Polling News

Most Voters Will Watch Debates, But Few Will Be Swayed

October 01, 2020

According to Monmouth University poll, 74% of voters said they were planning to watch the first presidential debate between President Donald Trump and Vice President Joe Biden.  Of those, only 13% said the debate was very or somewhat likely to change their mind about which candidate to support.  Eighty-seven percent said the debate would not likely change their mind about their presidential pick. 

This is on par with previous elections.  Voters generally watch the debates but usually have their minds made up on who they are supporting. In 2000, 80% of voters said they were very or somewhat likely to watch the presidential debate.  It was 88% in 2004, 90% in 2008, 84% in 2012, and 75% in 2016.  A majority of those voters were set on their ballot choice when they sat down to watch the candidates.  In 2000, only 10% said something from the debate would sway their decision.  Only 18% in 2004 and 11% in 2012 said it was very or somewhat likely something from the debate would change their minds.  And only 12% in 2016 said the debates will help them make their decisions.

The first debate had mixed reviews, but it is unlikely many minds were changed.  With states already starting to vote, both candidates are running out of time to win over weak supporters of their opponent or undecided votes.

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