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. King of the World, NC

    When are you so called "Best Team in Politics" going to report on the differences of the candidates rather than the race. Your topics of discussion focus on who is leading and what the candidates need to do to get ahead. Try telling me about the differences about the candidates and quit trying to manipulate the views of people. It is not a secret that people in this country have a short memory. Your coverage on Barack is getting old. Your team has clearly focused its energies on promoting him. It is clear he does not have the experience, both executive and foreign, to lead this country, not to say that Bush did either. But your message is vote for Barack. How much more biased can you be? Your coverage along with the rest of the media, has been the worst in recent years. With all the technology available, I would have expected better reporting.

    January 8, 2008 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  2. Jay

    Im sick of two tiny state deciding for me the next pres. If this was a sports team and they lost the first two of twenty games and they would quit. Lets see on Feb 5th the real winner. Not with only 1% of the populace.

    January 8, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  3. J. McKinney SW MO

    We need Hillary. I hope the Obama supporters come to their senses and realize that he is all hot air. Change-Change-change-to WHAT? He never says what he is changing, just that we need change. Heck, we all know that, but we need someone who is capable of making the changes, and knows how to do it. I pray that Hillary can be elected. We need her guidance and strength.

    January 8, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  4. mark

    Steffie, I can give you a dozen examples of die hard yellow dog democrats who switched parties,go to 99.9 % of your Sunday services in the deep south and you know what party the preacher will tell his congregation to vote for. I agree with your point but deep down you know the deep south will not elect Hillary or Obama, John Edwards on the other hand could and would change things if he was the democratic candidate .... just my thoughts .

    January 8, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  5. TrueRepublican

    Once again, CNN refuses to label the slice of the pie allocated to Ron Paul on their network coverage. It's not that difficult to spell... P-A-U-L. Guilliani gets mentioned at 9%, why not Paul at 8%?? On the Dems chart Richardson gets mentioned at 4%.

    I'll be curious to see what happens if Ron Paul pulls ahead of Guilliani. Will they drop both names off the pie chart?

    January 8, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  6. Goran

    It is time for the people in the United States to get their heads out of the sand and fight the lobbyists and special interests groups. Only after you have beaten special interests groups will the middle class of America be able to flourish and be more prospering. There is no difference between Clintons and the Republicans on most of the issues! Clintons talked about Social Medicare in the 1990's and had not delivered it! Clintons take money from the corporations and lobbyists, and we all know that nothing is free and eventually Clintons will have to pay their debts to these lobbyists and special interests groups! It is time for real change and Obama should have your vote! The richest country in the world should be able to provide all of its citizen’s better life and that means healthcare for everyone!

    January 8, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  7. Deborah Harding

    Watch out, waves come to shore and take sand with them most the time. If memory serves me, we all have been taken away by a good speaker before. Then we feel betrayed when we're blinded by our exalted leader paying off the debit of winning the "White House". We the people will never be free until the lobbyists CAN NOT corrupt the belt-way in the nation's capital. Remember before you vote!

    January 8, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  8. carol

    The south elected Bill Clinton and loves him. Get counseling for your family members. This is America. Racism and Mysogeny is disgusting – stop trying to justify it. Stick to the issues of who – white, black, hispanic, female or male – will lead us out of this horrible mess George W got us into.

    January 8, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  9. SL

    Hilary is a fake; that question was planted and those were the most fabricated tears I ever saw..Obama all the way

    January 8, 2008 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  10. Easy Choice, Edwards!

    The media needs to stop being so biased and trying to elected our next president. this isn't american idol! Please CNN start covering all the runners! Like Edwards, hint hint. the current polls show Clinton leading with Edwards at half her %. Why, because the MEDIA! Stop favoring the loser Obama with no substance and start covering EDWARDS

    EDWARDS 08!

    January 8, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  11. davidvoter08

    Hillary Clinton has the intelligence, strategies, experience and passion to change this great country to a great DIRECTION!!! She has the power and will achieve what she said! Not only an excellent orator who promises anything only for cheating voters to support for him. Unfortunately, he never considered whether he can keep his promise or how to realize what’s he said. If a person says he can do anything, we should doubt his honesty, such as Obama! Change is good, but can change to a positive or negative direction! We should reminder 8 years ago, Bush also said changes. Let’s support Hillary, because we love this country! We will not allow this country suffer another disastrous presidential term! I find the similarity between Barack Hussain Obama and George W. Bush!

    January 8, 2008 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  12. davidvoter08

    Mr. Barack Hussain Obama is all hype, not substance!!! I finally understand why Americans elected Gorege W.Bush twice!

    They want a nice guy they can have a beer with, not a leader, not someone strong but less likable.

    January 8, 2008 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  13. FHT

    Surely if Clinton wins on the argument of experience, then she has no hope in November if the Republicans decide on McCain (which, i recognise, they haven't yet). If McCain is the Republican nominee, none of the Democratic candidates can challenge him on experience, so there needs to be some other factor.
    There is more to this decision than looking at experience. No-one, not even a First Lady, has been tested in the fire of the Presidency. Intelligence and the ability to lead are more important than experience in the long run.

    January 8, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  14. TOY

    Why is it that Rudy Giuliani name and percentage is on the pie chart at 9% during your election coverage but Ron Paul who is also at 9% isn't?

