First the good news. Most voters in the U.S. believe that Hillary Clinton will be our next president. The bad news? They also believe that if Clinton wins, Donald Trump will not accept the results and concede.
Americans overall are more confident that the nation’s votes for president will be cast and counted accurately this year than they were in 2008. Whatever the outcome, however, nearly 8 in 10 say that once all the states have certified their vote counts, the losing candidate has an obligation to accept the results and concede to the winner.
Expectations that the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee will win are widespread and growing. The 68% who say they expect a Clinton win now is up from 59% around Labor Day and 55% back in June just after the primaries ended. Republicans and Trump supporters are the sole groups, among which less than half think Clinton will ultimately win.
Among Clinton’s own supporters, 93% expect her to win the election, while just 57% of Trump’s backers say they’re expecting him to carry the day. Voters who support Trump yet expect Clinton to win are more apt than Trump backers who think he will win to say that the loser of the election has an obligation to concede (72% among Trump backers who say Clinton’s going to win, 55% among those who think Trump will).
Overall, 66% of Americans say that they have at least some confidence that votes for president will be accurately cast and counted in this year’s election, up from 58% who said so around this time in 2008 and a bit below the 72% who had that much confidence heading in to the 2004 election.
We have no idea what will happen if Trump refuses to concede, as it has never happened before. The situation with Al Gore and George Bush was different, in that there was a recount in Florida, and once the Secretary of State affirmed the votes in Bush’s favor, Gore conceded.