- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Some highlights from preliminary results of exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and television networks in the New Hampshire primaries Tuesday:

GENDER: As usual in presidential primaries, women voters predominated in the Democratic contest and men in the Republican.

IDEOLOGY: A little more than half of Republican primary voters called themselves conservative and about as many Democratic primary voters called themselves liberal.

INDEPENDENT VOTERS: More independents were voting in the Democratic primary than in the republican. In New Hampshire, they can vote in either contest.

TIME OF DECISION: Nearly half of voters in each primary said they decided in the past week which candidate to support.

FEELINGS ABOUT THE CANDIDATES: Eight in 10 Democratic voters strongly favor their candidate, compared to two-thirds of Republican primary voters.

FEELINGS ABOUT PRESIDENT BUSH: Democratic primary voters felt a lot more negative about Bush than Republican voters felt positive:

Fully two-thirds of Democratic primary voters said they feel angry about the Bush administration and nearly all the rest said they were dissatisfied, but not angry.

Among Republican primary voters, fewer than one in 10 were enthusiastic and four in 10 were satisfied but not enthusiastic. About a third were dissatisfied and two in 10 GOP primary voters were angry about the Bush administration.

ISSUES:

A third of Republican primary voters said the economy is the most important issue facing the country, and they split evenly among the other three choices they were given immigration, Iraq and terrorism.

Given three choices, a little more than a third of Democratic primary voters picked the economy, with Iraq and health care not far behind.

IRAQ WAR:

Democratic primary voters were pretty evenly split between wanting all U.S. troops withdrawn as soon as possible and setting a timetable to withdraw them gradually. Only about 5 percent wanted to keep troops in Iraq “as long as needed.”

Asked a different question in the survey, a third of Republican primary voters strongly approve of the Iraq war and at least as many somewhat approve.

WORRIES:

Three quarters of Democratic primary voters were worried there will be another major terrorist attack on the United States and virtually all were worried about the direction of the nation’s economy in the next few years. Republican primary voters were a little more worried about a terrorist attack and a bit less worried about the economy.

Democratic primary voters viewed the current economy much more pessimistically, with nine in 10 saying it’s not so good or poor. Republican voters were split between positive and negative views of the economy.

PRIMARIES TOO SOON? About four in 10 voters in each contest said the presidential primaries around the country are being held too early this year. ___

From partial samples in surveys Tuesday in 50 precincts around New Hampshire for The Associated Press and television networks by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International. The surveys included 1,296 Democratic primary voters and 905 Republican primary voters. The sampling error margin was plus or minus 4 percentage points for the Democratic primary survey, 5 points for the Republican.

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