- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 5, 2014

ATLANTA (AP) - Republican David Perdue beat Democrat Michelle Nunn in Georgia to win a U.S. Senate seat as final exit polls showed voters appeared troubled by the economy and considered how their decision might affect control of the U.S. Senate. Gov. Nathan Deal, a Republican, beat Democratic challenger Jason Carter, the grandson of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, even as Deal presided over a weak economy.

Here are some findings from exit polling conducted for The Associated Press and television networks:

GENDER: Exit polls showed Nunn held an advantage among women, winning 53 percent of the female vote. Nunn attacked Perdue on pocketbook issues, from supporting an equal pay bill to criticizing Perdue over a gender lawsuit filed against a company he led as its chief executive. The Republicans fared better with men. Perdue won 61 percent of the male vote, while Deal won about 60 percent.

RACE: The racial gap remains one of the starkest divides in Georgia politics. Exit poll results showed Perdue winning 74 percent of the white electorate, while Deal won 73 percent. Nunn and Carter won the overwhelming majority of black voters. The exit poll results suggest just under 3 in 10 voters were African-American. However, estimating the size of a geographically clustered group using an exit poll is more difficult than estimating those that aren’t clustered, and the risk of sampling error is higher.

SENATE CONTROL: Voters were considering how ballots cast in Georgia would affect whether Republicans or Democrats control the closely divided U.S. Senate. Better than 90 percent of voters said they considered party control of the Senate important, and around three-quarters considered it very important. Perdue held a slight lead among voters who considered party control important.



GLOOMY ECONOMIC OUTLOOK: Georgia has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. Less than a third of voters polled said the country was moving in the right direction. About eight out of ten said they were worried about the direction of the economy in the coming year. Of those who said they were worried, 62 percent reported voting for Perdue.

OBAMA: A voter’s view on President Obama was a good indicator of how he or she voted in the Senate race. Nunn won better than nine out of 10 voters who approved of Obama’s job performance. Perdue won about 88 percent of the vote among voters who disapproved.

MINIMUM WAGE: 56 percent of voters said they would support raising the minimum wage. Nunn won a strong majority of those voters.

HEALTH CARE: Roughly half of Georgia voters polled said Obama’s health care overhaul went too far, and 87 percent of those people reported voting for the Republican, Perdue. Around a quarter said it did not go far enough, and approximately a fifth said it was about right.

JOBS-GOVERNOR’S RACE: During the campaign for governor, Carter attacked Deal on the state’s weak labor market. Still, Deal won 64 percent of the vote among people who described the job situation as worse today than four years ago, when Deal won his first term as governor.

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: About 62 percent of voters said they opposed gay marriage, while 35 percent supported it.

The survey of 3,117 voters was conducted for AP and the television networks by Edison Research. This includes results from interviews conducted as voters left a random sample of 40 precincts statewide Tuesday, as well as 559 who voted early or absentee and were interviewed by landline or cellular telephone from Oct. 29 through Nov. 4. Results for the full sample were subject to sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points; it is higher for subgroups.

Online: https://surveys.ap.org/exitpolls

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