On Tuesday 3 November, millions of people across the United States will vote in the 2020 Presidential Election. Across the Atlantic, Redfield & Wilton Strategies’ latest polling assessed attitudes towards the US Election among the British public.
Overall, 50% of British respondents care ‘not at all’ (18%) or ‘not very much’ (32%) about the US Election. Around a third (31%) say they care ‘a bit’, while less than a fifth (18%) care ‘a great deal’.
Those who voted for Labour in 2019 are more likely to care about the election ‘a bit’ or ‘a great deal’ (57% in total), than 2019 Conservative voters (49% in total). Meanwhile, there is limited differentiation in interest level depending on age, although a clear majority (54%) of respondents aged 65 or above say they care a bit or a great deal, compared to less than half of those aged 18-24 (47%) and 25-34 (48%). Interestingly, a clear majority (56% in total) of those who describe themselves as ‘working class’ care ‘not at all’ or not much’, while a majority (57% in total) of self-identifying middle class respondents care ‘a bit’ or ‘a great deal’
Although the British public is split in regard to their level of interest in the US Presidential Election, a strong majority (55%) say they would vote for Joe Biden if they could, while only 20% would vote for Donald Trump.Between 49-61% of respondents in each age bracket would vote for the Democratic nominee, and Joe Biden is best supported among those aged 55 or above (61%).
Furthermore, despite the often strained relationship between Joe Biden and the Conservative Party, a clear plurality (46%) of 2019 Conservative voters would vote for Joe Biden if they could, while less than a third (30%) would vote for Donald Trump. Meanwhile, two thirds (67%) of 2019 Labour supporters would cast their ballot for Joe Biden, compared to just 16% who would vote for Donald Trump.
Clear support for Joe Biden is somewhat related to the fact that a clear plurality (46%) believe the Democratic nominee would make the best ally for the United Kingdom. Only around a fifth (21%) say that four more years of a Donald Trump Presidency would be best for the United Kingdom.
Interestingly, while a clear majority (62%) of Labour voters think Joe Biden would make the best ally for the UK, Conservative supporters are evenly split on the issue (34% for Joe Biden and 34% for Donald Trump). Despite Conservatives personally viewing Joe Biden as a better candidate than Donald Trump, a substantial proportion may consider that Joe Biden’s long-standing opposition to Brexit, in contrast to Donald Trump’s support for the UK leaving the EU, could hinder a potential UK-US trade deal if Biden is elected.
Indeed, a clear plurality (37%) of 2019 Conservative supporters say the UK is more likely to get a favourable trade deal with the United States if Donald Trump is President, while only a quarter (24%) say a better trade deal will be achieved if Joe Biden wins the election. By contrast, almost half (46%) of 2019 Labour voters think the UK will secure a better trade deal if Joe Biden wins in November, whereas just 21% say the best deal will be achieved if Donald Trump wins a second term.
Ultimately, a plurality (40%) of British respondents ‘don’t know’ whether the UK will get a more favourable deal if Joe Biden or Donald Trump wins in November, which accurately reflects the uncertainty of how the “special relationship” is going to develop regardless of the outcome next week.