- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 2, 2016

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Tennessee voters supported Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton by large margins, with Clinton doing especially well among older voters and blacks and Trump with voters favoring a non-establishment candidate, according to exit polls conducted by Edison Research for the Associated Press and television networks.

Nearly 70 percent of Democratic voters supported Clinton, according to the poll data. But among black voters, who made up about a third of the state’s Democratic voters, nearly 90 percent supported Clinton. Nearly 80 percent of voters over 45 supported Clinton while she polled about evenly with her rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, among voters aged 18-44.

Trump pulled in 40 percent of the Republican vote, with Sen. Ted Cruz getting another quarter of the vote and Sen. Marco Rubio earning about one-fifth, the data showed. Trump’s lead was larger among voters without a college degree and those earning less than $50,000 a year. He received about 45 percent of the vote among both those groups.

About 20 percent of Republicans surveyed said they wanted a candidate who “tells it like it is.” Among those, 80 percent said they voted for Trump.

Here’s a closer look at what the exit polls found in Tennessee:

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DISSATISFACTION WITH GOVERNMENT

About nine in 10 Republican voters in the state’s presidential primary said they were unhappy with the way the federal government is working, with close to half characterizing themselves as “angry.” Fewer than 1 in 10 said they were satisfied with the government. About 6 in 10 said they feel betrayed by Republican politicians.

More than half of Republican voters said they would like the next president to be from outside the political establishment. Of those, nearly 7 in 10 supported Trump.

Many Democratic voters were also unhappy with the federal government, but only about 15 percent said they were angry. About 4 in 10 were either satisfied or enthusiastic.

Among Democrats with positive feelings about the government, more than three-quarters supported Clinton. She also was supported by about 8 in 10 of those voters who said they would like to generally continue Obama’s policies. About 6 in 10 of those who want more liberal policies supported Sanders.

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ECONOMY

Voters from both parties in Tennessee said they were concerned about the direction of the nation’s economy in coming years, but Republican voters were more likely to say they were very worried about it.

Among Republicans polled, about 7 in 10 said they were very worried about the economy with about another quarter saying they were somewhat worried.

About half of Republican voters said Trump was the best candidate to handle the economy.

Among Democratic voters surveyed, 37 percent said they were very worried with the same number saying they were somewhat worried.

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TOP ISSUES

Both Republican and Democratic voters cited the economy as the most important issue facing the country, with about one-third of voters from each party picking it from a list of four choices.

On the Republican side, voters were slightly less likely to say terrorism or government spending was the most important issue. Immigration, the other option on the Republican poll, was the choice of only about 1 in 10.

Democratic voters were slightly less likely to choose income inequality or health care as the most important issue. The other choice on the poll for Democratic voters was terrorism, which was chosen by only about 1 in 10 voters.

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IMMIGRATION

Among Republican voters surveyed, about 7 in 10 said they support temporarily banning Muslims who are not citizens from entering the United States.

However, voters were almost equally split on how to deal with immigrants without legal status who are already working in the United States. About half said they should be offered a chance for legal status and another half said they should be deported.

Only about 1 in 10 Republican primary voters said immigration was the most important issue facing the country.

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METHODOLOGY

The survey was conducted for The Associated Press and television networks by Edison Research as voters left their polling places at 25 randomly selected sites in Tennessee. Preliminary results include interviews with 949 Democratic primary voters, including 193 absentee or early voters who were interviewed by phone before election day, and with 1,383 Republican primary voters, including 341 absentee or early voters interviewed by phone. The results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points for Republican primary voters and 5 percentage points for Democratic primary voters.

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