Exit polls: What voters are thinking as America goes to the polls | CNN Politics

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Read below for analysis of CNN’s preliminary 2022 national exit polls.

Georgia voters were more likely to say that Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock has good judgment than they were to say the same of his Republican challenger, Herschel Walker, according to the preliminary results of the Georgia exit poll conducted for CNN and other news networks by Edison Research. But more said Warnock holds views that are too extreme than said the same about Walker.

Just shy of half, about 46%, said only Warnock shows good judgment, with about 28% saying only Walker does, and nearly a fifth that neither candidate does.

Voters in Georgia were close to evenly split on whether or not Warnock’s views were too extreme. Slightly more than 4 in 10 said Walker’s views were too extreme, with just over half saying they were not.

Asked which candidate quality mattered most to their Senate vote, 36% of Georgia voters said they wanted a candidate who shared their values, 32% a candidate who had honesty and integrity, 19% a candidate who cared about people like them, and 8% someone who had the right experience.

7:08 p.m. ET / Ariel Edwards-Levy

More than 4 in 10 of Pennsylvania voters approve of the way Joe Biden is handling his job, but a majority disapprove of the president, who was born and raised in Scranton, according to the preliminary national results of the exit poll conducted for CNN and other news networks by Edison Research.

Voters in the commonwealth did not have a high opinion of former President Donald Trump either. Just 4 in 10 had a favorable opinion, while nearly 6 in 10 had an unfavorable opinion.

Meanwhile, just over half of Pennsylvania voters said Biden was not a factor in their vote. For those who said the president was a factor, more than 1 in 10 said they support him, while nearly a third said they oppose him.

More than half of Pennsylvania voters also said that Trump was not a factor in their vote. For those who said the former president was a factor, close to 1 in 5 said they support him, while about a quarter oppose him.

6:52 p.m. ET / Tami Luhby

More voters trust Republicans than Democrats to handle inflation and crime, according to the preliminary national results of the exit poll conducted for CNN and other news networks by Edison Research.

Roughly half of voters said they trusted GOP candidates on those two issues, while more than 4 in 10 voters said they trusted Democratic candidates.

When it comes to the issue of abortion, however, roughly half of voters said they trusted Democratic candidates, compared with more than 4 in 10 voters who said they trusted Republican candidates.

6:30 p.m. ET / Tami Luhby

Roughly 8 in 10 of voters in this year’s midterms said they were at least somewhat confident that elections in their state are being conducted fairly and accurately, according to the preliminary national results of the exit poll conducted for CNN and other news networks by Edison Research. About half said they were very confident. Only about 2 in 10 said they were not very or not at all confident.

But voters were also deeply concerned about the state of the country’s democracy. Slightly fewer than 3 in 10 said that they viewed democracy in the US today as at least somewhat secure, with about 7 in 10 feeling that democracy in the country is somewhat or very threatened.

Slightly over 6 in 10 voters accepted that Biden legitimately won the presidency in 2020, while about one-third denied the results of that election.

6:16 p.m. ET / Ariel Edwards-Levy

While voters in this year’s midterm election hold negative views of President Joe Biden, their views of his predecessor are even more negative, according to the preliminary national results of the exit poll conducted for CNN and other news networks by Edison Research.

Only about 37% of voters in this year’s midterms expressed a favorable view of former President Donald Trump, with around 6 in 10 viewing him unfavorably. About 16% of voters said their House vote this year was intended to express support for Trump, with just under 3 in 10 saying it’s intended to express opposition and the rest saying that Trump was not a factor.

Voters’ opinions of the GOP were slightly more positive than their views of Trump, with about 43% viewing the Republican Party favorably and just over half viewing it unfavorably. More than half, about 54%, say the GOP is too extreme.

6:00 p.m. ET / Ariel Edwards-Levy

There’s a significant partisan divide in voters’ priorities and attitudes this year, according to the preliminary national results of the exit poll conducted for CNN and other news networks by Edison Research.

Nearly half of voters who supported a GOP House candidate called inflation their top issue, with fewer than 15% picking any other issue as their priority. Among voters who backed a Democratic candidate, about 44% called abortion their top issue, with 15% or fewer picking any other issue.

Meanwhile, midterm voters were mostly opposed to the US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, according to the preliminary national exit polls.

Slightly fewer than 4 in 10 said they felt enthusiastic or satisfied about the decision, while about 21% said they felt dissatisfied, and roughly 4 in 10 that they were angry.

About 60% of all voters said that abortion should be legal in most or all cases, up from 51% among voters who turned out for the 2020 general election.

