The AP reports that exit polls from the midterm election on November 4, 2014 confirm what surveys had shown in 2013 — that America is a bitterly divided country where “people who vote for Democrats and those who back Republicans seem to be living in different countries.“
How Democrats & Republicans see the U.S. and the world:
1. On whether America is on the right track:
- 88% of Republican voters think America is on the wrong track.
- 54% of those who voted for Democrats said the country is headed in the right direction.
2. On whether the U.S. economy is in bad shape:
- Nearly 9 in 10 of those who voted for Republicans, but just over half of Democratic voters, think the economy is in bad shape.
- 8 in 10 Republican voters think the economy is bad, stagnant or getting worse, but two-thirds of Democratic voters think the economy is either in good shape or is improving.
3. On whether life for the next generation will be better:
- 64% of Republican voters, but only 30% of Democratic voters, think life for the next generation of Americans will be worse than life today.
4. On “climate change”:
- 86% of those who voted for Democrats see “climate change” as a serious problem.
- Two-thirds of Republican voters said it’s not a serious issue.
5. On terrorism:
- More than 8 in 10 Republican voters vs. 6 in 10 Democratic voters are worried about the threat of terrorism.
6. On marijuana use:
- Nearly two-thirds of those backing the GOP say marijuana use should be illegal.
- Most Democratic voters disagree.
1. Where they live: Republican voters are disproportionately likely to live in the South (38%, compared with 27% of Democratic voters) and less likely to live in cities (26%, compared with 39% of Democratic voters).
2. Race: Those who voted Republican tend to be white (87%), in contrast to 61% of voters backing Democratic candidates being white.
3. Gender: Women outnumbered men among the Democratic electorate, but among Republican voters the proportions were reversed. Nearly half of Republican voters, but only about one-quarter of Democratic ones, were white men.
4. Marital status: 70% of Republican voters are married, compared with 55% of Democratic ones.
5. Income: Those who voted for Republicans tend to be richer:
- 20% of Democratic voters and 12% percent of Republicans made less than $30,000 a year.
- One-third of those backing Republicans earned $100,000 or more last year, compared with about one-quarter of Democratic voters.
- 40% of Republican voters were white evangelical Christians and nearly half attend religious services weekly.
- Among Democrats, only 11% were white born again Christians; a third attend services weekly.
The AP concludes that the two very different political groups have sharply divergent views on top issues, “making it difficult for lawmakers to discern a clear mandate for governing.”
The survey of 20,168 voters was conducted for The Associated Press and the television networks by Edison Research. This includes results from interviews conducted as voters left a random sample of 281 precincts Tuesday, as well as 3,113 who voted early or absentee and were interviewed by landline or cellular telephone from Oct. 24 through Nov. 2. Results for the full sample were subject to sampling error of plus or minus 2 percentage points; it is higher for subgroups.
For more on the polls’ sampling and methodology, go to: http://surveys.ap.org/exitpolls.
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