2 in 3 Voters Say Choice Was Mostly About Trump

Pandemic, economy, racial justice were among the top issues in exit polls
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 3, 2020 6:29 PM CST
Exit Polls: 6 in 10 Say Nation on the Wrong Track
Aaron Miles looked over his ballot as he waits in line to vote at the Charles M. Johnson Elementary School Polling Place Tuesday in Richmond, Va.   (James H. Wallace/Richmond Times-Dispatch via AP)

With the coronavirus surging anew, voters ranked the pandemic and the economy as top concerns in the race between President Trump and Joe Biden, according to AP VoteCast, a national survey of the electorate. Voters were especially likely to call the public health crisis the nation’s most important issue, with the economy following close behind. Fewer named health care, racism, law enforcement, immigration, or climate change. Exit polls conducted by Edison Research had slightly different results, per the Washington Post. About a third of voters had the economy as the No. 1 issue, with 2 in 10 saying it was the pandemic or racial equality. In the AP results:

  • Roughly 6 in 10 said the country is going in the wrong direction.
  • The survey found that Trump’s leadership loomed large in voters’ decision-making. Nearly two-thirds of voters said their vote was about Trump—either for him or against him.

  • About 4 in 10 voters said the pandemic is the top issue facing the nation. Roughly 3 in 10 called the economy and jobs most important. Trump, who has downplayed the virus, sought to focus his campaign on the pre-pandemic economy, while Biden has said the economy won’t improve unless the virus is controlled.
  • Voters were more likely to think the government should prioritize limiting the spread of the coronavirus—even if it damages the economy—than to say the economy should be the top priority.
  • Roughly half of voters said the coronavirus situation in the US is not at all under control. About 6 in 10 voters said the economy is in poor shape, while about 4 in 10 said economic conditions are excellent or good.
(More Election 2020 stories.)

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