January 8th, 2008
06:21 PM ET
13 years ago

Last-minute decisions drive many, exit polls show

Many voters waited until election day to settle on their choice.

Many voters waited until election day to settle on their choice.

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) - New Hampshire voters turned out in higher-than-expected numbers to vote in Tuesday's presidential primaries, with a sizable chunk making decisions on who to support at the last minute, according to early exit polls.

Eighteen percent of Republicans and 15 percent of Democrats said they settled on a candidate on Election Day.

A majority of Democrats said the issues were the most important factor in how they voted, while most Republicans said the candidates' personal qualities were most important to their decision.

Voters from both parties rated the economy their top issue and the war in Iraq second - but concerns about illegal immigration rated third among Republicans, while Democrats said health care was just behind Iraq.

Filed under: Exit Polls • New Hampshire
soundoff (128 Responses)
  1. Tex

    Wait, doesn't the exit poll right below this ticker item say "terrorism" is the number 3 issue for Republicans?

    January 8, 2008 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  2. Maritza Matos


    Is this true. Electing Obama can be a huge mistake to USA>

    January 8, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  3. Sara, New Haven, CT

    I went up to canvass in New Hampshire last weekend (won't say for whom) and was surprised at how many people hadn't made up their minds yet. A lot of voters were deciding between two or three candidates, and said that they planned on getting as much information as possible about their choices ahead of time, and then just going with their gut on election day. It was very interesting. I guess another reason why we shouldn't take polls too seriously.

    January 8, 2008 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  4. jack

    Is it true that Exit polls are showing Obama beating Hillary by 18 points?

    January 8, 2008 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  5. Marie

    I think polls damage the election process and should be abolished.

    January 8, 2008 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  6. Catherine Bombac

    If there is anything negative to say about Hilary Clinton, I am sure cnn will find it. And, just whnn did Hilary say anything about black americans. Your black reporter, turned the whole thing into another race card.

    Typical of cnn. Remark, exaggerate, and enlarge on any information.

    Don't you people have a life?

    Hilary is the only canidiate, who can turn this country around. Bill and she did it before, they can do it again.

    Obama just doesn't have the experience............

    January 8, 2008 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  7. jesse

    I believe that senator Clinton is the best choice for president. 35 years she has been in polotics which is more than Edwards and Obama combined. Democrats pledge they want change. Well Obama and Edwards are running on promise. We all know you cant trust poloticians!!! Hillary has not promised change... she has delivered it for over 35 years!!! I feel this nation is ready for a women president, especially Clinton who will not only end the war, but who's social and economic reforms can bring this country out of an inevitable depression.[reports put the unemployement rate at 5%!!!] I feel that if NEW ENGLAND voters fail to vote for Hillary it will be a mistake they will regret for 8 years!!! [we all know the south hates her] Hillary should be the next president of the United States!!!!!!!

    January 8, 2008 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  8. patriot1776

    Without polls how would lazy, ignorant Amerikans be told who to vote for?

    Vote for your own slaughter sheeple ! LMAO.

    January 8, 2008 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  9. john.smith@gmail.com

    Those who are raising their hands and praising Hillary "never" really followed the activities of the Clintons during their tenure. To date, the Republications have developed FIVE file cabnets of Hillary that they are waiting to release. Just remember what people did to Kerry and you will reconsider your choice for Hillary

    January 8, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  10. Sergio

    Obama does not have enough experience, Hillary has too much baggage, Rudy's only subject is 9-11, Mitt can find what is his position and Huck wants to preach.

    What a great line up! Can we just digg up Ronnie for one more run?

    January 8, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  11. OC

    Wow Catherine Bombac, could you explain how she is without repeating the 35years of experience garbage that is made up.

    January 8, 2008 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  12. Duncan, Richmond, VA

    "I think polls damage the election process and should be abolished."

    Amen to that!!

    January 8, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  13. PAULA

    I am so sick of the news media being one sided in their conversations. I did not think CNN would conduct themselves in this manner.

    January 8, 2008 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  14. Tony


    Did you cut and paste your comments from Hillary's debate on Saturday? Try to get an orginal thought please.

    January 8, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  15. Catherine Bombac

    Very interesting John. Your comments fall on deaf ears! All the republicans did for 8 years was lie, lie, lie. Why on earth , would I, believe a word they say>?

    January 8, 2008 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  16. Duncan, Richmond, VA

    I think people should have to take a test to determine if they are worthy of being allowed to vote. It is the ignorant people who are forcing us down a path to ruin by voting for the same old corporate bought lying politicians who cares nothing for the Constitution.

    January 8, 2008 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  17. Fred

    Romney all the way!

    January 8, 2008 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  18. carol

    CNN has been the only cable station that has put a stake in Hillary and thrown in the dirt. MSNBC and FOX should be off the air.

    January 8, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  19. john.smith@gmail.com

    Well, what about JFK, how much experience did he bring to the job? Even those who praise "Ronnie" (I certainly did not like this guy), he brought in ZERO experience to this job. What is needed is the combination of the following that the U.S has not had since Kennedy:
    1. A fresh new face of hope (well defined), 2) intelligence, 3) "person" president. Personally, I think Obama embodys all these attributes.

    January 8, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  20. Maeve

    I live in Vermont; it's about a 30 minute walk for me to cross the state line New Hampshire. I went into Keene today and was amazed at how abuzz the place was. And all those competing yard signs! Holy Schomley! I counted 24 on one small street corner in a business district.

    I'm hoping for at least some sanity in the numbers tonight...something that accurately reflects the very hard and close call it is for voters, on the democrats side especially.

    I hate the thought of so many people getting caught up in emotional tidal wave (that has been pummeling us all) and the cliches (that have been overworked to exhaustion already!) that they just vote for whomever gives them most promises in the prettiest words.

    January 8, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  21. Kim-Massachusetts

    What does Obama bring to the table?? I have heard him say NOTHING about how he will change the economy. What experience and background does he have with foreign politics?

    Hilary is a real, truly passionate candidate with many years of experience and is my candidate of choice. Look at the facts!

    January 8, 2008 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  22. Larry, New Hampshire

    Obama has already won New Hampshire (by huge margins), trust me. Obama probably already has South Carolina in the bag and maybe Nevada (but not by huge margins). Super Tuesday is going to be the only hope for Hillary and Edwards, but I think it is a lost cause. Unless something drastic happens soon with Obama (which I hope it does–not because I hate Obama but because I am a Hillary supporter) then we should all look forward to the general election.

    January 8, 2008 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  23. Haley

    As a youngster i dont get the ability to vote. However, be a big help to this country and VOTE!!!!!!!! Still have nooooooo idea who to choose take my advice and tune into CNN tonight to hear what our FUTURE presidents have to say. Like everyone says "every vote counts"

    January 8, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  24. Candido

    This was the best country in the world, when the Clintons were in The White House. Now, I'm not so sure. The Clintons have a proven record of success. Obama is an articulate speaker and a nice guy. I hope Hillary finds a position for him in her cabinet.

    January 8, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  25. Blastie

    Well, then, Catherine, you aren't the problem, are you???? The rest of America is the problem. THEY'LL believe whatever is said to them most often. Like they believed the Kerry opponents. So if you don't plan to believe the Republicans, LIKE MORE THAN HALF OF AMERICA DID LAST TIME, then I guess this must not be about you, HUH? Does that disappoint you?

    Also, hate to state the obvious, but obviously John's comments didn't fall on deaf ears. He certainly got you all wrapped around the axle, didn't he?

    Connie, you're a frightening idiot. And inarticulate. And illiterate. Go vote Republican and shut up.

    January 8, 2008 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
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