Early exit poll results: NC voters worried about economy

By Meg Kinnard - Associated Press

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton were battling for the 15 electoral votes in the crucial battleground state of North Carolina on Tuesday. Here’s a look at some preliminary results of exit polling conducted for The Associated Press and television networks in the state:


North Carolinians are concerned about the economy, with more than 5 in 10 of the state’s voters viewing it as country’s top issue. Otherwise, voters were largely divided on the importance of terrorism, foreign policy and immigration.

Voters were largely split over which candidate would better handle the economy, which more than 6 in 10 voters felt was in poor shape.

Terrorism and foreign policy were about tied for the second most important issue for voters. Only about a tenth of voter s viewed immigration as the top issue, and more than 5 in 10 voters felt Clinton would be better at handling the country’s diplomatic relationships with other countries.


Nearly 6 in 10 voters said they didn’t view Clinton as honest and trustworthy, and about 6 in 10 saying the same of Trump. But more than half said they felt she was qualified to serve as president, compared to about two-fifths for Trump.

A majority also said they felt Clinton had the temperament to serve effectively as president, while more than 6 in 10 felt Trump did not.

In choosing a presidential candidate, more than 3 in 10 voters said they cared more about the ability to bring about needed change. Otherwise, voters were largely split among caring about good judgment, the “right experience” and a candidate who “cares about people like me.”



A majority of voters said they approved of President Barack Obama’s handling of his job as president, while fewer than 3 in 10 voters said they were “enthusiastic” about the way the federal government works overall.


About 7 in 10 voters said they felt those in the U.S. illegally should be offered the change to apply for legal status, including nearly 5 in 10 of those supporting Trump, whose comments on illegal immigration have at times dominated the campaign cycle. Voters were more likely to say immigrants help than hurt the country.


Democrat Hillary Clinton won about 6 in 10 voters 18 to 29 years old against Republican Donald Trump. About 5 in 10 voters age 30 to 44 also supported Clinton, and more than 5 in 10 age 45 to 64 backed Trump. Voters age 65 and older broke widely for the Republican.

Trump was supported by among male voters overall, while a majority of female voters backed Clinton.

Nearly 9 in 10 black voters supported Clinton, who also won overwhelmingly among Hispanic voters, with nearly 6 and 10 voters supporting her. Trump won about 6 in 10 white voters overall.


Clinton was on top among voters reporting under $50,000 in total family income for 2015, while voters making more than $100,000 backed Trump by more than 5 of 10 voters.

More highly educated voters backed Clinton, with the Democrat winning groups who had earned a college degree. The candidates were split among voters who had not graduated from college.

But Trump won among white voters with and without college degrees. 8 in 10 non-white voters without college degrees supported Clinton as did 8 in 10 non-white college graduates.

Trump was the pick for the majority of married voters, while about 6 in 10 non-married voters backed Clinton.


A vast majority of those who consider themselves to be white, evangelical voters — nearly 8 in 10 — backed Trump, while about one-fifth supported Clinton.


Three in 10 said they settled on a candidate because they disliked the others. More than half of those who strongly favored their candidate said they picked Clinton, compared to just over 4 in 10 for Trump. Among those who favor their candidate “but with reservations,” just over half picked Clinton compared to more than 4 in 10 for Trump.


An overwhelming majority — nearly three-fourths — of those surveyed said they decided on a candidate more than a month ago.


North Carolina voters were largely split over whether they wanted to give a second term to Republican Gov. Pat McCrory, who had come under intense scrutiny for his speedy signing of a bill that requires transgender people to use restrooms matching the gender on their birth certificates in many public buildings.

As for the controversial so-called “bathroom bill,” two-thirds of voters said they opposed it. About half of Trump supporters said they backed the legislation, while 8 in 10 Clinton backers opposed it.

The preliminary exit poll of 3,967 North Carolina 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 50 precincts statewide Tuesday, as well as 1,291 voters who voted early or absentee and were interviewed by landline or cellular telephone from Oct. 28 through Nov. 4. Results were subject to sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points; it is higher for subgroups.

By Meg Kinnard

Associated Press

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