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One-third of US voters say economy is most important voting issue, CNN poll shows

One-fifth said racial inequality was the most critical issue and more than one-sixth said the pandemic was most important.

Details of the CNN exit poll.
Details of the CNN exit poll.
Image: CNN

A LARGER PORTION of US voters said the economy is the most critical issue to their vote, ahead of racial inequality and the pandemic, according to an exit poll from CNN. 

Those surveyed were a combination of those who voted on Election Day and those who cast their ballots ahead of time. 

One-third of people surveyed said the economy was the most important issue to their vote. 

One-fifth said racial inequality was the most critical issue and one-sixth said the pandemic was most important.

These figures varied between Trump and Biden supporters.

Almost six in ten of Trump voters said the economy was their top issue while the number for Biden supports was just one in ten. 

Around 30% of people surveyed who voted for Biden said the pandemic was their main priority compared to just 5% of Trump voters. 

48% of people also said the US efforts to contain the coronavirus are going well, while 51% said they are going badly. 

IMG-20201104-WA0000 (1) Results of the CNN election exit poll. Source: CNN

More than half of voters surveyed said the Covid-19 pandemic has caused them financial hardship while four in ten said they are better off today than they were four years ago.

In terms of the quality voters said they were looking for in a president, one-third said they wanted a strong leader. 

Just under one-quarter said they wanted someone with good judgement and just over one-fifth said a candidate who “cares about people like me” was most important. 

However, people have been warned to take exit polls like this with a grain of salt.  

FiveThirtyEight, a well-known opinion poll website, said it won’t be reporting exit polls this year due to pandemic-related changes altering how exit polls are being conducted, making them “even less reliable”. 

Although the site is talking more about exit polls for election results in each state, it said “exit polls should not be used as a way to gauge a candidate’s support in real time”. 

The CNN exit poll was a combination of in-person interviews with voters casting their ballots on election day and phone calls asking the views of absentee, mail-in and early voters. 

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7,773 people were interviewed in-person on election day while 4,919 people were interviewed over the phone. 

Yesterday, the US Elections Project watchdog said more than 100 million Americans cast their ballots ahead of election day.

The ballots, which were mailed in, deposited in drop boxes or cast at polling stations ahead of time, represent more than 72% of the total number of ballots cast in the 2016 presidential election, according to the tally by the watchdog based at the University of Florida.

In the states of Texas, Hawaii, Washington and Montana the number of early votes exceeded the total number cast there in 2016. 

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