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AP VoteCast: Voters sour on state of nation

Voters made their pick for president while holding negative views about the country's direction, according to an expansive AP survey of the American electorate.

Voters made their pick for president while holding negative views about the country's direction, according to an expansive AP survey of the American electorate.

The race between President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden concluded Tuesday as the nation remains in the throes of a global public health crisis and mired in the economic downturn it brought on. AP VoteCast found that 39% of voters said the U.S. is on the right track and 60% of voters said it is headed in the wrong direction.

Here's a snapshot of who voted and what matters to them, based on preliminary results from AP VoteCast, a nationwide survey of about 133,000 voters and nonvoters conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.


In the race for president, Biden led Trump among voters under 45 while Trump appeared to lead among older voters.

Black voters, Latino voters and Asian voters were more likely to prefer Biden over Trump. White voters were more likely to back Trump over Biden.

Biden led among college-educated voters but Trump had an apparent advantage among voters without a college degree.

Both voters in cities and suburban voters were more likely to back Biden over Trump but voters in small towns and rural areas were more likely to back Trump.


The coronavirus pandemic has spread through the U.S. for roughly eight months, killing more than 230,000 Americans. Overall, 19% of voters said the virus in the U.S. is completely or mostly under control, and 30% said itā€™s somewhat under control. Fifty per cent of voters think the coronavirus is not at all under control in this country.


The coronavirus pandemic was top of mind for many voters. Forty-one per cent said it is the most important issue facing the country today.

Voters also considered the economy a major issue, with 28% saying it ranked at the top.

Nine per cent named health care, 7% named racism and 4% named law enforcement.


Voters were more negative than positive in their assessments of the nation's economy. Overall, 43% described economic conditions in the U.S. as excellent or good, and 57% called them not so good or poor.


Among registered voters who chose not to cast a ballot, 24% said that was because they don't like politics generally, 18% said they don't like the candidates and 17% said their vote doesn't matter.

Sixty-nine per cent of nonvoters were younger than 45 and 79% did not have a college degree.


AP created this story automatically using results from AP VoteCast, a survey of the American electorate conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago for Fox News, NPR, PBS NewsHour, Univision News, USA Today Network, The Wall Street Journal and The Associated Press. The survey of 110,485 voters was conducted for eight days, concluding as polls closed. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. The survey combines a random sample of registered voters drawn from state voter files; self-identified registered voters conducted using NORC's probability basedAmeriSpeakĀ® panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population; and self-identified registered voters selected from nonprobability online panels. The margin of sampling error for voters is estimated to be plus or minus 0.4 percentage points. Find more details about AP VoteCast's methodology at



For AP's complete coverage of the U.S. presidential elections:

The Associated Press