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WASHINGTON, D.C. (Oct. 21, 2020) – In an era of increasing partisanship, split-ticket voting continues to be rare in U.S. politics. With control of the Senate at stake on Nov. 3, a new Pew Research Center analysis finds that just 4% of registered voters in states with a Senate contest say they will support Donald Trump or Joe Biden and a Senate candidate from the opposing party.

According to the survey, conducted Sept. 30-Oct. 5 among 11,929 U.S. adults (including 10,543 registered voters) who are members of the Center’s American Trends Panel, in voting for both the House and Senate, partisanship prevails. About eight-in-ten of voters (78%) say they will vote (or already have voted) for either Biden and the Democratic House of Representatives candidate (43% of all voters) or Trump and the Republican candidate (35% of all voters) in their congressional district.

Among other key findings from the report:

Only 4% of registered voters say they plan to vote for Biden and the Republican candidate for House in their district or Donald Trump and the Democratic House candidate. This is little changed from four years ago. It is more common for voters to say they plan to vote for a third-party candidate for president (or less commonly, for the House) and a major-party candidate for the other race. Still, only 6% of voters say they plan to cast their ballots this way. Among those living in states with Senate races, the largest share of voters say they plan to vote for both Biden and the Democratic Senate candidate (42%) or Trump and the Republican Senate candidate (38%) in their state.
Among all registered voters, Democrats hold an edge in congressional elections: 46% of voters saying they will vote (or have already voted) for the Democratic candidate in their district and 40% saying they support the Republican candidate. About one-in-ten voters (11%) are not sure whom they will support.
The share of voters casting a straight-ticket Republican ballot in these elections increases steadily with age. Only 22% of Gen Z voters are voting this way, compared with nearly half (47%) of Silent Generation voters.

The margin of sampling error for the survey conducted Sept. 30-Oct. 5 on the Center’s American Trends Panel is plus or minus 1.5 percentage points for results based on the full sample of 11,929 respondents.

Read the full report examining split ticket voting in the 2020 elections: https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2020/10/21/large-shares-of-voters-plan-to-vote-a-straight-party-ticket-for-president-senate-and-house/

Methodology: https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2020/10/21/split-ticket-voting-methodology/

Survey Topline: https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2020/10/PP_2020.10.21_Split-Ticket-Voting_TOPLINE.pdf

ALSO SEE: A new analysis on Americans’ views of important voting issues based on a survey conducted Oct. 6-12 among 10,059 U.S. adults (including 8,972 registered voters). Among the key findings:

While voters who support Trump (84%) are more likely than Biden supporters (66%) to rate the economy as very important, far more Biden supporters say health care is very important (82% vs. 44% of Trump supporters).
The widest differences are on the importance of the coronavirus outbreak. About eight-in-ten Biden supporters (82%) say the coronavirus will be very important to their vote, compared with just 24% of Trump supporters. Since August, the share of Trump supporters who view the coronavirus as very important has declined 15 percentage points. There has been no change among Biden supporters.
There has been far less change in views of the importance of other issues. About six-in-ten registered voters (63%) – including nearly equal shares of Biden (66%) and Trump supporters (64%) – say Supreme Court appointments will be very important to their vote. That is virtually unchanged from August (64%).
The wide gender gap among registered voters on the importance of abortion is evident among both Trump and Biden supporters. Among Trump supporters, 54% of women and 41% of men consider abortion a very important voting issue. Among Biden supporters, women also are more likely than men to view this issue as very important (50% of women, 31% of men).

The margin of sampling error for the survey conducted Oct. 6-12 on the Center’s American Trends Panel is plus or minus 1.7 percentage points for results based on the full sample of 10,059 respondents.

Read the full analysis examining Americans’ views of important voting issues: https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2020/10/21/only-24-of-trump-supporters-view-the-coronavirus-outbreak-as-a-very-important-voting-issue/

Methodology: https://www.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/election-issues-Methodology.pdf

Survey Topline: https://www.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/election-issues-topline.pdf