    January 8, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  15. Renfreu Neff; registered Democrat

    Tears & mudslinging...poor little Shrillary. All the big business & lobbyists'
    money can't put a retread candidate together again. But Big Bully Bill steps in to take on the Young Toughs and defend his meal ticket back to the White House. So not a role model for young women, who've outgrown the tired because-she's-a – woman Feminist tunnel vision. Is this what America needs after the Bush- Cheney shadow puppet administration?

    I think she's pushed all the warm-&- fuzzy , women- can't- take -the – pressure cliche- buttons and given future women presidential contenders a harder way to go. Too bad, because I'd vote for Pelosi if she ever ran for president.

    "Experience" is just another word for "politics as usual".

    January 8, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  16. Ginny Peyton, CO

    Thank you for turning off Lou Dobbs. For the first time ever, I had to turn to another cable channel for news. I was contemplating duct tape as a solution.

    January 8, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  17. john.smith@gmail.com

    Obama is NO Bush; this must be a high school basic logical thinking. Like JFK and Regan, most of these people have gone on to be effective presidents because they knew how to bring people together to solve complex problems. Which Republican Senator will be willing to enter the same "problem-solving" room with a Clinton appointee? It is also possible that we have a lot of naive listeners these days who are voucking for Clinton!!!

    January 8, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  18. carol

    God, are all of the pundits on TV back-peddling at this moment.

    January 8, 2008 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  19. Edwards 2008

    That's what I'm talking about, Toy. The news keeps only the frontrunners in their coverage. Maybe we should turn off the tv and shut down the computers. Look at that Barack Hussein, why is he getting a free pass? He is as shady as they come and I cannot wait until the truth via swiftboating comes out and Edwards gains over that wannabe. America is being dumbed down during this election process. Arrrgh

    January 8, 2008 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  20. Robert, Tulsa OK

    I'm all for a female president, just not this one. Obama has the experience AND is a more uniting, electable figure. She was in the Senate a few years longer? who cares. She stood next to her husband when he was president? who cares. I want someone who has been "on the ground" signing people up to vote, fighting block by block for positive neighborhood changes. She was an attorney at a big name firm representing moneyed interests? I want the guy that turned that down to take on those interests in favor of the guy on the street. In the Senate and on health care she looked for wedge issues to beat moderate republicans to win a partisan fight, he worked WITH moderate republicans to get things done. If she's elected, there may be a few who fear her, but no one would trust her. That's not the way to get real change.

    January 8, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  21. Duncan, Richmond, VA

    "Harness the power of innovation to create high wage jobs of the 21st Century"

    That's a BS statement. Most of the high paid positions have gone to India anyway.

    "Investments in alternative energy can create new jobs for the 21st century"

    Investments by whom? and to whom?

    "expanded access to broadband will bring opportunities to underserved and disadvantaged communities"

    Why should the government pay for this? who pays it?

    "the manufacturing base can be re-energized through creative partnerships; and increased government support for research will stimulate the development of new technologies and life-saving medicines"

    This is another BS statement.. what exactly does it mean? How much? who pays for it? Manufacturing in the US is dying due to trade agreements.

    "Hillary will restore integrity to science policy, reversing Bush administration policies that are holding our nation back."


    "Empower our workers and ensure that all Americans contribute their fair share"

    What does that mean? Fair share? more taxes?

    "Hillary will ensure that unions, which have played an important role in forming and sustaining the middle class, are strong"


    "She will also ensure that trade policies work for average Americans. Trade policy must raise our standard of living, and they must have strong protections for workers and the environment"

    How? Cheap labor in foreign countries, how do you compete with that when it is US companies that are sending the jobs away. How do you compete when the US worker costs (not just pay) about 10 times more than an person in India?

    "Restore the basic bargain. Hillary will restore the basic bargain that if Americans work hard and take responsibility, government will do its part to make sure they have the tools to get ahead."

    What responsibilities? What will the government actually do? Can you imaging writing a contract like that?

    "Return to fiscal responsibility. After six and a half year of President Bush's fiscal irresponsibility, Hillary wants America to regain control of its destiny. She will move back toward a balanced budget and surpluses. Hillary believes that we should develop a set of budget rules similar to those we had in the 90s which required us to fund new expenditures with new revenues or cuts in other areas."

    What area will be cut? How will she do this?

    This is what amazes me about most people posting on these forums. They sound like this is the first time they have taken an interest and are falling for the same BS statements that all politicians make.

    If you actually read word for word what each candidates say, you will see that they have said NOTHING.

    Ron Paul is the ONLY person to state EXACTLY what he will do.

    January 8, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  22. MIAI

    of course they exaggerate everything idoit its a news station you'll get the same thing on fox if not worse cause its republican based so you need to either get that through your skull or move to a different country. And you dont need experience, that comes with political corruptness

    January 8, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  23. carol

    Ginny – it is not any better on any of the other stations. Fire them all.

    January 8, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  24. Carol B., Maryland

    There's a lot of squabbling here tonight and it also reflects the dissonance within the parties. Hopefully, ANY of the notable Dems can take back the White House and start to work with both parties on these polarizing issues.

    January 8, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  25. carol

    Hillary has been slandered all day. I hope she sues.

    January 8, 2008 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
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