Early exit polls from Tuesday's contests show voters broadly worried about the economy and Republicans feeling betrayed by their party
The polls are consistent with surveys from previous states and show many voters looking for an outsider candidate
Voters in Tuesday’s contests expressed worries about the economy and a broad sense among Republicans that their party has betrayed them, according to early exit poll results.
As voters continued heading to the polls in Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio, early polling showed bipartisan concern about both the economy and access to jobs. Republicans continued the trend of saying they felt betrayed by their party, but only about a third or more Republican voters in the five states said they were angry with the federal government.
The exit polls represent surveys of voters as they left polling sites and reflect trends, but are not precisely indicative of every vote tally in each contest.
Republicans feeling angry and betrayed
Clear majorities of Republican voters Tuesday said they felt betrayed by their party: In Ohio the number was 57%, and in North Carolina it was 56%. But that feeling did not necessarily translate into overwhelming numbers looking for outsider candidates, with 54% in North Carolina and 50% in Ohio saying they were looking for an outsider.
Among Republicans, very few voters were satisfied with the state of the nation, but more said they were dissatisfied than outright angry. In Florida, the number of dissatisfied to angry was 47%-39%. In Ohio, it was 53%-39%, and in North Carolina, it was 54%-40%.
Donald Trump won the support of Republicans looking for an outsider – winning 65% of that group in North Carolina and 69% in Illinois. And Trump won support from voters who were angry with the government, including 53% in Illinois and 52% in Ohio. And in Florida, Trump won 55% of voters who said they felt betrayed by their party.
But Ohio Gov. John Kasich won the broad support of Ohioans who were dissatisfied, but not quite angry, winning 53% of that group. Kasich also won overwhelming support (76%) from the 44% of voters who said they were looking for an insider in the White House.
The economy, jobs and immigration
Worries about the economy were widespread among Democrats and Republicans.
But Republicans expressed deeper concerns with the state of the economy, with about 7 in 10 in Illinois and North Carolina saying they were very worried about the nation’s economic future.
Among Democrats, 81% said they were somewhat or very worried about the economy in Missouri and 75% in Ohio. A slight majority of Democrats in Ohio, 53%, said that trade costs the U.S. jobs, rather than creating them.
Among Republicans in Florida, 55% said they would like to see undocumented immigrants granted a path to citizenship, but 35% said they should be deported.
The Democrats and Republicans
Florida presented one of the most diverse profiles of Republican voters in Tuesday’s contests, with nearly a quarter of voters there being non-white. The number in the other four states was about 1 in 10.
White evangelicals made up about a third of Republican voters in Florida but almost 6 in 10 Republicans in North Carolina.
Majorities of Democrats in every state except Ohio said they would like to see the next president continue President Barack Obama’s policies – in Ohio, it was roughly half.
Among Democrats, Florida was the only state where the majority of voters were non-white, with black voters making up 27% and Latinos making up 20%. In Illinois, black voters accounted for 27% of voters and Latino voters made up 7%, and in Ohio, black voters accounted for 19% of voters, while Latinos only made up 1%.
Hillary Clinton’s southern firewall – and support among minorities – held strong in Florida, where she won 73% of the 51% of voters who were non-white. In Ohio, Clinton won big among black voters (68% support) and voters who felt that international trade costs U.S. jobs (53%).
Clinton won among registered Democrats Tuesday, including 56% in Missouri and Illinois. But Bernie Sanders continued his pattern of winning strong support among independents who voted Democratic Tuesday – 65% in Missouri and 71% in Illinois.
Among Republicans, between 15% and about one-third said they made up their mind in the final days of the contest, which is similar to the 29% of late-deciders in other Republican contests.
Trump continued his trend Tuesday of winning support from a core group of early supporters. In North Carolina, 42% who decided in the last week went with Ted Cruz and 46% who decided before then went with Trump. In Missouri, the split was 48% who decided in the last week went for Cruz and 48% who decided earlier went for Trump. But in Florida, Trump won both early and late deciders – 38% of those who picked in the last week and 50% who decided earlier.
The number of Democrats picking in the last week hovered around 20% in most states Tuesday, continuing the national trend in other states. However, only 17% in Florida made up their mind in the final week.
In Ohio, people who decided in the last week went for Sanders 56% of the time, while those who decided earlier picked Clinton 58%. In Illinois, people who decided in the last week picked Sanders 52%, while those who picked earlier were virtually split between Clinton and the Vermont senator, 50%-49%.