LAS VEGAS (AP) — Voters’ views of Tuesday’s elections, according to results of an exit poll conducted in Nevada for The Associated Press and television networks:
President Barack Obama took Nevada on his path to re-election over Republican challenger Mitt Romney, in part behind support from women and Hispanics.
A majority of women supported the president, and Hispanic voters backed Obama by a 3-to-1 margin.
About 6 in 10 white men supported Romney.
Obama also captured Nevada in 2008.
RACE FOR U.S. SENATE SEAT: The results of Nevada’s U.S. Senate race were not immediately clear, but the gender gap that benefited Obama didn’t appear to be translating.
Democratic challenger Rep. Shelley Berkley had support from a slim majority of women in her battle against incumbent Sen. Dean Heller, a Republican.
And while Berkley had a significant advantage in her hometown of Las Vegas and Clark County, Heller was faring significantly better there than Romney.
Heller drew support from white men, who favored him by a 2-to-1 margin.
THE ISSUE ABOVE ALL OTHERS: Nevada voters overwhelmingly cited the economy as the top issue facing the country. Health care and the federal budget deficit were nearly tied for a distant second.
Among four choices for the biggest economic problem, more than 4 in 10 voters named rising prices, followed by unemployment and the housing market. Nevada has had one of the highest unemployment rates and foreclosure rates in the nation.
Three-fourths of voters rated the nation’s economy as “not so good” or “poor.” Nevadans were evenly divided on whether Obama or Romney would better handle the economy. More than half of voters blamed former President George W. Bush for the current economic problems.
LIKE: More than two-thirds of voters reported strong positive feelings toward their presidential candidate.
LIKE US: More voters chose Obama when asked which candidate was more in touch with people such as themselves.
MIND MADE UP: Hardly any Nevada voters were struggling with their presidential decision on Election Day. More than 9 in 10 voters made up their minds in October, September or even earlier.
ABORTION, IMMIGRATION, HEALTH CARE: Nevada voters overwhelmingly say that abortion should remain legal, only about one-third think it should be against the law.
When it comes to immigration, 6 in 10 voters believe that illegal immigrants working in the U.S. should be offered a chance to apply for legal status. Half as many want illegal immigrants deported.
On health care, voters are almost split on whether they believe that it should be expanded, left as is, or completely or partially repealed. More than half of voters said Obama would better handle Medicare.
The survey of 4,141 Nevada voters was conducted for AP and the television networks by Edison Research. This includes preliminary results from interviews conducted as voters left a random sample of 47 precincts statewide Tuesday, as well as 1,104 who voted early or absentee and were interviewed by landline or cellular telephone from Oct. 29 through Nov. 4. Results for the full sample were subject to sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points; it is higher for subgroups.