AP VoteCast: In Washington, voters sour on state of nation

The Associated Press

Voters in Washington 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 32 percent of Washington voters said the U.S. is on the right track and 68 percent 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 2,398 voters and 581 nonvoters in Washington — conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.

Trump vs. Biden

In the race for president, Biden had an advantage over Trump among both voters under 45 and older voters.

Biden had an advantage among both voters without a college degree and college-educated voters.

Both voters in cities and suburban voters were more likely to prefer Biden over Trump.

Voters in small towns and rural areas were divided between Trump and Biden.

Race for governor

In the race for governor, Jay Inslee had an advantage over Loren Culp among both voters under 45 and older voters.

Voters without a college degree appeared to prefer Inslee over Culp. College-educated voters were more likely to prefer Inslee.

Inslee was preferred among both voters in cities and suburban voters.

Voters in small towns and rural areas modestly preferred Culp.

Facing the pandemic

The coronavirus pandemic has spread through the U.S. for roughly eight months, killing more than 230,000 Americans.

Overall, 17 percent of voters said the virus in the U.S. is completely or mostly under control, and 27 percent said it’s somewhat under control. Fifty-five 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 Washington.

Forty-three percent said it is the most important issue facing the country today.

Voters also considered the economy a major issue, with 25 percent saying it ranked at the top.

Nine percent named health care, 7 percent named racism and 6 percent named climate change.

National economy

Voters were more negative than positive in their assessments of the nation’s economy.

Overall, 36 percent described economic conditions in the U.S. as excellent or good, and 63 percent called them not so good or poor.

Staying at home

Among registered voters who chose not to cast a ballot in Washington, 29 percent said that was because they don’t like politics generally, 21 percent said their vote doesn’t matter and 13 percent said they don’t like the candidates.

In Washington, 74 percent of nonvoters were younger than 45 and 79 percent did not have a college degree.


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 2,398 voters in Washington 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 2.5 percentage points.

Find more details about AP VoteCast’s methodology at ap.org/votecast.

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