5:52 p.m. ET / Ariel Edwards-Levy

Early indications suggest that this year’s midterm electorate may look older than the voters in the 2018 midterms, according to the preliminary national results of the exit poll conducted for CNN and other news networks by Edison Research.

Only about a tenth of voters in this election were under age 30, while roughly one-third were age 65 or older. In 2018, about 13% were under 30, and about 26% were 65 or older.

The electorate this year was split roughly between those who generally identify as Democrats (about 34%) and those who generally identify as Republicans (about 35%), with the remainder consisting of political independents and members of other parties. In 2018, Democrats made up a slightly larger voting bloc, about 37%.

About 76% of voters were White, and about 24% were voters of color. White voters with college degrees look to be a slightly larger share of the electorate this year – about 40% per the preliminary data, compared with 31% four years ago. By contrast, voters of color without a college degree look to have made up a slightly smaller share of the electorate this year.

5:29 p.m. ET / Ariel Edwards-Levy

Inflation tops voters’ list of concerns in this year’s midterm elections, with abortion a close second, according to the preliminary national results of the exit poll conducted for CNN and other news networks by Edison Research.

Approximately one-third called inflation the most important issue to their vote, with about 27% citing abortion. The remainder were roughly divided between picking crime, gun policy and immigration as their chief concerns.

The electorate’s views of the economy are largely gloomy. Only about one-quarter of voters felt positively about the current condition of the economy, with roughly three-quarters viewing it negatively – and about 4 in 10 saying it’s downright poor.

That’s more pessimistic than in the 2018 midterms, when 68% of voters said the state of the economy was excellent or good, and the 2020 presidential election, when 49% said the same.

About 46% of voters in this election say that their family’s financial situation had worsened over the past two years, while only about 1 in 5 said it had improved.

More than three-quarters of voters in this year’s election say that inflation has caused hardship for them and their family over the past year, with about 20% saying it’s been a severe hardship. And about 6 in 10 say that gas prices, specifically, have recently been a hardship.

5:23 p.m. ET / Ariel Edwards-Levy

Voters in this year’s midterm elections are broadly unhappy with the state of the nation and hold largely negative views of President Joe Biden, according to the preliminary national results of the exit poll conducted for CNN and other news networks by Edison Research.

More than 7 in 10 said they were less than satisfied with the way things are going in the country, with about one-third saying they were not just dissatisfied but angry with the state of the nation.

Biden’s approval rating stands at about 45% among voters in this year’s election – nearly identical to then-Donald Trump’s 45% approval rating four years ago among 2018 midterm voters. And voters in this election were more than twice as likely to strongly disapprove of Biden as they were to strongly approve of him.

Just shy of half of voters this year said that Biden’s policies are mostly hurting the country, with about 36% saying his policies are mostly helping, and the rest that they’re making no difference.

Many voters didn’t see their congressional vote as a referendum on the president – close to half said that Biden was not a factor in their vote, while about 18% said their vote was to express support for Biden, and about one-third that it was to express opposition to him.

Updated 5:13 p.m. ET / Ariel Edwards-Levy

The 2022 national exit polls include interviews with thousands of voters, both those who cast a ballot on Election Day and those who voted early or absentee. That scope makes them a powerful tool for understanding the demographic profile and political views of voters in this year’s election. And their findings will eventually be weighted against the ultimate benchmark: the results of the elections themselves. Even so, exit polls are still polls, with margins for error – which means they’re most useful when treated as estimates, rather than precise measurements. That’s particularly true for the earliest exit poll numbers, which haven’t yet been adjusted to match final election results.

CNN Exit Polls are a combination of in-person interviews with Election Day voters and in-person interviews, telephone and online polls measuring the views of early and absentee by-mail voters. They were conducted by Edison Research on behalf of the National Election Pool. In-person interviews on Election Day were conducted at a random sample of 250 polling locations. The results also include interviews with early and absentee voters conducted in-person at 72 early voting locations, by phone or online. Results for the full sample of 12,458 respondents have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points; it is larger for subgroups.

The Pennsylvania Exit Poll is a combination of in-person interviews with Election Day voters and telephone and online polls measuring the views of absentee by-mail and early voters. It was conducted by Edison Research on behalf of the National Election Pool. In-person interviews on Election Day were conducted at a random sample of 45 polling locations in Pennsylvania among Election Day voters. The results also include interviews with early and absentee voters conducted by phone or online. Results for the full sample of 1,608 voters have a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points; it is larger for subgroups.

This story has been updated with additional information.



Read More: Exit polls: What voters are thinking as America goes to the polls | CNN Politics

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