Latest Exit Poll Results
Highlights from results of exit polling in the Super Tuesday primary states:
RACE AND GENDER
In the Republican races, John McCain won among both men and women.
CONSERVATIVES AND MODERATES
John McCain won a majority of the votes of Republicans who called themselves moderates, while Romney won just 38 percent of the votes of Republicans who call themselves conservatives. McCain won 39 percent of self-described Republicans, compared to 34 percent for Romney. Huckabee got the votes of 21 percent of Republicans and 24 percent of conservatives, enough to keep Romney from winning in a number of states. McCain won in California, Illinois and Missouri, states where he won among moderates but conservatives splintered between Romney and Huckabee, giving McCain the overall win. McCain won in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey, all states where moderate and liberal Republicans made up well over 40 percent of the voters. McCain even had a problem with conservatives in his home state of Arizona, where he only managed to tie Romney among the two-thirds of voters there who called themselves conservatives. But his strong support among moderates, liberals and independents there gave him the win. Romney won in Utah and in his home state of Massachusetts, both states where Huckabee gained relatively few votes.
KEEPING THE FAITH
White, born again, evangelical Christians voted mostly for Huckabee, who got 38 percent of their vote. Thirty percent voted for McCain, while just 27 percent voted for Romney. Huckabee won in Alabama, Tennessee and his home state of Arkansas, states where two-thirds of the voters were born-again Christians. Evangelicals have been Huckabee's base, and they also helped him win in Georgia, his standing bolstered by the six in 10 Republican voters there who were evangelicals. But in California, Romney, McCain and Huckabee ran about even among evangelicals.
Voters in both parties most frequently picked the economy as the most important issue facing the country. Given three choices, 48 percent of Democratic primary voters picked the economy, 29 percent said the war in Iraq and 19 percent said health care. Clinton won over half of those voters most concerned about the economy and health care, while Obama won a majority of those voters most concerned about Iraq.
Republican primary voters had four choices for that question and 39 percent picked the economy; 23 percent picked immigration, 19 percent picked the war in Iraq and 15 percent said terrorism. McCain won with 42 percent of those Republicans who cared most about the economy, 40 percent of those concerned about terrorism and 19 percent of those concerned about the war in Iraq. Romney won with 44 percent of those Republicans who cared most about immigration, a key issue that helped him compete in California, where the issue was nearly as important as the economy, but it wasn't enough to get him the win.
Republicans had a far rosier view of the economy's condition, although few called it excellent; 36 percent said it was good. Romney had an advantage among voters who felt the economy was in good condition, while McCain was favored by those who felt negatively about the economy. Among Democratic primary voters, just 9 percent called the economy excellent or good; 51 percent called it not so good and 40 percent labeled it poor. Obama won narrowly among those few Democrats who called the economy excellent or good, while Clinton won among those who felt the economy was in poor condition.
On the Republican side, Romney won among the 45 percent of Republicans who favored a candidate who shares their values, while McCain won among voters who favored a candidate with experience and who says what he believes. McCain also won 68 percent of the vote of those few Republicans who said they were mostly looking for a candidate who can win in November.
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