Exit polls: What voters think as America heads to the polls


Read below for an analysis of CNN’s 2022 preliminary national exit polls.

According to preliminary national polling results conducted for CNN and other news networks by Edison Research, more voters trust Republicans than Democrats to handle inflation and crime.

About half of voters said they trust GOP candidates on both issues, while more than 4 in 10 voters said they trust Democratic candidates.

On the issue of abortion, however, about half of voters said they trusted Democratic candidates, compared to more than 4 in 10 voters who said they trusted Republican candidates.

6:30 p.m. ET / Tami Luhby

About 8 out of 10 voters in midterm of this year said they were at least somewhat confident that elections in their state were being conducted fairly and accurately, according to preliminary national exit poll results conducted for CNN and other news networks by Edison Research. About half said they were very confident. Only about 2 in 10 said they were not very or not at all confident.

But voters were also deeply concerned about the state of the country’s democracy. Just under 3 in 10 said they consider democracy in the United States today to be at least somewhat secure, with about 7 in 10 believing democracy in the country is somewhat or very threatened.

Just over 6 in 10 voters agreed that Biden had legitimately won the presidency in 2020, while around a third denied the results of that election.

6:46 p.m. ET / Ariel Edwards-Levy

While voters in this year’s midterm election have a negative view of President Joe Bidentheir views of his predecessor are even more negative, according to preliminary national polling results for CNN and other news networks by Edison Research.

Only around 37% of voters in this year’s midterm elections expressed a favorable view of the former President Donald Trump, with about 6 in 10 people viewing it unfavorably. About 16% of voters said their vote in the House this year was to voice support for Trump, with just under 3 in 10 saying it was meant to voice opposition and the rest saying Trump was not. not a factor.

Voters’ views of the GOP were slightly more positive than their views of Trump, with about 43% viewing the Republican Party favorably and just over half viewing it unfavorably. More than half, about 54%, say the GOP is too extreme.

6 p.m. ET / Ariel Edwards-Levy

There is a significant partisan divide in voter priorities and attitudes this year, according to preliminary national polling results conducted for CNN and other news networks by Edison Research.

Nearly half of voters who supported a GOP House candidate named inflation their top issue, with less than 15% choosing any other issue as their priority. Among voters who supported a Democratic candidate, about 44% listed abortion as their top issue, with 15% or fewer choosing any other issue.

Meanwhile, midterm voters were mostly opposed to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision quash Roe v. Wadeaccording to preliminary national exit polls.

Just under 4 in 10 said they were excited or satisfied with the decision, while about 21% said they were dissatisfied and about 4 in 10 said they were angry.

About 60% of all voters said abortion should be legal in most or all cases, compared to 51% among voters who ran in the 2020 general election.

5:52 p.m. ET / Ariel Edwards-Levy

Early indications suggest that midterm of this year According to preliminary national polling results conducted for CNN and other news networks by Edison Research, the electorate may appear older than voters in the 2018 midterm elections.

Only about a tenth of voters in this election were under 30, while about a third were 65 or older. In 2018, about 13% were under 30 and about 26% were 65 or older.

This year, the electorate was roughly split between those who generally identify as Democrats (about 34%) and those who generally identify as Republicans (about 35%), with the remainder made up of political independents and members of other parties. In 2018, Democrats were a slightly larger voting bloc, around 37%.

About 76% of voters were white and about 24% were voters of color. White voters with college degrees appear to make up a slightly larger share of the electorate this year — around 40% according to preliminary data, up from 31% four years ago. In contrast, voters of color without a college degree appear to have made up a slightly lower share of the electorate this year.

5:29 p.m. ET / Ariel Edwards-Levy

Inflation tops voters’ list of concerns in this year’s midterm elections, followed closely by abortion, according to preliminary national polling results conducted for CNN and other news networks by EdisonResearch.

About a third called inflation the most important issue in their vote, with about 27% citing abortion. The rest were roughly split between crime, gun politics, and immigration as primary concerns.

The views of the electorate on the economy are largely bleak. Only around a quarter of voters have a positive view of the current state of the economy, with around three-quarters rating it negatively – and around 4 in 10 saying it’s downright bad.

That’s more pessimistic than in the 2018 midterm elections, when 68% of voters said the state of the economy was excellent or good, and the 2020 presidential election, when 49% said the same thing.

About 46% of voters in this election say their family’s financial situation has deteriorated over the past two years, while only about 1 in 5 said it has improved.

More than three-quarters of voters in this year’s election say inflation has caused hardship for them and their families over the past year, with around 20% saying it has been a severe hardship. And about 6 in 10 say gas prices, in particular, have recently been a challenge.

5:23 p.m. ET / Ariel Edwards-Levy

This year’s voters midterm elections are generally unhappy with the state of the nation and hold largely negative views about President Joe Bidenaccording to preliminary national polling results conducted for CNN and other news networks by Edison Research.

More than 7 in 10 people said they were less than happy with the way things were going in the country, and around a third said they were not just dissatisfied but angry with the state of the nation.

Biden’s approval rating stands at around 45% among voters in this year’s election – nearly identical to Donald Trump’s 45% approval rating four years ago among midterm voters in 2018. And voters in this election were more than twice as likely to strongly disapprove of Biden than to strongly approve of him.

Just under half of voters this year said Biden’s policies mostly hurt the country, with about 36% saying his policies mostly help, and the rest that they make no difference.

Many voters did not see their vote in Congress as a referendum on the president – almost half said Biden was not a factor in their vote, while about 18% said their vote was meant to express support for Biden, and about a third it was to oppose him.

Updated 5:13 p.m. ET / Ariel Edwards-Levy

The 2022 exit polls include interviews with thousands of voters, both those who voted on Election Day and those who voted early or absent. This scope makes it a powerful tool for understanding the demographics and political views of voters in this year’s election. And their conclusions will ultimately be weighed against the ultimate benchmark: the election results themselves. Even so, exit polls are still polls, with margins of error — meaning they are most useful when treated as estimates rather than precise measurements. This is especially true for the early exit numbers from the polls, which have yet to be adjusted to match the final election results.

CNN’s exit polls are a combination of in-person interviews with Election Day voters and in-person interviews, telephone and online polls measuring the opinions of early and absentee voters via email. They were conducted by Edison Research on behalf of the National Election Pool. In-person interviews on election day were conducted in a random sample of 250 polling stations. The results also include interviews with early and absentee voters conducted in person at 72 early voting locations, by phone or online. Results for the full sample of 12,458 respondents have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points; it is larger for subgroups.

This story has been updated with additional information.

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