For voters, this was a very powerful factor within the 2020 election, in line with polls

Residents vote at the Beloit Historical Society on November 3, 2020 in Beloit, Wisconsin.

Scott Olson | Getty Images

The economy, the coronavirus pandemic and racial injustice have emerged as the main topics for voters in the 2020 presidential election, according to NBC News polls.

According to initial results of the NBC News poll of voters at the start and on election day, about a third of those polled identified the economy as the key problem in the election of the president. Racial inequality was the main problem for 21% of voters polled, and 18% said the Covid-19 crisis was most important in their decision.

When asked about the compromise between containing the coronavirus and rebuilding the economy, 52% of voters felt controlling the pandemic was more important, even if it harms the economy.

The answers closely matched the choices made by voters in the presidential election. President Donald Trump's voters were more likely to point to economics, crime and security as major issues, while Democratic challenger Joe Biden's voters were more likely to point out the coronavirus pandemic and racial injustice.

In her final messages to voters, Trump turned away from the economic populism that fueled his 2016 victory, while Biden put the coronavirus pandemic at the center. Biden has repeatedly criticized the president for his handling of the Covid-19 crisis, which killed more than 230,000 Americans this year and is on the rise across the country.

While Trump and Biden have often classified the election as a choice in terms of character, 72% of voters felt that a candidate's subject positions are more important than their personal qualities.

As polls across the country end and states start counting ballots, the results released tonight and in the days ahead will show how those issues have been translated into votes for the president.

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