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2020 Elections

AP VoteCast: Montana Voters Mixed On State Of Nation

A man in a ball cap and hoody, facing away from the camera, sits at a table enveloped by a cardboard privacy divider that says "Vote" next to an American flag.
Peyton Butler / Montana Public Radio
People vote inside the Missoula County Election Center on Election Day. Nov 3, 2020.

Voters in Montana made their pick for president while holding mixed views about the country's direction, according to an expansive AP survey of the American electorate.

The race between President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden concluded Tuesday as the nation remains in the throes of a global public health crisis and mired in the economic downturn it brought on. AP VoteCast found that 45% of Montana voters said the U.S. is on the right track and 53% of voters said it is headed in the wrong direction.

Here's a snapshot of who voted and what matters to them, based on preliminary results from AP VoteCast, a nationwide survey of about 133,000 voters and nonvoters -- including 1,135 voters and 137 nonvoters in Montana -- conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.

TRUMP VS BIDEN

In the race for president, Voters under 45 were divided between Trump and Biden. Trump led Biden among older voters.

Biden led among college-educated voters. Voters without a college degree were more likely to back Trump.

Voters in small towns and rural areas were more likely to back Trump. Suburban voters were divided between Biden and Trump.

RACE FOR SENATE

In the race for U.S. Senate, Voters under 45 leaned toward Steve Bullock over Steve Daines while Daines led among older voters.

College-educated voters were more likely to back Bullock while voters without a college degree were more likely to support Daines.

Voters in small towns and rural areas were more likely to back Daines but suburban voters were split.

RACE FOR GOVERNOR

In the race for governor, Voters under 45 were divided between Mike Cooney and Greg Gianforte but Gianforte was preferred over Cooney among older voters.

Cooney led Gianforte among college-educated voters. Voters without a college degree were more likely to back Gianforte over Cooney.

Gianforte was preferred over Cooney among voters in small towns and rural areas. Suburban voters were divided between Cooney and Gianforte.

FACING THE PANDEMIC

The coronavirus pandemic has spread through the U.S. for roughly eight months, killing more than 230,000 Americans. Overall, 24% of voters said the virus in the U.S. is completely or mostly under control, and 29% said it’s somewhat under control. Forty-six percent of voters think the coronavirus is not at all under control in this country.

ON THE ISSUES

The economy and the coronavirus pandemic were top of mind for many voters in Montana. Thirty-two percent said the economy is the most important issue facing the country today. Thirty-two percent named the coronavirus pandemic.

Nine percent named health care, 7% named climate change and 5% named abortion.

NATIONAL ECONOMY

Voters were slightly positive in their assessments of the nation's economy. Overall, 54% described economic conditions in the U.S. as excellent or good, and 46% called them not so good or poor.

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AP created this story automatically using results from AP VoteCast, a survey of the American electorate conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago for Fox News, NPR, PBS NewsHour, Univision News, USA Today Network, The Wall Street Journal and The Associated Press. The survey of 1,135 voters in Montana was conducted for eight days, concluding as polls closed. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. The survey combines a random sample of registered voters drawn from the state voter file and self-identified registered voters selected from nonprobability online panels. The margin of sampling error for voters is estimated to be plus or minus 4.2 percentage points. Find more details about AP VoteCast's methodology at https://ap.org/votecast.

For AP's complete coverage of the U.S. presidential elections: https://apnews.com/hub/election-2020