Exit poll results and analysis for the 2020 presidential election

AlertEarly exit polling results from a survey of voters are below. Stay tuned for updates as results are re-weighted to match trends seen in vote totals.

Data as of Nov. 10 at 1:05 p.m.

Who’s winning each group

Groups that candidates are winning by six or more percentage points

Donald Trump
Joe Biden

President-elect Joe Biden assembled a large enough coalition of voters in key states to unseat President Donald Trump and become the 46th president of the United States. His successful bid relied on winning margins among young and non-White voters, college graduates, independents and those concerned with racial inequality and containing the coronavirus pandemic.

Voters were concerned about the economy, the pandemic and racial inequality, according to preliminary results from national and state exit polls conducted by Edison Research. In an election marked by anxiety and litigation over voting access, a strong majority in two battleground states said they are confident their votes will be counted fairly.

About a third of voters said the economy was the most important issue in their vote for president, the preliminary results indicate. Roughly 2 in 10 said the coronavirus or racial inequality were their top issues, and smaller shares named crime or health-care policy.

Of President Trump’s voters, about 6 in 10 said the economy was their most important issue. Roughly a third of former vice president Joe Biden’s voters said racial inequality was their most important issue; slightly fewer named the coronavirus pandemic.

Voters nationally are divided about the state of the economy: Roughly half rated it negatively, with about 2 in 10 who said it is “poor.” About half of voters rated the economy positively, with just over 1 in 10 calling it “excellent.” In 2016, exit polling found 62 percent of voters rated the economy negatively, with 21 percent rating it “poor” — the lowest rating available to survey takers.

The preliminary results that The Washington Post is publishing explore demographic trends identified in national and state exit polls. These surveys randomly sample voters as they exited voting places on or before Election Day and through a telephone survey of more than 25,000 early voters to help account for the huge increase of votes cast early. Poll results continue to be adjusted to match vote tallies as the votes are counted nationally and in key states.

Amid a resurgence of coronavirus cases, preliminary exit polling finds U.S. voters are closely divided on whether U.S. efforts to contain the virus are going “well” or “badly.” At the same time, roughly twice as many voters said efforts to combat the pandemic have gone “very badly” than say they have gone “very well.”

Biden ahead among voters who said it was more important to contain coronavirus

Share of support among voters who said it is more important to contain the pandemic now, even if it hurts the economy

Voters were roughly divided over whether it is more important to contain the coronavirus or rebuild the economy, the preliminary results indicated. About half of voters said it is more important to contain the pandemic now, even if it hurts the economy, while 4 in 10 said that the rebuilding the economy is more important.

Biden leads Hispanic voters nationally, but Trump closed the gap in Florida

Share of support among Hispanic voters

Though Biden won the Latino vote 2 to 1 nationally in early exit polls, the surveys suggested that Trump improved his standing among Latino voters in at least two key swing states since 2016. In both Florida and Georgia, the president increased his vote margin since his matchup with Hillary Clinton four years ago. In Florida, home to many Republican-leaning Cuban voters, Trump appeared to have pulled roughly even with Biden among Latinos as a larger group. In 2016, Clinton won Florida Latinos by 27 percentage points. Though Trump trailed Biden among Latinos in other states, including Texas and Virginia, preliminary polling indicates that in most of the battleground states, he lost no ground from 2016 and may have even made modest gains.

Trump continues to lead among White voters who attended some college or less

Share of support among White voters who attended some college or less

White voters without college degrees accounted for about one-third of the electorate nationally, the surveys indicated. Trump won about 6 in 10 of those voters nationally, a slight decline from his dominance with that group in 2016. The gap between the president and Biden was even wider in Georgia, Texas, Ohio and North Carolina, a state where those Whites without college degrees accounted for nearly four in 10 voters, the surveys found.

Women backed Biden more than Trump; men split vote evenly

Share of support among female voters

The male vote split roughly equally between Biden and Trump, according to the preliminary results from the national survey, down from an 11-point lead that Trump had among the group in 2016. Among women, Biden led by double digits, similar to Clinton’s lead in 2016. In a national average of October polls, women favored Biden by 23 points.

Most voters decided before September, preliminary polls show

Share of support among voters who decided before the last week

More than 7 in 10 voters said they decided which candidate to support for president before September, according to early polling. There appear to be fewer late deciders than in 2016, when 13 percent of voters decided in the final week, a group that swung in Trump’s direction in key states. This year, with many ballots cast early, about 1 in 20 voters say they decided who to support in the past week.

Almost three-quarters of voters nationally said their candidate’s positions on the issues were more important to their vote, as opposed to their candidate’s personal qualities. Biden supporters said by about a 2-to-1 margin that issues were more important than personal qualities, and by about a 5-to-1 margin, Trump supporters said the same.

Preliminary polling in Pennsylvania finds that most of the Keystone State’s voters have confidence that votes in their state will be counted accurately. About 8 in 10 say they are at least somewhat confident in this, while roughly a third say they are very confident in this.

