On the brink of the next US presidential election the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney has released new polling data collected in the leadup to the 2020 elections which shows that only 31 per cent of Democrats would accept a Trump re-election, and only 45 per cent of Republicans would accept a Biden win.

Co-author of the State of the United States Poll, USSC CEO Professor Simon Jackman says, “We are clearly headed for an impasse and, potentially, a crisis of legitimacy.”

The new polling of 1,500 Americans between 13-19 October canvassed thoughts about voter fraud, ease of voting and whether the candidate from their opposing party should be accepted.

While Democrats had more confidence in the electoral system, they were less likely to say President Trump should be accepted as the victor if he wins the election.

“Partisan rancour and mistrust has been growing for decades, and is now driving perceptions about the foundations of American democracy: the legitimacy of elections and their outcomes.” Jackman comments.

Notably, most voters realise the results will not be supported by the other party, with only 16 per cent of Trump voters saying they believed Democrats would support a Trump victory. A slightly larger share of Biden supporters - 26 per cent - said Republicans would accept their nominee.

Click here to read the State of the United States Poll.

The polling experts are available for interviews or briefings. To book an interview or briefing please contact us-studies@sydney.edu.au.


  • 45 per cent of Republicans agree Joe Biden should be accepted as president if he wins the election
  • 31 per cent of Democrats agree Donald Trump should be accepted as president if he wins the election
  • •Most Americans realise the other side does not accept their nominee
  • Overall, supporters of the Democratic candidate are slightly more positive about the electoral system than Republican voters
  • Respondents with more positive perceptions of how well the electoral system worked were more likely to agree that it should be accepted if the other party’s candidate wins, and more likely to believe the other party will accept their own nominee if they win

View poll results