n the run up to the 2016 Presidential election, many voters across the country did not expect Donald Trump to win. Led by publications as the New York Times and FiveThirtyEight, which famously showed the probability of Hillary Clinton winning to be at least higher than 71% (and sometimes much higher), voters generally assumed that the election result was largely decided against the New York billionaire.
Four years on, Democratic voters remain equally fervent in their opposition to President Donald Trump. This time, however, they are not as confident that they will defeat him. In a recent poll conducted by Redfield and Wilton Strategies of 850 registered voters in potential swing-state Arizona, we asked respondents how likely they thought President Donald Trump was to win or lose his re-election bid, taking aside whether they wanted him to win or to lose.
Nearly a third of respondents thought Donald Trump was highly likely to win and a fifth thought he was more likely to win than to lose, adding up to half of all respondents altogether. Another fifth thought the chances of the president winning or losing were about even. Meanwhile, only a quarter of all respondents were leaning towards predicting a Trump loss.
More interestingly, 25% of respondents who had voted for Clinton in 2016 were leaning towards predicting a Trump victory. By comparison, only 7% of past Trump voters predicted a loss.Taking aside whether you want him to win or to lose, how likely do you think President Doanld Trump is to win or lose his re-election bid?
How this frame of thinking will affect turnout remains to be seen. In the aftermath of the 2016 election, some political commentators blamed widespread predictions of a certain Clinton victory for depressing turnout from potential voters. Yet, this argument fails to persuade. After all, why wouldn’t someone who wanted to vote for Trump have been just as unlikely to vote, thinking there was no point to their oppositional vote?
Nevertheless, such a question can gauge the confidence levels of voters. Voters for Trump seem genuinely enthusiastic about their candidate and confident in a Trump victory, whereas Democratic voters are significantly less so at the moment. That sentiment may reflect the uncertainty as to whom their candidate will be and may therefore change over time.