AP VoteCast: North Carolina voters sour on state of nation

AP VoteCast: North Carolina voters sour on state of nation
Voters in North Carolina made their pick for president while holding negative views about the country’s direction, according to an expansive AP survey of the American electorate. (Source: WIS)

(AP) - Voters in North Carolina 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 41% of North Carolina voters said the U.S. is on the right track and 58% 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 3,731 voters and 701 nonvoters in North Carolina -- 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 while Trump had an advantage over Biden among older voters.

Black voters were more likely to prefer Biden over Trump. White voters were more likely to support Trump over Biden.

College-educated voters were more likely to back Biden while voters without a college degree were more likely to support Trump.

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

RACE FOR SENATE

In the race for U.S. Senate, Cal Cunningham had an edge over Thom Tillis among voters under 45 but older voters were more likely to back Tillis over Cunningham.

Black voters were more likely to favor Cunningham while white voters were more likely to back Tillis.

College-educated voters modestly preferred Cunningham over Tillis but voters without a college degree were more likely to back Tillis.

Both voters in cities and suburban voters were more likely to back Cunningham while voters in small towns and rural areas were more likely to favor Tillis over Cunningham.

RACE FOR GOVERNOR

In the race for governor, Cooper led Forest among voters under 45. Roy Cooper had an edge over Dan Forest among older voters.

Black voters were more likely to support Cooper. White voters were more likely to support Forest.

Cooper had an advantage among college-educated voters while Cooper was roughly even with Forest among voters without a college degree.

Both voters in cities and suburban voters were more likely to prefer Cooper but voters in small towns and rural areas were more likely to favor Forest.

FACING THE PANDEMIC

The coronavirus pandemic has spread through the U.S. for roughly eight months, killing more than 230,000 Americans. Overall, 18% of voters said the virus in the U.S. is completely or mostly under control, and 33% said it’s somewhat under control. Forty-nine 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 North Carolina. Forty-one percent 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.

Ten percent named health care, 8% named racism and 4% named law enforcement.

NATIONAL ECONOMY

Voters were more negative than positive in their assessments of the nation’s economy. Overall, 44% 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 North Carolina, 25% said that was because they don’t like politics generally, 15% said they are concerned about being exposed to the coronavirus and 14% said they don’t like the candidates.

In North Carolina, 77% of nonvoters were younger than 45 and 82% did not have a college degree.

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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 3,731 voters in North Carolina 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 1.9 percentage points. Find more details about AP VoteCast’s methodology at https://ap.org/votecast.

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