More Voters Concerned over Economy Than Coronavirus, Exit Polling Shows

A new business prepares to open up following lockdowns in Encinitas, Calif., July 30, 2020. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

More voters named the economy as their most critical issue in selecting a president, over issues such as racial inequality or the coronavirus, both of which trailed behind, according to exit polls.

CNN exit polls showed about one-third of voters identified the economy as the most pressing issue, while roughly one in five voters called racial inequality the top issue and just one in six said the same of the coronavirus pandemic. Only one in 10 each named health care policy and crime and violence as their top issue.

However, a narrow majority said the country’s top priority should be containing the coronavirus over rebuilding the economy.

The poll showed voters were fairly evenly split over how well the economy is doing, though more than half said the pandemic had caused them financial hardship. 

However, four in 10 voters said they were better off today than four years ago, while just two in 10 said they were worse off today.

The polling comes as the country faces a third surge in coronavirus cases, having set a grim record on Wednesday for most daily new coronavirus cases, with 102,831 new cases recorded, marking the first time the count had reached six-digit numbers.

As the pandemic rages on, the U.S. is struggling to rebuild its economy, which suffered its steepest loss of jobs in April and is still down 10.7 million jobs since February. The unemployment rate, at 7.9 percent, is the highest it has been heading into a presidential election since the government first began tracking the monthly rate in 1948.

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