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Some early exit poll data

Sandhya Somashekhar

Washington Post polling director Jon Cohen got an early snapshot of the electorate in New Jersey and Virginia this evening from exit polls, and here's what he passed on that we can report:

Economy and jobs top the issue lists in both Virginia and New Jersey (but not as overwhelmingly as it did in 2008), with property taxes a close No. 2 in New Jersey and health care in a distant second place in Virginia.

In the early numbers, younger (under 30) voters make up a smaller share of the electorate this year than they did last November. The percentage of African Americans among all Virginia voters is down a bit at this stage compared with a year ago, but in New Jersey it's currently up from the last go-round. (However, the proportions in Virginia are similar to the 2006 Senate race and the 1997 race for governor).

Majorities in both states say President Obama was not a factor in their choice for governor. Obama is running above 50 percent approval in both states.

More than eight in 10 voters say they made up their minds about how to vote at least a week ago.

Most in Virginia say McDonnell's graduate school thesis had no effect on their vote.

By Sandhya Somashekhar  |  November 3, 2009; 7:00 PM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Election 2009 , Polls , Sandhya Somashekhar  
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Comments

"Majorities in both states say President Obama was not a factor in their choice for governor. Obama is running above 50 percent approval in both states."

And with President Obama winning with 54% of the vote last year, and with approval ratings currently in the 50's, that pretty much debunks the Rethuglican boasting that this is a referendum on the President.

Posted by: BigDaddyD | November 3, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Really, think about it. No one is going to tell the media that Obama is a factor. If you disagree with Obama you are a racist, the media has taught us that. Just shut and vote.

I disagree with everything Obama believes in. I worked hard, took out loans (that means a loan with interest not a handout) paid them back, worked long hours to get ahead, now making good money and Obama is going to take it away from me to pay for those who don't feel like working hard, heck, don't really want to work at all.

So again, in 2010 will never answer a question a media or polling person might ask, just shut up and vote.

Posted by: kathymac1 | November 3, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Governors' races are based on one thing: the state of the state.

Deeds ran a terrible campaign in VA. NJ is economically struggling. Incumbents across the nation would struggle today because of the economy.

Pretending that these portend anything about next November is like predicting that tomorrow's weather indicates a white Xmas this year.

Posted by: AxelDC | November 3, 2009 8:08 PM | Report abuse

I wish exit polls would ask voters to list three positions of each candidate and three biographical details for each. That would make for some interesting analysis.

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