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AP VoteCast: Mississippi voters say health care is top issue

Results of VoteCast survey showing percentage of Missouri voters who favor fundamental political change and those who want to see the system restored to how it was before President Donald Trump was elected;
March 11, 2020 - 8:37 AM

WASHINGTON - Voters in Mississippi’s Democratic primary ranked health care as the most important issue facing the country, well above climate change, the economy, race relations, foreign policy and many other social issues.

About 4 in 10 named health care, an issue that has intensely divided the field of Democratic candidates. Roughly 2 in 10 had the economy on their minds, according to a wide-ranging AP VoteCast survey of the Democratic primary electorate in Mississippi.

The Associated Press declared Joe Biden the winner just after the polls closed Tuesday in Mississippi. He was boosted in particular by strong support from African Americans.

Here’s a snapshot of Democratic voters in Mississippi — who they are and how they voted — based on preliminary results from AP VoteCast, a survey of 1,091 voters, conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.


Voters in Mississippi’s Democratic primary were more likely to support a candidate who would restore the political system to how it was before Donald Trump was elected in 2016 than one who would bring fundamental change to Washington.


About 9 in 10 said it was very important that a nominee can beat Trump, and about as many said it was highly important that the candidate cares about people like them and displays strong leadership.

Roughly 8 in 10 said a nominee should have “the right experience” and the best policy ideas.

Being willing to work across the aisle was considered very significant for a Democratic nominee by about 7 in 10 voters.


Among white voters in Mississippi, Biden had an advantage over Bernie Sanders.

That lead widened among black voters. Nearly 9 in 10 black voters supported the former vice-president over the Vermont senator.


Biden led among voters across age groups, though he enjoyed a wider advantage among voters ages 45 and older compared with younger voters.


A wide majority say they will definitely vote for the Democratic candidate against Trump in the general election. Still, about 2 in 10 say their decision will depend on which Democrat is on the ballot in November.


Voters in Mississippi were rather confident that the Democratic Party’s nomination process is fair. About half the voters say they are very confident that the process for selecting a presidential nominee is fair, and roughly 4 in 10 said they are somewhat confident. Just about 1 in 10 have little to no confidence.


The campaign has featured a contentious debate among candidates over the best way to tackle health care, an issue seen as the most important facing the country by about 4 in 10 voters.

There is majority support for a government-run health care system for all Americans, with about two-thirds of voters saying they are in favour. Roughly a third are opposed.

But support for a public option, where every American could buy into a government-run insurance plan if they wanted to, is even higher. Roughly 9 in 10 are in favour.

About 6 in 10 voters are in favour of either proposal, while roughly a quarter say they favour a public option but oppose a single-payer system.


Roughly 2 in 10 voters said the economy is the most important issue facing the nation. A significant majority described the economic system in this country as unfair. That includes about 4 in 10 voters who said it’s very unfair.

About another 1 in 10 voters called climate change the top issue. About 6 in 10 voters expressed support for a tax on the use of carbon-based fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas.

Roughly 1 in 10 named race relations as most important. Small shares of voters considered immigration, foreign policy or abortion most important.


AP VoteCast is a survey of the American electorate conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago for The Associated Press and Fox News. The survey of 1,091 voters in Mississippi was conducted for seven days, concluding as polls closed. Interviews were conducted in English or Spanish. The survey is based on interviews with a random sample of registered voters drawn from the state voter file. The margin of sampling error for voters is estimated to be plus or minus 4.1 percentage points.


Catch up on the 2020 election campaign with AP experts on our weekly politics podcast, “Ground Game.”

News from © The Associated Press, 2020
The Associated Press

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