C-SPAN/Ipsos Survey: Worries Remain About 2020 Election Interference

Only about half of the American electorate (53%) is confident that the 2020 presidential election will be "open and fair."

That is according to a C-SPAN/Ipsos poll conducted Sept. 23-30.

Even fewer Democrats believe so, with only 39% saying that will be the case. By contrast, 72% of Republicans said it will be fair and open.

A majority or respondents (58%) said that foreign governments pose a threat to U.S. elections, but than number is 77% for Democrats and only 41% for Republicans. A majority of Republicans, though not a large one (54%) say the government has done enough to protect elections from that interference, while only 16% of Democrats said so.

President Trump has called the investigation into Russian election meddling and Russian contacts with his campaign a political witch hunt.

If the respondents don't appear to have a lot of faith in the process, they don't seem to have much faith in the people either. "A majority of Americans (53%) have little/no confidence in the wisdom of the American people when it comes to making choices on Election Day," the survey found. While about half of Republicans (54%), less than half (43%) of Democrats said so.

“Right now, there is a crisis of confidence affecting our democracy,” said Ipsos president Cliff Young. “By and large, the American people do not believe our elections are safe from foreign interference, and there is vast partisan disagreement over whether the next election will be open and fair. Whether this lack of confidence can be repaired before next November remains to be seen.”

The survey is of a "nationally representative" sample of 1,039 general adults age 18 and over. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.