Reading the National Exit Poll
The first data of today's election has emerged in the form of the national exit poll.
The news? No surprises.
President George W. Bush remains strikingly unpopular among broad swaths of voters today with just 27 percent approving of the job he is doing. Of the 71 percent who disapproved of the job he is doing, 52 percent disapprove strongly.
Only one in five voters said they believe the country is headed in the right direction while a whopping 76 percent believe it is off on the wrong track.
Those two numbers -- Bush job approval and right track/wrong direction -- illustrate the massive challenge facing John McCain and downballot candidates with an "R" after their names.
On issues, more than six in ten voters said the economy was the most important issue in their vote with Iraq (10 percent) the only other issue to crack double digits. The economy has long been the preeminent issue in the race but the financial crisis that has gripped the country over the past two months has increased the focus on the issue.
The electoral atmosphere is then almost exactly what we expected it to be.
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