reminds us presidential elections are decided by a majority of the Electoral College.

“It is entirely plausible that the geographic distribution of 2020 support for Trump will closely track its 2016 distribution, with the distinct possibility of Trump again winning the presidency despite not being the plurality vote winner."

The USSC-YouGov polled 1,800 respondents in the United States and 1,820 in Australia in late July 2019. These are the first findings from what was an extensive multi-issue comparison poll of both countries.

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