US voters favor Biden on virus, Trump on economy

WASHINGTON — Voters in the US presidential election faced a public health crisis and a wounded economy, but neither candidate is emerging as the clear choice to handle both of those issues, according to AP VoteCast.

More voters — both nationwide and in key battlegrounds — say former US vice president Joe Biden would be better able to handle the coronavirus pandemic, the top concern for about 4 in 10 voters. But President Donald Trump edges out Biden on the question of who would be better to rebuild an economy besieged by nearly 11 million job losses and small businesses staring down a bleak winter. About 3 in 10 voters nationally rank the economy as the most pressing issue.

The competing concerns dominated the race between Trump and Biden, which concluded yesterday with the candidates locked in tight races across the battleground states. Biden warned that the economy can never fully heal unless the coronavirus is first contained and businesses can fully reopen. Trump argued that the economy should not be a casualty of the disease and maintained, without evidence, that the nation was “rounding the turn.”

Even as election night passed without a victor, clear lines were drawn in the electorate. Three-quarters of all voters say they knew all along who they supported. And Trump weighs heavily on their minds — two-thirds say their decision was driven by their opinion of the untraditional president, either for or against.

— AP

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