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Parsing the GOP: Economy Voters

Analyzing early state exit polls, five key GOP voter groups emerge: Economy-focused voters, independents, those dissatisfied with the Bush administration, evangelicals and the "very conservative." These are the voters to watch on Tuesday, and we'll take a look at each in a series of posts here on Behind the Numbers.

First up, economy voters:

The economy has been the top issue in all the GOP contests that have had exit polls (Wyoming didn't). And each time, the candidate who has prevailed among economy voters has gone on to win that state overall (in South Carolina, where McCain and Huckabee split the final vote almost evenly, they did the same among these voters).

Vote among those who rated the economy as the top issue facing the country:

           Total*   McCain   Romney   Huckabee
Iowa        26%      11       25        34
N.H.        31%      41       21        14
Mich.       55%      29       42        14
Nev.        37%      14       50         9
S.C.        40%      32       17        32
Fla.        45%      40       32        13
*Total=percentage of all GOP voters calling issue 
the single most important facing the country.

After the jump, how the votes break down among those most concerned about other immigration, terrorism and the war in Iraq.

Vote among those who rated illegal immigration as the top issue facing the country:

           Total   McCain   Romney   Huckabee
Iowa        33%       4       30        36
N.H.        23%      19       56        11
Mich.       13%      18       39        18
Nev.        35%       8       55         7
S.C.        26%      24       16        33
Fla.        16%      25       43        12

Vote among those who rated terrorism as the top issue facing the country:

           Total   McCain   Romney   Huckabee
Iowa        21%      22       24        26
N.H.        18%      39       23        13
Mich.       11%      31       31        22
Nev.        13%      23       43        10
S.C.        15%      33       13        30
Fla.        21%      26       29        15

Vote among those who rated the war in Iraq as the top issue facing the country:

           Total   McCain   Romney   Huckabee
Iowa        17%      25       17        33
N.H.        24%      45       27         9
Mich.       17%      41       31        14
Nev.        10%      21       41         4
S.C.        16%      52        7        24
Fla.        14%      45       19        17

All data from the National Election Pool exit and entrance polls conducted by Edison/Mitofsky.

By Jennifer Agiesta  |  January 31, 2008; 3:31 PM ET
Categories:  Exit polls , Groups to Watch  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Independents? In Florida?
Next: Which 'Super' Do You Choose?


I liked the idea of "arsing" the GOP so much better....even if I'm not quite sure what that would entail....

(re: typo in the original headline to this post)

Posted by: ghost | January 31, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Your intro describes just about everything that McCain is _not_. Look for others in the field to come on strong:

Posted by: davidmwe | January 31, 2008 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I watched part of the debate last evening and also heard a clip on NPR this morning. It seems to me that McCain is losing his straight shooter and leadership. He clearly is purposely misinterpreting what Romney said about "the timetable," an "issue" on which Ron Paul had the best response. The NPR newclip had McCain's response to a question about his position on illegal immigration - it was basically a "my original bill will not come up for a vote. The people have spoken and they want to keep people out before they want to consider pathways to citizenship, etc, etc." That change in position may reflect Republican realities, but it sure don't show much in the way of leadership. So it goes.

Posted by: m1941 | January 31, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Just 3 comments? Says a lot about the massive collapse of the "R" party, taken down by religious radicals, who shout "pro-life" and ship our kids off to die. You people had your 15 minutes of fame, led by that coward in the White House and his numbskull staff. Anyone who had a brain, could balance a checkbook, and possessed a true sense of morality lost their voice in the "R" party years ago.

Posted by: LEFT coast Mike | January 31, 2008 6:22 PM | Report abuse

This poll is a joke - Paul has collected over 250,000 votes over 6 primaries so far, which basically proves he has millions of supporters nationwide. Not a winning margin, but to ignore the choice of millions of voters is sickening.

Posted by: patrick | January 31, 2008 11:04 PM | Report abuse

Ron Paul FIRST, Mitt Second...


Posted by: Americano | February 1, 2008 3:22 AM | Report abuse

Ron Paul isnt even listed ! Once again, Wapo shows it's disdain for democracy.

Posted by: Vic | February 1, 2008 9:48 AM | Report abuse

I have been a Republican all my life and was raised by staunch Rebublican parents which I am proud to say.I am also a Mormon of which I am more proud to say.I am torn apart at the way Mitt Romney has been treated because of our religion on both sides of the parties.If people would rather vote for a very liberal McCain than someone who would make a good President- a man who is willing to put millions of his own money out on the line for something he believes in and is constantly badgered for it by Huckbee.I for the first time in my life will not be voting at all this year and believe you me I am not the only one that feels this way .I have voted in the past for good men to run our country none of which have been Mormon but I voted for who I thought would be the best man for the job. Why can't people look past our beliefs and see that we have a lot of good to offer this country.Our church has one of the best welfare systems in the world and we are here to help everyone not just ourselves.Please give Mitt the man a chance and forget about Mitt the Mormon Jenn

Posted by: jenn | February 2, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for very interesting article. btw. I really enjoyed reading all of your posts. It's interesting to read ideas, and observations from someone else's point of view... makes you think more.
So please keep up the great work. Greetings.

Posted by: Natural Male Enhancement | March 7, 2008 4:36 AM | Report abuse

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