“Americans sorted themselves into two distinct camps in the presidential election, exposing the clear and entrenched partisan divisions that separate voters by gender, class, and race,” reads the opening line of a Thursday morning story from the AP, based on results from its own AP VoteCast survey of 110,485 voters conducted over eight days, including Election Day.
Let me begin with a few caveats. First, given the fiasco of the election and the post-election anxiety now gripping the country, this is hardly the time to bet the farm on anything coming from polls, surveys, or the lips of those who conduct them. Second, pollsters on both sides of the political aisle who pontificated ad nauseam about a Biden — or Trump, you pick — win? Now that the proverbial chickens have come home to roost, these “geniuses” have more egg on their faces than Michael Moore plowing through a dozen Egg McMuffins.
Having said the above, whether Biden ultimately prevails or Trump pulls out an 11th-hour win, the AP VoteCast survey does shed at least some light on how we voted as a nation. How much of it you agree or disagree with is up to you. In other words, please don’t shoot the messenger.
Despite — or because of — 2020; the COVID pandemic, its disastrous effect on the economy, the racial strife in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in May, months of rioting by Black Lives Matter and Antifa thugs, 79 percent of voters said they knew all along who they were going to vote for, according to the survey. Similarly, about two-thirds of voters said their decision was about Trump — either for or against.
While Biden amassed a coalition of young, women, college-educated, urban and Black voters, according to AP, Trump locked down, as he did in 2016, overwhelming support among white rural voters, 62 percent of voters without a college degree, and a surprising cut of traditional Democrat support from Hispanic voters.
These two coalitions were also divided on what they saw as priorities for the country, and who they felt would best deal with those priorities.
Trump won on the question of which candidate would better rebuild the economy, devastated by nearly 11 million job losses, tens of thousands of small business closures, and an uncertain economic future. While Trump continued to exude optimism in spite of the virus, Biden insisted that the economy cannot return to its former strength until COVID is stopped in its tracks. As a result, among voters most concerned with the economy, about 8 in 10 said they would vote for Trump, vs. against Biden.
Conversely, among voters most concerned with the virus, Biden won, handily. Forty-five percent of voters said the pandemic is the top issue facing the country, with 57 percent saying it is not under control. About two-thirds said the government should prioritize stopping COVID’s spread — even if it requires additional measures that would hurt the economy. (Joe Biden seen furiously nodding in approval.)
Biden voters were also far more concerned about racism in America. Nearly all Biden supporters called racism a “serious” problem in U.S. society and in policing, with about 7 in 10 calling it “very” serious.
Additionally, the survey found:
Nearly three-quarters of U.S. voters were white and 55% of them backed Trump. The president secured 81% of white evangelical Christians. About half of men voted for him. Trump won 60% of voters living in small towns and rural areas.
Nationwide, nearly 57% of college graduates backed Biden. So did 55% of women. And 55% of voters under the age of 45. He won 65% of urban voters and 54% of suburbanites.
Six in 10 voters — including most Biden voters and about a quarter of Trump voters — said the nation was on the wrong track.
Finally, as relates to voter fraud, the survey found that 3 in 10 voters had doubts that their votes would be accurately counted. Ironically, given the continuing goings-on in Philadelphia, 36 percent of Pennsylvanians were not confident that the final vote count would be accurate.
In other election news, Biden locked up the 118-plus-year-old vote (ahem) in Michigan, as reported by my RedState colleague Nick Arama earlier today in an article titled Are the Dead Coming Back to Life To Vote Again In Michigan? This Is More Than a Bit Concerning.
Also, check out my colleague Shipwreckedcrew’s earlier article, titled Status of the Ongoing Vote Count in Arizona and Nevada, for updates on those two critical states.
And as also reported by Nick Arama, Even CNN’s Chris Cuomo Now Admitting Things Could Line Up for a Trump Win in Arizona.
AP VoteCast is 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.