U.S. President Donald Trump won most voters who waited until the last week to decide which presidential candidate to support, exit polls reportedly showed by the end of Election Day.
Of the few Americans who decided which candidate to vote for in the last week, 54 percent support Trump and 40 percent are for Biden, the Washington Post reported, citing preliminary results from national and state exit polls conducted by Edison Research.
Noting that pollsters would update the data throughout the night to reflect vote tallies, the Post added:
More than 7 in 10 voters said they decided which candidate to support for the president before September, according to early polling. There appear to be fewer late deciders than in 2016, when 13 percent of voters decided in the final week, a group that swung in Trump’s direction in key states. This year, with many ballots cast early, about 1 in 20 voters say they decided who to support in the past week.
Biden and Trump enjoyed the level of support among the 91 percent of voters who decided before last week in roughly equal measure, 50 percent to 48 percent, respectively, the exit surveys revealed.
When this report was submitted for publication, the data published by the Post was current as of midnight.
An NBC News poll of up to 100,000 voters — surveyed as they left polling sites across the U.S. on Election Day and, to help account for the high number of early and absentee voters, at early in-person voting places and through telephone interviews— also found that 54 percent of late-deciders came out for Trump.
“This year, the few voters who waited until the last week broke for Trump against his rival Biden, 54 percent to 40 percent,” NBC noted.
“Trump won late deciders more narrowly in 2016, garnering 45 percent to Hillary Clinton’s 42 percent,” it added.
Late-deciders were reportedly considered the culprits for overconfidence in the 2016 polls that Hillary Clinton was sure to beat Trump. Polls again failed this election cycle, predicting Biden would win several states that went to Trump.
The Edison Research exit polls did show fewer late-deciders than in 2016.
The proportion of late-deciders dropped by more than half to five percent from 13 percent in 2016, the Washington Post reported.
According to the newspaper, the Edison Research polls “randomly sample voters as they exited voting places on or before Election Day and through a telephone survey of more than 25,000 early voters to help account for the huge increase of votes cast early.”