Virginia Voters Sour on State of Nation

A monument to Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Richmond, Va., is covered with graffiti on Sunday, May 31, 2020, after overnight protests over the death of George Floyd. Many of the city’s most prominent Confederate monuments were tagged with similar graffiti. Protests were held in U.S. cities over the death of Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. (AP Photo/ Sarah Rankin)

By Associated Press

November 4, 2020

Residents shared their thoughts on everything from the president to economics.

ROCKY MOUNT-Voters in Virginia 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 continues Wednesday 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 36% of Virginia voters said the U.S. is on the right track and 63% 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 — including 2,288 voters and 451 nonvoters in Virginia — 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 both voters under 45 and older voters.

Black voters were more likely to back Biden over Trump while white voters were split.

College-educated voters were more likely to favor Biden while voters without a college degree were divided.

Both voters in cities and suburban voters were more likely to favor Biden over Trump while Trump led among voters in small towns and rural areas.

Race for Senate

In the race for U.S. Senate, Mark Warner led Daniel Gade among both voters under 45 and older voters.

Black voters were more likely to prefer Warner over Gade but white voters were divided.

Warner had an advantage over Gade among both voters without a college degree and college-educated voters.

Both voters in cities and suburban voters were more likely to support Warner while Gade appeared to lead among voters in small towns and rural areas.

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-three 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 Virginia. Forty-two 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, 10% named racism and 4% named climate change.

National Economy

Voters were more negative than positive in their assessments of the nation’s economy. Overall, 40% described economic conditions in the U.S. as excellent or good, and 60% called them not so good or poor.

Staying at Home

Among registered voters who chose not to cast a ballot in Virginia, 26% said that was because they don’t like politics generally, 20% said their vote doesn’t matter and 14% said they don’t like the candidates.

In Virginia, 71% of nonvoters were younger than 45 and 77% did not have a college degree.

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