Pennsylvania Voters Say Nation Headed Wrong Way

Nov 6, 2018

Credit image: Associated Press

A majority of voters casting midterm election ballots in Pennsylvania said the country is headed in the wrong direction, according to a wide-ranging survey of the American electorate.
As voters cast ballots for governor, U.S. Senate and members of Congress in Tuesday's elections, AP VoteCast found that 41 percent of Pennsylvania voters said the country is on the right track, compared with 57 percent who said the country is headed in the wrong direction.
Here's a snapshot of who voted and why in Pennsylvania, based on preliminary results from AP VoteCast, an innovative nationwide survey of about 138,000 voters and nonvoters _ including 3,923 voters and 810 nonvoters in the state of Pennsylvania _ conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.
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RACE FOR SENATE
In the race for Senate, Democrat Bob Casey had an apparent advantage over Republican Lou Barletta among white voters. Whites with a college education preferred Casey, and whites without a college degree were divided.
Casey led among black voters and also had a sizable advantage among Hispanic voters.
Voters under 45 favored Casey; those ages 45 and older leaned toward Casey.
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RACE FOR GOVERNOR
Democrat Tom Wolf had a sizable advantage over Republican Scott Wagner among voters under 45 in the race for governor. Voters ages 45 and older favored Wolf.
Black voters and Hispanic voters were more likely to favor Wolf. White voters overall modestly supported Wolf.
Whites without a college degree were divided over Wolf and Wagner. Conversely, white college graduates were more likely to favor Wolf.
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TOP ISSUE: HEALTH CARE
Health care was at the forefront of voters' minds: 26 percent named it as the most important issue facing the nation in this year's midterm elections. Others considered immigration (20 percent), the economy (19 percent), gun policy (9 percent) and the environment (8 percent) to be the top issue.
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STATE OF THE ECONOMY
Voters have a positive view of the nation's current economic outlook _ 64 percent said the nation's economy is good, compared with 36 percent who said it's not good.
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TRUMP FACTOR
For 31 percent of Pennsylvania voters, President Donald Trump was not a factor they considered while casting their votes. By comparison, 27 percent said a reason for their vote was to express support for Trump, and 42 percent said they voted to express opposition to Trump.
A majority of voters in Pennsylvania had negative views of Trump: 55 percent said they disapprove of how he is handling his job as president, while 44 percent said they approve of Trump.
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CONTROL OF CONGRESS
Tuesday's elections will determine control of Congress in the final two years of Trump's first term in office, and 72 percent of Pennsylvania voters said which party will hold control was very important as they considered their vote. Another 20 percent said it was somewhat important.
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STAYING AT HOME
In Pennsylvania, 63 percent of registered voters who chose not to vote in the midterm election were younger than 45. A wide share of those who did not vote _ 77 percent _ did not have a college degree. About as many nonvoters were Democrats (30 percent) as Republicans (33 percent).
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AP VoteCast is a survey of the American electorate in all 50 states conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago for The Associated Press and Fox News. The survey of 3,923 voters and 810 nonvoters in Pennsylvania was conducted Oct. 29 to Nov. 6, concluding as polls close on Election Day. It combines interviews in English or Spanish with a random sample of registered voters drawn from state voter files and self-identified registered voters selected from opt-in online panels. Participants in the probability-based portion of the survey were contacted by phone and mail, and had the opportunity to take the survey by phone or online. The margin of sampling error for voters is estimated to be plus or minus 2.0 percentage points. All surveys are subject to multiple sources of error, including from sampling, question wording and order, and nonresponse. Find more details about AP VoteCast's methodology at http://www.ap.org/votecast.