AP VoteCast: Michigan voters sour on state of nation

Voters in Michigan 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 38% of Michigan voters said the U.S. is on the right track and 61% 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 132,000 voters and nonvoters – including 3,566 voters and 952 nonvoters in Michigan – conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.

TRUMP VS BIDEN

In the race for president, Biden was preferred over Trump among voters under 45 but Biden was about even with Trump among older voters.

Black voters were more likely to prefer Biden while Trump had an advantage among white voters.

Biden led among college-educated voters while Biden was about even with Trump among voters without a college degree.

Both voters in cities and suburban voters were more likely to support Biden while voters in small towns and rural areas were more likely to support Trump.

RACE FOR SENATE

In the race for U.S. Senate, Gary Peters was preferred over John James among voters under 45 while older voters were split between Peters and James.

Black voters were more likely to back Peters over James while white voters were more likely to favor James over Peters.

Peters had an edge over James among voters without a college degree. College-educated voters were more likely to favor Peters.

Both voters in cities and suburban voters were more likely to prefer Peters but voters in small towns and rural areas were more likely to support James.

FACING THE PANDEMIC

The coronavirus pandemic has spread through the U.S. for roughly eight months, killing more than 230,000 Americans. Overall, 17% of voters said the virus in the U.S. is completely or mostly under control, and 29% said it’s somewhat under control. Fifty-four percent of voters think the coronavirus is not at all under control in this country.

ON THE ISSUES

The coronavirus pandemic was top of mind for many voters in Michigan. Forty-four percent said it is the most important issue facing the country today.

Voters also considered the economy a major issue, with 24% saying it ranked at the top.

Ten percent named health care, 7% named racism and 4% named law enforcement.

NATIONAL ECONOMY

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 56% called them not so good or poor.

STAYING AT HOME

Among registered voters who chose not to cast a ballot in Michigan, 24% said that was because they don’t like the candidates, 22% said they don’t like politics generally and 12% said their vote doesn’t matter.

In Michigan, 62% of nonvoters were younger than 45 and 79% did not have a college degree.

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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 3,453 voters in Michigan 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 the state voter file and self-identified registered voters selected from nonprobability online panels. The margin of sampling error for voters is estimated to be plus or minus 2 percentage points. Find more details about AP VoteCast’s methodology at https://ap.org/votecast.