The pandemic and the fragile economy weighed heavily on voters in Tuesday’s presidential election, a contest that for many amounted to a referendum on President Donald Trump’s leadership in a time of turmoil.
AP VoteCast, an expansive survey of the electorate, found roughly two-thirds of voters said their opinion of the Republican president — either for or against — drove their choice. Only about a third said the same of his Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden. This was the case nationally, as well as in many of the battleground states that will determine which candidate wins a majority in the electoral college.
The results suggest that Trump’s leadership, personality and omnipresence in the spotlight have defined the race, even as voters grappled with a historic set of overlapping crises.