Whatever was the reason for their vote, their ticket splitting, voting for Biden, then voting Republican down ballot. It sure stood out.
Trump was low man on the totem as far as getting votes percentage wise. Republican congressional candidates, Republican senate candidates, Republican governor candidates, Republican state legislature candidates, Republican anything besides president received a higher percentage of the vote than Trump.
Sometimes the difference was very stark. Trump received 46.9% of the total vote. Republican senate candidates 50.4%, Republican governors 52.4%
The dislike of Trump certainly drove the presidential election, but down ballot the GOP picked up 13 house seats, 1 governor, 2 state legislatures and 152 state legislature seats all the while Trump was losing by 7 million plus votes.
There seems to be a disconnect between the president elections and the down ballot elections. Different forces driving them which I haven't figured out. Habit, momentum, perhaps. It could be the dislike of Trump over rode their dislike of Democratic policies at the presidential level, but not down ballot. The distrust and dislike of the Democrats was too much for them to vote for Democratic candidates if the Democratic candidate wasn't named Trump. Who knows? Your explanation and thoughts are as good as mine.
The only thing I found from pundits and both parties to explain it was the Defund the Police slogan which both parties accepted. for the democrats down ballot loses. Is it true? Independent political analysts and both parties strategists accept it. The polls seem to back that up. https://thehill.com/homenews/news/542108-poll-finds-only-18-percent-support-defund-the-policehttps://www.cnn.com/election/2020/exit-polls/president/national-results