The economy is no longer Americans top concern heading into the 2020 election
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It’s not always the economy, after all.
In prior elections, fears about the economy have always been top of mind for Americans heading to the polls. But voters say that their top political concern heading into the 2020 election are the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and public health, according to data from a Fortune-SurveyMonkey poll of 2,802 U.S. adults between July 17 and 21.
The survey found that 37% of people say the coronavirus pandemic would be the number one issue on their minds if they went to the polls today. The economy took the number two slot, but virus fears beat economic worries by a longshot with a 13-point spread between the two. Race relations and racism were also of high concern to voters with 15% of all voters saying it occupied their top spot.
Biden had a slight edge when it comes to views on how he’d handle the pandemic. He was favored by 52% of people over Trump’s 45%.
The results spell potential bad news for President Donald Trump, who has been polling behind presumed-Democratic nominee Joe Biden. (Remember that head-to-head polls are just snapshots of a moment and not forecasts of election outcomes).
But regardless of his often double-digit lead in recent presidential polls, Biden hasn’t been able to dent the President’s favorability rating when it comes to the economy. Fortune’s most recent poll found that Biden and Trump were in a dead heat, about half of voters thought each candidate would do a better job repairing the U.S. economy. While the votes fell largely along party lines, more Independents favored Biden.
The President’s economic numbers may soon experience a shortfall as well. Gross domestic product (GDP) sank by an annual rate of 32.9% from April to June, the Feds announced on Thursday—the largest drop since the government started tracking in 1947.
The President replied to the news by falsely claiming that mail-in-voting is inaccurate and fraudulent and by suggesting a delay in the November 3rd presidential election, something he has does not have the legal authority to institute. Whether purposeful or not, the sensational tweet appeared as an attempt to distract from conversation around the economy.
Fortune-SurveyMonkey polling also found that while 15% of respondents said race relations and racism was the number one issue on their mind going into the presidential elections, that number jumped to 25% for those between the ages of 18-34 and to 30% for black voters, two demographic groups that Biden is hoping to win over.
Nearly 52% of voters believe that Trump is racist, according to a recent YouGov poll.
*Methodology: The Fortune-SurveyMonkey poll was conducted among a national sample of 2,802 adults in the U.S. between July 17–21. This survey’s modeled error estimate is plus or minus 3 percentage points. The findings have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, and geography.