HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Democrat Hillary Clinton got a winning boost Tuesday from older voters who turned out in larger numbers than the younger voting bloc that swamped rival Bernie Sanders with support in Connecticut’s presidential primary, exit polls showed.
Meanwhile, Ted Cruz got more bad news than just losing the election to Donald Trump. About 4 in 10 Connecticut Republicans said they would not vote for Cruz in November if he is the party nominee, while about a fourth said they would not support Trump if he wins the nomination and a Kasich nominee drew the same response.
Sanders was favored by about 7 out of 10 Democratic voters between the ages of 17 and 44, but the younger set made up fewer than 40 percent of the voters. Just under 3 in 5 voters between the ages of 45 and 64 cast their ballots for Clinton, while 7 in 10 of those older than 65 voted for her, according to the poll.
About 3 of 5 Democratic voters said Clinton is the candidate better suited to beat Trump in the November election. But more than half said Sanders inspires them more than Clinton about the future of the Democratic Party. Six in 10 Democrats said they would definitely support either Sanders or Clinton in the general election, the polls showed.
About two-thirds of Republicans said they would want the eventual GOP nominee to be the person who got the most votes in the primary season, even if they don’t get a majority. Among them, about 8 in 10 voted for Trump. Among those who said if there is no majority going into the party convention, delegates should choose the best candidate, about 6 out of 10 voted for Ohio Gov. John Kasich and 1 out of 5 for Ted Cruz.
Other highlights from the exit polls:
Democrats favored Hillary Clinton to do a better job of handling gun policy over Sanders.
About 3 of 5 voters in the Democratic primary favored Clinton on that issue.
Clinton has been hitting the issue of gun violence hard in Connecticut, where 20 school children and six educators were gunned down in December 2012 inside Newtown’s Sandy Hook Elementary School. Last week, she held a roundtable discussion about guns that included family members of the victims.
Connecticut passed an assault weapons ban, barred large-capacity magazines and boosted background check requirements, among other changes in the wake of the shooting.
Clinton has proposed comprehensive federal background check requirements, including for gun show and Internet sales, and repealing certain immunity protections for the gun industry, among other provisions. She also has criticized Sanders for his support of a 2005 law that gave legal liability protections for the gun industry, a law he now says he favors repealing.
Remington Arms, the maker of the AR-15 rifle used at Sandy Hook, has been citing that law in fighting a lawsuit filed by nine Sandy Hook families.
STAYING THE COURSE
About half of Democrats want the next president to continue President Barack Obama’s policies while more than 3 in 10 want more liberal policies.
More than two-thirds of those who want a continuation of Obama’s policies supported Clinton.
About two-thirds of Democrats say the primary campaigns have energized the party.
Trump got the support of just under 9 in 10 voters who said the quality that matters most in a candidate is someone who “tells it like it is.” The other qualities polled voters considered were the candidate can beat the Democratic nominee; has similar values; or can “bring needed changed.” Trump was the choice of more than 7 of 10 who said a person who can “bring needed change” mattered most.
About a third voted for Cruz and about 2 of 5 voted for Kasich who said shared values was most important in making their choice Tuesday.
WALL STREET INFLUENCE
Few Democrats in Connecticut had a positive view of Wall Street, but Sanders’ voters were more likely than Clinton voters to have a negative view of the nation’s financial services industry.
About two-thirds said Wall Street hurts the American economy, including about 8 out of 10 Sanders’ voters. Clinton voters were more divided on the question.
On the GOP side, about half of voters say Wall Street helps the economy and about 4 in 10 say it is detrimental. Among those with a positive view of Wall Street, 3 out of 5 voted for Kasich. Trump led slightly among those who said Wall Street hurt the economy.
Few Connecticut voters made up their minds in the last few weeks before the primary. Almost three-fourths of Democrats, and about 6 in 10 Republicans said they decided who they would vote for more than a month ago. More than 6 of 10 voters in the GOP primary who decided early were Trump supporters.
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 Connecticut. Results include interviews with 1,234 Democratic primary voters and 969 Republican primary voters. The results have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. The margin of error is larger for subgroups.
This story has been corrected to show that Kasich, not Trump, was the favorite among GOP voters who said they have a positive view of Wall Street, and that Trump led slightly among those who said Wall Street hurt the economy.
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