AP VoteCast: A breakdown of who voted in Mississippi, key issues

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A voter in Lafayette County, Mississippi

Voters in Mississippi made their pick for president while holding mixed 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 46% of Mississippi voters said the U.S. is on the right track and 54% 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 1,249 voters and 292 nonvoters in Mississippi — conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.

TRUMP VS BIDEN

In the race for president, Voters under 45 were divided between Trump and Biden but Trump was preferred over Biden among older voters.

Black voters were more likely to back Biden over Trump. White voters were more likely to back Trump.

College-educated voters appeared to prefer Trump. Voters without a college degree were more likely to support Trump.

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

RACE FOR SENATE

In the race for U.S. Senate, Voters under 45 were more likely to back Mike Espy over Cindy Hyde-Smith but Hyde-Smith led Espy among older voters.

Black voters were more likely to favor Espy over Hyde-Smith but Hyde-Smith had an advantage over Espy among white voters.

Hyde-Smith was roughly even with Espy among both voters without a college degree and college-educated voters.

Suburban voters modestly preferred Hyde-Smith. Hyde-Smith was neck and neck with Espy 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, 22% of voters said the virus in the U.S. is completely or mostly under control, and 32% said it’s somewhat under control. Forty-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 Mississippi. Thirty-four 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.

Eleven percent named health care, 11% named racism and 4% named law enforcement.

NATIONAL ECONOMY

Voters were closely divided in their assessments of the nation’s economy. Overall, 48% described economic conditions in the U.S. as excellent or good, and 52% called them not so good or poor.

STAYING AT HOME

Among registered voters who chose not to cast a ballot in Mississippi, 24% said that was because they don’t like politics generally, 21% said they don’t like the candidates and 17% said they are concerned about being exposed to the coronavirus.

In Mississippi, 74% of nonvoters were younger than 45 and 88% did not have a college degree.

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