Roughly one-third of the registered American voters have cited the economy as the most critical issue as ballots were cast in the US presidential election, according to the preliminary results of a nationwide CNN exit poll.
The poll released on Election Day on Tuesday showed that about 1 in 5 cited racial inequality the most critical issue in choosing a presidential candidate, while about 1 in 6 called the Covid-19 pandemic as the most important in their decision, Xinhua news agency reported.
Despite the importance of the economy, the exit poll also shows that a slim majority of voters believe that the nation’s priority now should be containing the coronavirus over rebuilding the economy.
Noting that voters are divided over the top issues, the poll said President Donald Trump’s supporters are far more likely to cite the economy their top issue (about 6 in 10) than to cite coronavirus (just 5 per cent).
However, among Democratic presidential nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden’s supporters, more cite coronavirus as their top issue (around 3 in 10) than the economy (about 1 in 10).
The poll, conducted by Edison Research on behalf of the National Election Pool, is a combination of in-person interviews with Election Day voters and telephone polls measuring the views of absentee by-mail and early voters.
Voting took place across the United States, as the Covid-19 pandemic is raging on and a political divide running deeper.
“This atmosphere we’ve been in especially in Washington where it’s so divided is not good for the country, regardless of what side you’re on," Tom Waters, a soybean and corn farmer in Orrick, Missouri, told Xinhua in a phone interview after voting on Tuesday.
“I hope, the winning side, whoever it is will listen and start to pull this country back together," he added.