In North Carolina, about 1 in 10 voters identified racism as the most important problem facing the United States, according to early exit polls, a share that rose to about 1 in 4 among Black voters in the state. The topic played very differently among those North Carolinians voting for Biden than among those voting for Trump. When asked about the most important issue in their vote, about 4 in 10 among those backing Biden said racial inequality topped the list. For Trump voters, that issue barely registered, dwarfed by their focus on the economy.

About 1 in 10 voters in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania considered racism to be the most important problem facing the country, according to early polling. But clear majorities — three-quarters or more in all three states — consider it to be an important problem. Biden voters in these states overwhelmingly said racism is an important problem; more than 9 in 10 Biden voters in all three states said so. Narrower majorities of Trump voters in these states said the same.

Preliminary results by demographic group

Candidates who won a demographic group by six or more percentage points are highlighted.

Sex
Trump
Biden
Men48% of voters
trump
53%
biden
45%
Women52%
trump
42%
biden
57%
Age
Trump
Biden
18-2917% of voters
trump
36%
biden
60%
30-4423%
trump
46%
biden
52%
45-6438%
trump
50%
biden
49%
65+22%
trump
52%
biden
47%
Race
Trump
Biden
White67% of voters
trump
58%
biden
41%
Black13%
trump
12%
biden
87%
Hispanic/Latino13%
trump
32%
biden
65%
Asian4%
trump
34%
biden
61%
Other4%
trump
41%
biden
55%
NET Non-White33%
trump
26%
biden
71%
Sex by race
Trump
Biden
White men35% of voters
trump
61%
biden
38%
White women32%
trump
55%
biden
44%
Black men4%
trump
19%
biden
79%
Black women8%
trump
9%
biden
90%
Hispanic/Latino men5%
trump
36%
biden
59%
Hispanic/Latino women8%
trump
30%
biden
69%
All other voters8%
trump
38%
biden
58%
Party self-identification
Trump
Biden
Democrats37% of voters
trump
5%
biden
94%
Republicans36%
trump
94%
biden
6%
Independents/Others26%
trump
41%
biden
54%
Ideology
Trump
Biden
Liberal24% of voters
trump
10%
biden
89%
Moderate38%
trump
34%
biden
64%
Conservative38%
trump
85%
biden
14%
Education
Trump
Biden
College graduates41% of voters
trump
43%
biden
55%
Some college or less59%
trump
50%
biden
48%
Education by race
Trump
Biden
White college graduates32% of voters
trump
48%
biden
51%
White, some college or less35%
trump
67%
biden
32%
Non-White college graduates10%
trump
27%
biden
70%
Non-White, some college or less24%
trump
26%
biden
72%
Education by race by sex
Trump
Biden
White women, college graduates14% of voters
trump
45%
biden
54%
White women, some college or less17%
trump
63%
biden
36%
White men, college graduates17%
trump
51%
biden
48%
White men, some college or less18%
trump
70%
biden
28%
Family income
Trump
Biden
Under $50,00035% of voters
trump
44%
biden
55%
$50,000-$99,99939%
trump
42%
biden
57%
$100,000 or more26%
trump
54%
biden
42%
Religion
Trump
Biden
Protestant/Other Christian43% of voters
trump
60%
biden
39%
Catholic25%
trump
47%
biden
52%
Jewish2%
Not enough respondents to break down details
Other8%
trump
29%
biden
69%
No religion22%
trump
31%
biden
65%
White evangelical Christians
Trump
Biden
White evangelical Christians28% of voters
trump
76%
biden
24%
All other voters72%
trump
36%
biden
62%
When did you decide?
Trump
Biden
Decided in the last week5% of voters
trump
54%
biden
42%
Decided before last week91%
trump
47%
biden
51%
Most important issue in your vote for president
Trump
Biden
The coronavirus pandemic17% of voters
trump
15%
biden
81%
The economy35%
trump
83%
biden
17%
Crime and safety11%
trump
71%
biden
27%
Health-care policy11%
trump
37%
biden
62%
Racial inequality20%
trump
7%
biden
92%
Which is more important?
Trump
Biden
Containing the coronavirus now, even if it hurts the economy52% of voters
trump
19%
biden
79%
Rebuilding the economy now, even if it hurts efforts to contain the coronavirus42%
trump
78%
biden
20%

Methodology

Preliminary national and state exit poll results from interviews of randomly selected voters as they exited voting places across the country on Nov. 3, as well as from voters exiting early voting locations. Early voters were also reached through a telephone survey. The polls were conducted by Edison Research for the National Election Pool, The Washington Post and other media organizations. Results are weighted to match vote tallies by region and to correct for differential participation by subgroup. Totals may not add to 100 because of rounding.

Graphics by Brittany Mayes, Leslie Shapiro and Chris Alcantara. Text by David Weigel, Scott Clement, Emily Guskin, Kevin Uhrmacher, Ann Gerhart, Claudia Deane, Alauna Safarpour and Jocelyn Kiley. Illustrations by Ben Kirchner.