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Exit Polls Show Voters Dissatisfied With Government, Worried About Their Finances

4 years ago
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The first wave of exit polls Tuesday told us what the pre-election polls did: voters are unhappy with the way the federal government is working and majorities have negative views of both major parties, according to the Associated Press.

The economy is by far and away the overriding issue of the campaign, with about a third of those surveyed saying someone in their household had lost a job during the past few years. Four in 10 consider themselves worse off financially than they were two years ago and an overwhelming majority are concerned that the economy might get worse in the coming year.

Sixty-two percent say the country is on the wrong track compared to 35 percent who think it's headed in the right direction.

VotersCNN said that 62 percent named the economy as the most important issue, followed by health care at 19 percent, illegal immigration at 8 percent and Afghanistan at 7 percent.

However, as other polls have shown, voters are not ready to put most of the blame on President Obama, although about half believe his policies are not good for the country.

Thirty-five percent put most of the blame for the economy on Wall Street, while 29 percent blamed former President Bush. Twenty-four percent said Obama was responsible for current conditions, according to CNN.

Voters had mixed opinions on the economic impact of the big stimulus package approved last year. Thirty-four percent said it had hurt the economy, 33 percent said it helped and 31 percent said it had made no difference, according to CBS News.

The New York Times said the exit polls showed that for those voters who were motivated by the desire to send a signal about Obama's policies more were likely to describe it as a vote against those policies rather than in support of them.

Fifty-four percent disapprove of the job Obama is doing while 45 percent approve, according to CNN.

Roughly four in 10 voters say they support the tea party movement and those who do mostly backed the Republicans.

In other findings:

-- There's a big divide between Democrats and Republicans on the role of government and health care reform. Two of three Democrats say government isn't doing enough while four of five Republicans say it's doing too much. Sixty-one percent of Democrats want to expand the health care law while 82 percent of Republicans want to repeal it. When it comes to the overall electorate, 48 percent favor repeal, 31 percent want the measure expanded and 16 percent say it should be left as is.

-- Voters describing themselves as conservatives made up 41 percent of the electorate Tuesday, twice the number of those who said they were liberals, according to the New York Times. In the 2006 midterms, 32 percent described themselves as conservatives.

-- Republicans enjoyed a 15 point advantage over Democrats among independents. Independents had favored Democrats by significant margins in 2008 and 2006.

-- In exit polls from Kentucky, half of voters say they had reservations about the candidate they backed today in the Senate race between Republican Rand Paul, who has been projected as the winner, and Democrat Jack Conway, according to CNN. Three-quarters of voters described themselves as dissatisfied or angry with the federal government, and they voted for Paul by a nearly two-to-one margin. Of the 62 percent of voters who said they disliked Obama, 82 percent backed Paul. A plurality of Kentucky voters (43 percent) said they supported the Tea Party movement.

-- Aside from the controversies surrounding her candidacy, Republican Christine O'Donnell, who scored an upset to win the GOP Senate nomination in Delaware lost as expected to Democrat Chris Coons, who had the further advantage of running in a state where the overall electorate is not congenial to Tea Partiers. The exit poll showed that nearly half of the state's voters consider themselves to be moderates , 58 percent approve of Obama's performance, and 36 percent strongly oppose the tea party movement. While pre-election polls suggested that longtime Republican Rep. Mike Castle would have won if he was the candidate, the exit poll says Coons would have edged him by 44 percent to 43 percent.

-- In Wisconsin, Republican newcomer Ron Johnson beat Democratic incumbent Russ Feingold in the Senate race with the help of independents who backed him by 55 percent to 43 percent, with 2 percent undecided. Independents made up 27 percent of the vote in the state.

The exit poll was conducted in 268 voting precincts across the nation on Tuesday, and supplemented with interviews done Oct. 22-31 with people who voted early or by absentee ballot.

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Obama has many forks in the fire, Economy was not being forgotten. The GOP was the problem along with the TEA Party. So maybe Obama should pull a Palin and just quit, You have given him little to work with and you have stopped his advances. This will all reflect on the voters, Not Obama.

November 05 2010 at 5:13 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Most of Obama's strength- progressives, young people and minorities, stayed home because he gave them nothing to fight for. The Right was energized by their crazed preachers and corporate controlled media. The Dems treat their base like an abused spouse. Take it, because where else would you go? Then when we don't show up to vote, they accuse us of whining.

