Public Opinion on Coronavirus and The Vote: Navigator Update

Tuesday November 3, 2020

Welcome to NAVIGATOR – a project designed to better understand the American public’s views on issues of the day and help advocates, elected officials, and other interested parties understand the language, imagery, and messaging needed to make and win key policy arguments.

This release features findings from a national online survey of 2,833 self-reported 2020 voters conducted October 30-November 3, 2020.

Key takeaways

  • Majorities of both Biden and Trump voters say it is more important to count every single vote in the presidential election than to immediately announce the results.
  • Americans are pessimistic about the direction of the country today and feel things have gotten worse since five years ago.
  • The pandemic trumps the economy as the most important election issue for voters.

What We Did

Majorities Say It Is More Important to Count Every Vote than to Immediately Announce Results

Four in five Biden voters agree more it is important to take the time to count every single vote than to immediately announce results, while more than half of Trump voters say the same.

Voters – Especially Biden Voters – See This as the “Most Important Election” of Their Lifetimes

Seven in ten Biden voters “strongly agree” that the 2020 presidential election is “the most important election in my lifetime” compared to just 58% of Trump voters who say the same.

  • Strong agreement, however, is higher among Biden voters (70%) than Trump voters (58%).

Three in Four Are Confident in Fair and Accurate Count

While at least seven in ten believe both the results overall and their own ballot will be counted correctly and fairly, Biden voters are 13 points more confident in the results overall and 7 points more confident about their ballot.

Biden Voters More Likely to Have Attended a Demonstration, Donated, or Posted Online about Politics over Past 4 Years

While most Biden and Trump voters report having taken some kind of political action since 2016, differences appear on several metrics: while 37% of Biden voters have donated to a political candidate or issue advocacy organization since 2016, only 20% of Trump voters say the same.

Voters Enter Election Day Unhappy with Country’s Direction

Two in three Americans say the country generally is “off on the wrong track,” including more than nine in ten Biden voters. However, a majority of Trump voters say the country is “headed in the right direction.”

Voters Rate Economy Negatively and Say Things are Going Worse Than in Pre-Trump Era

Trump voters are driving the share who view the economy positively (66% excellent/good) and who say things in the United States are going better than they were five years ago (71%).

Voters Cite Coronavirus Over Economy as Most Important Election Issue With Major Divide By Vote Choice

Four in five Biden voters say the pandemic is/was more important to their vote for President, and nearly the same share of Trump voters say the economy is more important to their vote.

Two Thirds of Voters See Pandemic Situation Worsening, Including Even a Third of Trump Supporters

Among both Biden and Trump voters, a majority know someone who has been infected with coronavirus. However, while nine in ten Biden voters say the pandemic is worse now than it has been in recent months, just a third of Trump voters say the same.