AEI Political Report, March 2012

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A voter enters a polling station to cast their ballot in today's 'Super Tuesday' Republican presidential primary at the Lexington Avenue Fire House March 6, 2012 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Article Highlights

  • Republican voters list the ability to defeat #Obama as the candidate quality that matter most to their vote

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  • Abortion cited as top issue by more than10% of voters in Michigan, Mississippi,Iowa, Ohio, Tennessee & Oklahoma

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  • Romney loses “very conservative” voters, but does pretty well with Tea Party supporters

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With just over half of the Rep AEI March Political Report

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ublican contests completed, the March edition of AEI’s Political Report takes a close look at the entrance and exit poll results from the 17 states for which data are available. The report shows in easy-to-read form which candidate won 15 different demographic and issue groups across all the states.

In every state in which an exit poll was conducted, Republican voters listed the ability to defeat Obama as the candidate quality that mattered most to their vote.

Romney usually won the votes of those who checked “can defeat Obama” as the most important candidate quality for them. With the exception of Massachusetts, he did not win with those who checked “true conservative” as their priority.

Tea Party supporters backed the winner in every contest except Ohio, where Santorum edged out Romney by 1 percentage point. Santorum and Gingrich split Tea Party votes in Mississippi.

*  The economy was the top issue for voters everywhere. More than 10 percent of voters in Michigan, Mississippi, Iowa, Ohio, Tennessee and Oklahoma selected abortion as the top issue. In no state did 15 percent of voters select it as the number-one issue. The exit pollsters asked about illegal immigration in 15 of 17 states, but only in Arizona did more than 10 percent of voters check it as the top issue.

 

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About the Author

 

Karlyn
Bowman
  • Karlyn Bowman compiles and analyzes American public opinion using available polling data on a variety of subjects, including the economy, taxes, the state of workers in America, environment and global warming, attitudes about homosexuality and gay marriage, NAFTA and free trade, the war in Iraq, and women's attitudes. In addition, Ms. Bowman has studied and spoken about the evolution of American politics because of key demographic and geographic changes. She has often lectured on the role of think tanks in the United States and writes a weekly column for Forbes.com.
  • Phone: 2028625910
    Email: kbowman@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Andrew Rugg
    Phone: 2028625917
    Email: andrew.rugg@aei.org

 

Andrew
Rugg

 

Jennifer K.
Marsico
  • Jennifer K. Marsico is a senior research associate at AEI, working in the Political Corner. Her research focuses on elections and election reform, as well as government continuity issues. She is a visiting fellow at the Independent Women's Forum. She is also a contributor to the AEIdeas blog, and has also written for many outside print and online publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and Roll Call. Ms. Marsico serves as assistant director of the AEI-Brookings Continuity of Government Commission, and has contributed to recent studies on Supreme Court continuity, voter registration modernization, and civic participation in the digital age.

  • Phone: 202.862.5899
    Email: jennifer.marsico@aei.org

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