November 6th, 2012
07:43 PM ET
10 years ago

Exit polls: Top issues for voters

(CNN) - What issues are on voters' minds?

The exit polls give some insights.

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The early exit poll results show the economy is the number one issue on voters' minds. Sixty percent called it the most important issue. Health care is a distant second at 17%. It's followed by the deficit at 17% and foreign policy at 4%.

Twenty-four percent of the voters in this exit poll say their family's financial situation is better today than it was four years ago. Thirty-four percent say it's worse today while 41% say their financial situation is the same.

As for what today's voters are looking for in a candidate, 29% want someone who has a vision for the future and a nearly identical number, 28%, want someone who shares their values. Twenty percent say the top quality they were looking for is whether a candidate cares about people like them, while 19% want a strong leader.

The exit polls provide a window into voters' thoughts in some of the mostly-closely watched states of Florida, Virginia, Ohio and New Hampshire.

Early exit poll results from Florida indicate 67% of today's voters are white, 16% are Hispanic, 13% are black and 1% are Asian. Forty-nine percent of today's Florida voters say President Obama would better handle Medicare while 47% say Romney. Twenty percent of Florida's voters –one in five– waited until late in the campaign to decide which presidential candidate to support, while 78% say they made up their minds before October 20th.

In Virginia, early exit polls show 21% of today's voters identify themselves as white evangelicals or born-again Christians, while 79% say they are not. Virginia voters are split down the middle in their opinion of both presidential candidates. Fifty percent say they have a favorable opinion of President Obama while 49% view him unfavorably. Forty-eight percent say they have a favorable opinion of Mitt Romney while 50% view him unfavorably.

Sixteen percent of today's Virginia voters served in the military while 84% have not served. Across Virginia today, 19% of the voters live in the Washington D.C. suburbs while 16 percent live farther out in the northern Virginia exurbs. Twenty-five percent of today's Virginia voters live in the Richmond area or eastern part of the state, 22% live in central or western Virginia and 19% live in the Tidewater region of the state.

The early exit polls from New Hampshire show 44% of today's voters identify themselves as independents. Twenty-nine percent are Democrats while 27% are Republicans. When asked to describe their vote for president today, 73% say they strongly favor their candidate, 19% say they like their candidate but have reservations and 7% say they disliked all the other candidates. Forty-eight percent of New Hampshire voters say President Obama would best handle the economy while 49% say Romney.

In the all-important swing state of Ohio, exit polls indicate 39% of today's voters are Democrats while 30% are Republicans and 31% are independents. Twenty-one percent of today's Ohio voters are in a household that includes a union member while 79% are not. When it comes to the auto bailout, 59% of today's Ohio voters approve of the federal government's aid to U.S. automakers while 36% disapprove.

More voters in the swing states of Florida, New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia blame George W. Bush than Barack Obama for the state of the U.S. economy.

According to early exit polls in Florida, 53% of today's voters say Bush is more to blame for the country's current economic problems while 41% say Obama.

In New Hampshire, exit polls show 54% blame Bush while 41% blame Obama.

There's less of a gap in Ohio and Virginia. In both states, 50% of today's voters say Bush is more to blame for the country's current economic problems. In Ohio, 41% say Obama is more to blame and in Virginia 45% say Obama.

Filed under: 2012
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. PTNY

    Mitt Romney being demoted to GM....General Manager.

    November 6, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  2. Becky

    The economy may be the biggest factor but one things is much more important. The American people proved that they will not allow anyone to take away the right to vote. We may not always choose to vote but we will not allow any person to interfere with that right. Those in Florida, Arizona, Ohio, and other states who wanted to keep folks from voting may be the real losers today. Hopefully people in their states will move these people out of their jobs and onto the unemployment lines.

    November 6, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  3. hd

    People need to get more trade so they can be more marketable in the job force, that is the problem not Obama.

    November 6, 2012 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |