Poll: Two-thirds of voters don’t expect to know winner on election night

The poll found that just 20 percent of voters said that they believed the winner of the presidential election will be called on election night, while 66 percent said they expect it to happen sometime later. A plurality of voters said they think the election will be resolved within a week: 19 percent believe it will be the next day (like the 2004 contest between President George W. Bush and John Kerry), and 26 percent believe it will be between two and seven days after the polls close.

An additional 21 percent of voters believe the period of uncertainty will stretch past one week.

The results suggest that warnings about ballot-counting delays from election administrators and voting rights advocates are breaking through to the broader public. The coronavirus pandemic is producing a sharp uptick in voting by mail — many times the previous mail voting rates in some states, according to polling and ballot request data. And counting mail ballots can be a more time-consuming process than counting Election Day votes cast at a polling place.