AP VoteCast: Tennessee voters mixed on state of nation

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(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Voters in Tennessee 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 48% of Tennessee voters said the U.S. is on the right track and 51% 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 2,252 voters and 526 nonvoters in Tennessee — conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.

TRUMP VS BIDEN

In the race for president, Trump was preferred over Biden among both voters under 45 and older voters.

Both voters without a college degree and college-educated voters were more likely to back Trump.

Voters in cities were more likely to prefer Biden over Trump while Trump was preferred over Biden among both suburban voters and voters in small towns and rural areas.

RACE FOR SENATE

In the race for U.S. Senate, Bill Hagerty appeared to lead Marquita Bradshaw among voters under 45. Older voters were more likely to support Hagerty over Bradshaw.

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

Hagerty had an advantage among both suburban voters and voters in small towns and rural areas while voters in cities were more likely to support Bradshaw over Hagerty.

FACING THE PANDEMIC

The coronavirus pandemic has spread through the U.S. for roughly eight months, killing more than 230,000 Americans. Overall, 20% of voters said the virus in the U.S. is completely or mostly under control, and 36% said it’s somewhat under control. Forty-four 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 Tennessee. Thirty-seven percent said it is the most important issue facing the country today.

Voters also considered the economy a major issue, with 32% saying it ranked at the top.

Eight percent named health care, 7% named racism and 4% named abortion.

NATIONAL ECONOMY

Voters were closely divided in their assessments of the nation’s economy. Overall, 51% described economic conditions in the U.S. as excellent or good, and 48% called them not so good or poor.

STAYING AT HOME

Among registered voters who chose not to cast a ballot in Tennessee, 18% said that was because they don’t like politics generally, 17% said their vote doesn’t matter and 17% said they don’t know enough about the candidates’ positions.

In Tennessee, 72% of nonvoters were younger than 45 and 85% did not have a college degree.

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