November 04 2010 at 4:00 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

Has anyone bothered to notice that the states in the worst financial state are those in which the Democrat Party has enjoyed a stranglehold for years? The voters have, and 16, a record, just switched their legislatures to the GOP. Dems now hold only 17 governorships. The people have awakened save for the elites of Cal, NY, Mass, Ore, Col, Vt, etc....Good luck to those states'

November 04 2010 at 10:14 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Like the saying goes.."If voting could really change things it would be illegal"

November 03 2010 at 4:23 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Powderfinger boy

i'm not sure why Republicans think this is going to mean change. do you not realize that John Boehner is the main point person for the lobbyists of the health insurance companies, big oil, and big coal? all this election did was ensure that a government corrupted by rich lobbyists is not going to change.

November 03 2010 at 4:15 PM Report abuse -6 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Powderfinger boy's comment

Do you turn lights on? Do you eat? Do you wear clothes? Then, you use "big" oil. Do you drive a car? What is wrong with you. I'm so sick of people like you that complain about the things you use every day to survive. Stop using oil if you don't want it. Stop heating your house, if you don't want it. Wake up to reality, stop living in your fantasy land!!!!

November 05 2010 at 7:03 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This election message is yet another appeal to a blatently corrupt Washington freak show to change its ways. People are simply sick and tired of the growing and increasingly unaddressed problems resulting from years of Government policies committed only to rampant corporatism, that have encouraging manufacturing to move abroad en masse, to supporting Wall street crooks and parasites while quietly enabling them to suck the nations lifesblood, to continuous rampant deficit spending and to expensive, pointless belligerant never ending military occupations and other upside down priorities. People elected Obama and the Democrats after years of increasingly destructive laizes fare insanity hoping they would address the resulting problems and begin to change the nations course. Here lies the problem, the Democrats serve the same masters the Republicans do and obviously never had any intention to address these issues! Their main priority despite all the talk about change has clearly been to bail out, shore up and further establish the same old broken, rotten system. It's beneficiaries the same old Wall street financial and insurance crooks are smirking since the cost of their cheating has been safely transfered onto the backs of already struggling ordinary people. Well People are not stupid and they know full well what they did. Even though the corporate owned media continues to spout self serving propaganda that the answer is less government and less taxes and pumps endless divisive rubbish blaming everything on Americas greedy poor and all that non existant European socialism, informed people know full well that the nations real problem is actually rampant corporate socialism. Where in big business controls government policy and is allowed to operate as free of regulations or taxes as possible yet can always count on public funded Government financial or military support when required. Informed people know that the myth of no government no taxes in reality only actually applies to big corporate interests. What most sensible people are wanting these days is in fact less corporatism and an accountable, responsible, honest Government that stands up for the values and aspirations of the American people first. The other sell outs the Republicans are back whoopee! so lets see if anything changes, I am not holding my breath. But I can't help fell that if something meaningful doesn't happen this time around to right our upside down priorities and stem our resulting serious growing problems then there may well be a political uprising and those elitist, smirking, empty suits might find themselves flailing around on the end of the pitchforks of a sweeping new populist political party.

November 03 2010 at 1:35 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I am not a Democrat or a Repulican. I am with the common sense party (there are very few of us). I would have probably voted for every libertarian in an effort to vote all of them(crooks)out, but they never get enough votes to get voted in. The old saying of out with the old and in with the new was just not going to happen, so we were forced to vote for the lesser of the two evils (to each his own), and unfortunately we are back to politics as usual--most likely. It's a shame that regular Joe or regular Jane cannot run and win, and we get some common (real) people (like you or I) in office to do the job. Pure and simple--Politics/Politcians=Money/Corruption. It most likely will never change, as one gains to much power/money/perks in these governmental positions, and the true good of the people is given up for their own agendas.

November 03 2010 at 12:22 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

Three questions to you out there who are so angry: 1) WHO is responsible for the state of the economy? Who caused the crisis in the first place? 2) WHO cost you your job? The government? Not unless you actually work for the government, it didn't. And 3) WHAT do you expect the government to do to get you a job? Hire you? WAKE UP, folks .. and get angry with WHO you should actually BE angry at .. corporations, business, and financial institutions .. and the deregulators who allowed them to do everything they did to bring down the economy. Be angry at someone who laid off thousands and had $140 million in PERSONAL wealth to throw away on a failed election. Pick the right targets for your anger, or we'll be in this mess for as long as you let them manipulate you!

November 03 2010 at 12:20 PM Report abuse -8 rate up rate down Reply

Theodore Roosevelt's ideas on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907. 'In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language.. And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.' Theodore Roosevelt 1907

November 03 2010 at 12:00 PM Report abuse +13 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jvrtex's comment
dc walker

.........touche, it needs to be printed on the Statue of Liberty

November 03 2010 at 2:07 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

how did senior citizens vote? I believe many of them voted against dems because of their anger about holding back on a social security increase for the 2nd year in a row. How come no one is mentioning this?

November 03 2010 at 11:58 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply


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