WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Associated Press surveyed voters in three of the six states that held Democratic presidential contests on Tuesday. Here’s a snapshot of voters in Michigan, Missouri and Mississippi — who they are and what matters to them — based on preliminary results from AP VoteCast, conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.
Part of the “blue wall” that flipped to Donald Trump in 2016, Michigan is a top general election battleground — and was a major test for both former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders. Both men were hoping the results would prove they were best poised to fire up the Democrats that may decide the election in November. Biden came out victorious.
Biden assembled his now-familiar coalition. He won older voters, moderates and women. He showed strength with working-class voters. About 60% of voters in Michigan did not have a college degree, and Biden won the majority of them. He appeared to carry that advantage across race and gender, in the suburbs and cities.
Sanders, meanwhile, failed to expand his coalition or boost turnout among the young people who have powered his campaign. Thirty-seven percent of Michigan voters were under 45. In California and Colorado, states Sanders won last week, the share of those voters was about 45%.
For all Biden's strength, enthusiasm for his bid wasn't overwhelming. Biden's supporters were less likely to say they were very enthusiastic than Sanders', 45% to 60%.
And a significant slice of Democratic voters in Michigan — 19% — said their decision on how to vote in November will depend on who is nominated as the Democratic candidate.
A wide majority — roughly three-quarters — said they think the economic system in this country is unfair. That includes about a third describing it as “very unfair.” Among Michigan voters, Biden was considered the candidate best poised to handle the economy.