January 29th, 2008
09:10 PM ET
14 years ago

Exit polls: McCain, Romney steal each other's issues

(CNN) - It seemed like a safe assumption: National security stalwart John McCain would win among voters most concerned about terrorism while former business executive Mitt Romney would score with those worried about the economy.

But exit polls suggest just the opposite occurred.

Despite Romney's aggressive effort to portray himself as strong on economic issues - and at the same time claim McCain lacked any grasp of the issue - the Arizona senator actually edged out Romney (38-32 percent) among the 45 percent of Florida Republican primary voters who said the economy was the their main concern.

And despite McCain's effort to put national security issues back in the dialogue - and paint Romney as a flip-flopper on the war in Iraq - Romney edged out McCain (29 to 24 percent) among the 21 percent of voters most concerned with terrorism.

Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who based the majority of his campaign against facing the terrorist threat, also fared well with voters concerned with terrorism, winning 27 percent of them.

But Romney and McCain did safely win with two specific demographics they were targeting. Among the 16 percent most concerned illegal immigration, Romney bested McCain by 10 points, and among the 14 percent of voters most concerned with the War in Iraq, McCain beat Romney by 25 points.

- CNN Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: Florida
soundoff (17 Responses)

    How can one say that the democratic vote in Florida doesn't matter? No delegates maybe but the PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN and for one of the analysts to say their voice doesn't matter is just another aim to keep Hillary down ...I really thought CNN was unbias but after watching these last few weeks, I can see where the media think they know all and decide what the voters should be thinking..I am not from Florida but look how many showed up to vote to make a statement of their favorite...I believe it says a lot!!!!!!!!!!!! I am proud of the Florida voters to take the time to make themselves heard...that is what AMERICA IS ALL ABOUT..

    January 29, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  2. DDuke

    So, what you're really saying here, Mr. Mooney, is that Floridians are completely stupid? What else would explain the way they voted? McCain knows more about the economy and how it runs than Romney? What a complete joke! First they can't punch a chad out completely and now they can't vote for the candidate whose strengths they want. Again, what a complete joke...

    January 29, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  3. Richard

    Romeny is lost in la la land. He thinks family values is the greatest challenge our nation faces. What an Idiot. I just cant support this guy.

    January 29, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  4. Al

    John McCain is to old to be president. Electing him will be like giving Bush four more years!!!!

    January 29, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  5. James, Lexington MA

    Wake up Republicans! McCain would lose in a landslide to any Democratic candidate. The polls now mean absolutely squat. All the Dems would do is keep the focus on Iraq and McCain's willingness to keep our tropps there for eternity. Let's face it – everybody is tired of this war. Nobody enjoys our money going over there, or worse yet, the rising death toll. But what if the focus of the national election could be on the economy? Romney could win it. The Republicans have a major uphill battle ahead of them for the White House – Romney is the only one who has a prayer of getting there.

    January 29, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  6. Charles in Salt Lake City, UT

    The ONLY viable Vice-Presidential candidate for whoever is the eventual Rebublican nominee would be Condi Rice.

    Think about it. It would be AMAZING! She is not only the most brilliant, experienced, and savvy person to tap for the Vice-Presidency, but she could effectively put the wind out of the sails of whoever the Democratic nominee would turn out to be. Then, come next election cycle, she could go on to make history by becoming the first female President of the United States!

    And frankly, she is HOT! I’ve always thought so. What an amazing person!

    Go Condie! And God bless!

    January 29, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  7. Richard's Dad

    My son likes to make sure he can still stay on the slippery slope as far as morality goes.

    January 29, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  8. Ian

    That's the beauty of politicians flip-flopping all the time. You can basically vote for anyone one of them knowing that at least for a portion of the time they shared the same beliefs as you.

    January 29, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  9. niceoldguy, oregon

    James, I suspect that most people think the war is over - that is, it is so clearly a flop that surely no matter who gets elected, we are getting out, one way or another. So McCain could get elected on his personality and admittedly strong record, and still bow to the will of the people. A la Nixon and China and Reagan and the Soviets, maybe McCain has a better chance of bringing about a sane end to the war than Obama does. (The REAL war on terror, of course, must go on.) Nobody knows if the economy will last as an issue: If it gets much better, that makes it tougher on the Dems, especially if it is Hillary; if it gets really bad that is bad for Obama, because we are unlikely to turn to an unproven leader in a crisis. And I say that as someone whol strongly believes Obama could be the best thing to happen to this country in decades.

    January 29, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  10. Ron


    Romney is ok also.

    Clinton donor gets a Presidential Pardon AFTER a $450.000.00 donation to Mr. Clintons Library Foundation??
    AFTER DONATING ??? Right!

    The Subject title above here is copied from the below noted NEW YORK TIMES article!

    While deciding who to vote for on SUPER TUESDAY, I ran across the above headline and the below noted article, Just that information got me interested enough to investigate, So I read the 3 short pages there-in, I thought you would like to read it?

    I listed directions in case you would like to read it before SUPER TUESDAY.
    The links on the web won’t bring up this article, you must use the directions below.

    This is the article WOLF BLITZER was referring to at the debate last fall when HILLARY side-stepped him and didn't /wouldn't answer truthfully.

    >>> Go to: msnbc.com
    >>> Type into the site search box: "Clinton Library"
    >>> Then find and Click on the article called: "Clinton Donors Overlap"

    Still undecided, Ron
    Feel free to forward this information to any voter or newspaper you want, I am.
    Please comment to me >>Ron by reply email, I will be watching.

    January 29, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  11. Earl

    I'm depressed. McCain is the best Republican candidate? McCain is the candidate of choice during economic hardship?

    I am ready to throw in the towel. Come on Hillary or Obama, give it your best shot. This Republican will vote for either of you before he votes for John McCain.

    January 29, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  12. Ian

    Don't forget the war on jealousy.

    January 29, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  13. Rob Stumpf

    McCain wants to leave Iraq by winning it. Democrats don't care how we get out, as long as we do.

    Easy choice there.

    January 29, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  14. Tom Wittmann


    You say"

    "Democrats don't care how we get out, as long as we do".

    This is not all waht they say. they add "regardless the consequences"

    And people making such irresponsible statement cannot govern the most important country of the world

    But who knows if they mean it and all these statements are only to gain votes !!


    January 30, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  15. Norris

    Getting out is winning.
    Particularly, if we strengthen allies in the region. Bin Laden wins as long as we are at war – spending ourselves into recession. Perhaps this was his plan all along – economic destruction.
    Don't forget our soldiers are being killed or maimed every day we are there. There are other ways to win.

    January 30, 2008 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  16. vietasianfox45

    James, reports show that McCain would be very close with Obama and Clinton. Romney and Huckabee will definitely lose in a landslide against any Democrat. I think McCain is the Republican's best shot now since Giuliani, the only other Republican moderate, may drop out of the race. The majority of the people wanted to be in this situation by voting for Bush in the first place!! Gore would have made a much better president than Bush!! We would not be in this mess if Gore had won the presidency at all. In fact, we would not be so hated and disrespected by the world like we are now!! We have Bush to thank for that. He will go down in history as the American president to got the world to hate and disrespect the USA.

    January 30, 2008 05:29 am at 5:29 am |
  17. john

    Who cares what Jimmy Carter thinks. He was one of the worst presidents we have had running this country. As for Nader, let him run. I am still amazed that Clinton or Obama have buffaloed the American public that they are qualified to run this country. Hopefully Nader will steal enough votes from the democrats and get McCain in office. McCain is the only qualified candidate out there.

    January 30, 2008 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |