Coronavirus, economy top concerns for U.S. voters: exit polls

FAN Editor
2020 U.S. presidential election in Oklahoma
A voter gets up after filling out her ballot at a back porch polling place in Dover, Oklahoma U.S., November 3, 2020. REUTERS/Nick Oxford

November 3, 2020

By Chris Kahn

(Reuters) – A third of U.S. voters listed the economy as the issue that mattered most to them when deciding their choice for president while two out of 10 cited COVID-19, according to an Edison Research exit poll on Tuesday.

The coronavirus has infected more than 9.4 million people in the United States this year and killed more than 230,000.

In the national exit poll, four out of 10 voters said they think the effort to contain the virus is going “very badly.” In the battleground states of Florida and North Carolina, five of 10 voters said the national response to the pandemic is going “somewhat or very badly.”

Half the voters said it was more important to contain the coronavirus even if it hurts the economy, according to the poll, which is based on in-person interviews with voters on Tuesday, in-person interviews at early voting centers before Election Day and telephone interviews with people who voted by mail.

The poll found that nine out of 10 voters had already decided whom to vote for before October, and nine out of 10 voters said they were confident that their state would accurately count votes.

Other issues that were top of mind for voters include racial inequality, crime and safety and healthcare policy.

Edison compiles exit polls and live election results for the National Election Pool media consortium.

(Additional reporting by Dan Burns and Tiffany Wu, editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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