AP VoteCast: Kentucky voters mixed on state of nation, coronavirus

Voters in Kentucky 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 50 percent of Kentucky voters said the U.S. is on the right track and 49 percent 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 2,948 voters and 641 nonvoters in Kentucky — conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.

TRUMP VS BIDEN

In the race for president, Trump had an advantage over Biden among both voters under 45 and older voters.

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

Voters in cities were more likely to prefer Biden over Trump. Trump had an edge among suburban voters. Voters in small towns and rural areas were more likely to back Trump over Biden.

RACE FOR SENATE

In the race for U.S. Senate, Mitch McConnell led Amy McGrath among both voters under 45 and older voters.

McConnell was preferred over McGrath among both voters without a college degree and college-educated voters.

Suburban voters appeared to prefer McConnell. Voters in small towns and rural areas were more likely to back McConnell. Voters in cities were more likely to back McGrath.

FACING THE PANDEMIC

The coronavirus pandemic has spread through the U.S. for roughly eight months, killing more than 230,000 Americans. Overall, 20 percent of voters said the virus in the U.S. is completely or mostly under control, and 34 percent 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 Kentucky. Thirty-nine percent said it is the most important issue facing the country today.

Voters also considered the economy a major issue, with 31 percent saying it ranked at the top.

Nine percent named health care, 5 percent named racism and 5 percent 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 49% called them not so good or poor.

STAYING AT HOME

Among registered voters who chose not to cast a ballot in Kentucky, 22 percent said that was because their vote doesn’t matter, 18% said they don’t like the candidates and 15 percent said they don’t like politics generally.

In Kentucky, 72 percent of nonvoters were younger than 45 and 89 percent did not have a college degree.

The Associated Press