It felt strange going into this US election so hopeful for Biden to win while so at a loss regarding why comparably many Americans were badly hoping for the opposite. I heard people speculating about the possible motives, and I considered plausible steelmen. But why should I be guessing about what half of people think? I figured out how to survey some Americans beyond my vicinity.

I surveyed about 63 people, asking them:

  • Who did you vote for in the US presidential election 2020?
  • What was the reasoning behind your choice?
  • What would be the worst thing about your least favorite candidate winning?
  • Who do you think is going to win?
  • What went through your head when Trump said that he had won the election already on Tuesday night?

20 out of 63 preferred Trump (19 voted plus one would have chosen Trump if forced to vote). Here is the reasoning they gave for their choices:

  • spite
  • I want a better America!
  • I like the presidency over the lead of the Donald Trump.
  • the only of good electionship of a best moment
  • He has been a good ;leader delivering on all his promises.
  • I’m a republican and i just have to vote for trump because he represents the republican party even though he’s not smart.
  • he was an trusted person and good one
  • I believe in what Donald Trump stands for. I cannot vote Democrat because I am a Christian who is Pro-Life.
  • He is the most qualified to lead the country, regardless of his character that many hate.
  • I support his America First agenda
  • I feel he is the better choice to lead us
  • Supreme court, guns, political correctness.
  • With the economy precociousending radical race theory, creating peace in the middle east, and working with Americans so that we are treated fairly locally and globally, I believe he deserves a second term to continue his work.
  • Trump is saving america from the chi com globalists.
  • Trump has done some good things for the economy. I also believe he has strengthened our national security.

Here is what would go badly if Trump loses, according to these respondents:

  • fraud against the American electorate
  • unsure
  • Choosing the right ecommerce platform for the business digital presence is critical. Also to find the one that meets the needs.
  • He’s not likely to win in South Carolina it is the good election
  • The country will be destroyed.
  • The Democratic candidate would probably increase the tax on the rich which i think is not fair.
  • they will not interact with people directly
  • Turning this country into a socialist country.
  • A rebellion may start in the country.
  • Massive increase of illegal immigration
  • The direction he will take our country
  • Political correctness winning, them thinking that since they won, they can go to even more extremes.
  • More wars, corruption in government, and media suppression on conservative thoughts.
  • China becomes the world super power.
  • I believe Joe Biden’s policies would move America away from nationalism and toward socialism.

What to make of that?

I noted yesterday that everyone thinks their candidate will win

Another notable thing is that a large number of responses are hard to make sense of. A friend suggested many are bots, but none of the apparent Biden-leaning responses are like this, and would bots always claim to vote Trump? (Also, aren’t bots good at writing now?)

Here are a few arbitrarily chosen answers to the reasoning question from Biden supporters:

  • I am a democrat, and I love their policies
  • I felt we need a traditional U.S president. I also felt he might bring some stability to the U.S.
  • Trump is the worse leader in US history. We need a strong leader now that unites us and helps us move forward rather than creating division.
  • Biden is a Democrat.
  • I am a democrat. But more importantly, I am so sick of Trump’s lies, manipulation, and general hateful divisive attitude. We need to get the country together and reassert ourselves as a respectable nation.
  • Joe Biden’s policies actually aim to help Americans as well as protecting the environment while Trump is a pseudo dictator who’s broken countless laws and continues to do so, on top of being a racist, misogynistic, terrible person.

Here is all of the data.

Here’s my summary of the issues that Biden and Trump supporters care about, by number of mentions [ETA: including all that at least two people cared about]:

voter issues

(There are really about half as many Trump supporters as Biden supporters, but they are under-represented in the graph because I was less able to make out particular issues in what they wrote, whereas Biden supporters often mentioned multiple issues.)