More Rust Belt Voters Better Off Financially Than 4 Years Ago, Poll Shows

September 18, 2020 Updated: September 20, 2020

A plurality of voters in Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin said they were better off financially in mid-September compared to four years ago, according to The Epoch Times Rust Belt Poll.

More than 31 percent of the 2,191 registered voters and 1,440 likely voters polled Sept. 11-15 said they were better off financially than four years ago. Another almost 18 percent said they were better off than four years ago until the pandemic.

The Rust Belt states—a region that was once dominated by manufacturing—are likely to play a critical role in determining the outcome of the 2020 election. Most voters nationwide, including in the Rust Belt, rank the economy as the No. 1 issue of the election.

Nearly 24 percent of those polled said they were in the same financial situation as four years ago, and 26.5 percent said they were worse off.

When it comes to the economy, Rust Belt voters favor President Donald Trump (46.3 percent) over former Vice President Joe Biden (42.2 percent), according to the survey.

Just over one in three (33.8 percent) respondents ranked the economy and jobs as the top issue of the 2020 election, more than 10 points higher than the second-most-important issue, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus, commonly known as the coronavirus (23.1 percent).

Before the CCP virus’s spread throughout the United States, Trump appeared poised to campaign based on the booming economy, which was devastated by the pandemic and resulting lockdown and stay-at-home orders, resulting in Trump pivoting to other issues, including law and order.

The results show that more than half of the voters are financially in either the same or better shape than four years ago, suggesting that the impact of the lockdowns is receding, while voters still favor Trump over Biden to handle the economy well.

Not counting the income-based demographic group, Republican and conservative respondents were the most likely of all groups surveyed to be better off financially, with 43.3 percent and 46.6 percent respectively saying their situations improved compared to four years ago.

The Epoch Times Rust Belt Poll was conducted by Big Data Poll, which interviewed 2,191 registered voters and 1,440 likely voters in the Midwest via online panel targeting Iowa (7 percent), Michigan (20 percent), Minnesota (12 percent), Ohio (23 percent), Pennsylvania (26 percent), and Wisconsin (12 percent).

The sampling error is plus or minus 2.1 percentage points for registered voters and plus or minus 2.6 points for likely voters, at a 95 percent confidence interval.

For more information on the methodology and survey design, please refer to the AAPOR Transparency Initiative Checklist, for an overview of survey results click here.

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