Alas, the vote on the next president of the United States is not up to us Europeans. Instead, today on November 3rd, millions of Americans will make their way to the ballots and cast their own votes in this crucial election and while current polling is showing a comfortable lead for Biden nationally as well as in most swing states, this election could still very well go either way.
How do our own pre-election survey results compare to others that have recently been published? Let’s have a look at this recent YouGov analysis which questioned respondents in the UK, Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden, Spain and Italy between the 15th of September and 4th of October.
Similar to our own survey, YouGov also asked Europeans which candidate they would prefer as the next US President. The results are just as clear. Across the 7 European countries surveyed by YouGov an average of 65% of respondents want to see Joe Biden beat Donald Trump, while only 14% of Europeans would rather see Trump emerge victorious from the election. This gap was most striking in Denmark, where 80% of the population is in support of Joe Biden and only 6% of in favour of Trump. Note that the even higher support numbers for Biden in the YouGov data, compared to our own eupinions data, can be explained through a slightly different wording. While we have asked Europeans who they would vote for themselves, YouGov asked respondents to state which candidate they wished Americans chose. As a result, our sample has a rather large group of respondents stating they’d vote for neither candidate, even though they might still have a preference as to who of the two candidates should rather win the election. YouGov has also asked a number of additional questions that we’d like to report on as well.
Firstly, their analysis shows that while Europeans do have a clear favourite in former US Vice President Joe Biden, they are far less certain about the actual outcome of today's election. Even though respondents in all countries surveyed thought it was more likely than not that Biden will win over Trump, Denmark was the only country where an absolute majority actually held that believe.
Secondly, Europeans also voiced serious doubts about the US presidential election process and the fairness of the upcoming election. Across the seven European countries in the YouGov sample, an average of 44% of respondents thought that that the upcoming election would be either "mostly not free and fair" or "not free or fair at all", while just 5% of European respondents believed that the election would be completely free and fair. Europeans appear to have lost trust in a well-functioning US democracy, a sentiment that also came through in our own analysis when we asked Europeans to what extend they believed democracy in the US to be effective or ineffective (see figure 2). On average, 52% of EU citizens in our survey answered that they saw the US as an ineffective democracy, with the exception of Poland where 77% continue to believe the US democracy is effective.