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Ohio exits: economy over social issues

Published by Tim McNulty on .

As we wait for the clock to strike 7 and have everybody call Virginia for Mitt Romney (and maybe Georgia for Newt Gingrich UPDATE 7 pm; yup CNN already has), here's some exit polling stuff from the NYT's Five Thirty Eight blog on Ohio exit polling:

From Micah Cohen:

According to very preliminary exit poll data in Ohio, 2 in 5 voters described themselves as "very conservative" on fiscal issues while just half that many described themselves as "very conservative" on social issues.

That would seem like unwelcome news for the Rick Santorum, who has focused more on social issues than the other candidates, even criticizing the Romney campaign for focusing only on economic concerns.

The Ohio economy fell into recession faster than the national economy, but has also recovered faster, driven by a reinvigorated manufacturing sector. Statewide, Ohio's unemployment rate is 7.9 percent, below the national rate of 8.5 percent.

From Nate Silver:

There have been various anecdotal accounts of low turnout in Ohio today, and a result from the exit polls may help to explain why.

In Ohio, just 43 percent of voters said they strongly favored their candidate. Another 41 percent said they liked their candidate but with reservations, while 13 percent said they voted for him solely because they disliked the other candidates.

The 43 percent "strongly favor" figure is the lowest in any state so far, although exit polls have not posed this question to voters in all states. The figure was 63 percent in Iowa, 51 percent in Arizona, and 45 percent in Michigan.

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