AP VoteCast: Utah voters mixed on state of nation

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A voter deposits his advance ballot in a dropbox Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, in Mission, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (AP) – Voters in Utah 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 Utah 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 47% of Utah voters said the U.S. is on the right track and 52% 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 1,696 voters and 359 nonvoters in Utah — conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.

TRUMP VS BIDEN

In the race for president, Biden was about tied with Trump among voters under 45. Trump had an advantage over Biden among older voters.

Trump was preferred over Biden among voters without a college degree. Trump was about tied with Biden among college-educated voters.

Voters in cities were more likely to support Biden over Trump. Suburban voters modestly preferred Trump over Biden. Voters in small towns and rural areas were more likely to prefer Trump.

RACE FOR GOVERNOR

In the race for governor, Spencer Cox was preferred over Chris Peterson among both voters under 45 and older voters.

Both voters without a college degree and college-educated voters were more likely to prefer Cox.

Voters in cities modestly preferred Peterson over Cox while both suburban voters and voters in small towns and rural areas were more likely to prefer Cox.

FACING THE PANDEMIC

The coronavirus pandemic has spread through the U.S. for roughly eight months, killing more than 230,000 Americans. Overall, 19% of voters said the virus in the U.S. is completely or mostly under control, and 33% said it’s somewhat under control. Forty-eight percent of voters think the coronavirus is not at all under control in this country.

ON THE ISSUES

The coronavirus pandemic and the economy were top of mind for many voters in Utah. Thirty-six percent said the coronavirus pandemic is the most important issue facing the country today. Thirty-five percent named the economy.

Seven percent named health care, 5% named climate change and 4% named racism.

NATIONAL ECONOMY

Voters were slightly positive in their assessments of the nation’s economy. Overall, 53% described economic conditions in the U.S. as excellent or good, and 47% called them not so good or poor.

STAYING AT HOME

Among registered voters who chose not to cast a ballot in Utah, 24% said that was because they don’t like politics generally, 24% said their vote doesn’t matter and 13% said they don’t know enough about the candidates’ positions.

In Utah, 79% of nonvoters were younger than 45 and 82% 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 1,696 voters in Utah 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 3.2 percentage points. Find more details about AP VoteCast’s methodology at https://ap.org/votecast.

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