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Country facing high unemployment, virus rates and anxiety chooses president

In addition to economic and electoral concerns, America is facing a pandemic with a growing number of victims; 9.3 million Americans have been infected.

Nebraska, which divides its electoral college votes and has been a focal point for Mr. Trump, has averaged more than 1,100 cases of coronavirus a day over the past week, the largest of any point in the pandemic .

That, rather than the economic toll of the pandemic, is more present in the minds of some Nebraska voters – with, for Republicans, the creep of socialism and for Democrats, improvements in health care.

In the state’s second congressional district race in the Omaha metropolitan area, Democratic candidate Kara Eastman is described by her opponent as a radical socialist. Her Republican rival Don Bacon, whom she called ruthless in not supporting Covid relief funds, had planned an in-person election night, but turned it into a scaled-down event for staff and the family as new coronavirus cases increase.

Across the country, the outlook for the virus is grim and increasingly gloomy. The numbers of infections are trending upward in 41 states, and more than 20 states have set weekly records for cases in recent days. The country has averaged more than 82,000 cases per day over the past week, the most to date. Deaths, which tend to delay cases, climbed more slowly to around 800 per day, still well below the spring peak.

Much of the recent increase is due to explosive growth in the same northern battlefield states that could decide the presidential race.

The situation is particularly dire in Wisconsin and Iowa, which are third and fifth nationally in recent cases per capita. Ten of the 17 metropolitan areas nationwide with the highest rates of new cases in the past two weeks are in Wisconsin. More than 14,000 cases were announced in Iowa in the seven-day period ending Sunday, the most of an entire week of the pandemic.