What motivated each voter to select the candidate they did in this year’s election? It’s a question asked by professional exit pollsters, as well as by PIX11 News.
One thing that we both found is that the issues that mattered most to voters often determined whether or not someone ended up voting for President Donald Trump, or former Vice President Joe Biden.
At the top of the list, by far, was Americans’ bottom lines.
“He made the economy boom again,” said Tom McDougall, as he proudly wore his Make America Great Again cap.
John Balash, who lives on the Upper East Side, also said that the economy was important for him. He’d voted for Biden.
“I’m out of work right now, so if someone wants to hire me,” Balash said with a chuckle, “I’m looking for a job. I think it’s just been unequal,” he continued. “The rich keep getting richer, and the middle class is getting edged out — the lower and middle class.”
The other top issues were racial injustice and the pandemic.
One thing that PIX11 News’s unscientific survey found was that those subjects were highest on the lists of people who voted for Biden. Some of the people for whom coronavirus and inequality were top motivators also equated those issues to the economy.
Beryl Robinson was critical of the president when it came to the pandemic and inequity.
“Basically, that made me say that he was not a man that would take care of me,” she said. “That meant that he would not take care of the country,” she continued. “And we are all suffering from this, economically, physically, emotionally, everything.”
Actual scientific exit polling reflected the issues that people on the street had expressed.
Pollsters from Edison Research asked people who’d just voted the question, “Which one of these five issues mattered most in deciding how you voted for president?”
The economy was the most-cited top issue, with 35 percent of voters saying so. Of them, they voted for Pres. Trump by an overwhelming margin, 82 percent, as opposed to just 17 percent for Biden.
Racial inequality was the second most listed top issue, with 20 percent of voters saying so. Of those voters, Biden got a massive number of their votes — 91 percent, versus Trump’s 8 percent.
The coronavirus pandemic was cited as the number one issue by 17 percent of voters. Biden dominated among their votes as well, 82 percent, versus 14 percent for Trump.
Rounding out the top five list were crime and safety, which was mentioned by 11 percent of voters. Trump held a commanding lead among people who’d listed that as their top issue. The president captured 71 percent of their votes; Biden got 28 percent.
Health care policy rounded out the top five list of issues. Biden won 63 percent of the votes of people who’d said that it was their top issue. Trump got 36 percent of their vote.