Early LA exit poll highlights

February 9, 2008 5:16:49 PM PST
Some highlights of preliminary data from exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and television networks in the Louisiana presidential primaries Saturday:

DEMOGRAPHICS

Blacks were close to half the Democratic electorate, while nine in 10 Republican primary voters were white. As is typical for presidential primaries, men predominated in the GOP electorate while more women voted in the Democratic contest. Close to one in 10 voters in both primaries were under age 30 and one in four were over age 65.

HURRICANE KATRINA IMPACT

One in seven Democratic voters and about one in 10 Republicans said Hurricane Katrina caused their families severe hardship and they have not recovered. About one in four in both parties said the storm caused severe hardship but they have recovered. Two-thirds of Republicans and a little more than a half of Democrats said Katrina did not cause their family severe hardship. There also were early indications from the exit poll that the northern part of Louisiana was a larger share of the electorate in both parties compared to past primaries, reflecting a population decline in New Orleans and other coastal areas.

ECONOMIC CONCERNS Given three choices, nearly half of Democratic voters said the economy was the most important issue facing the country. About three in 10 said the war in Iraq and the rest said health care. Nine in 10 Democrats rated the national economy not good or poor.

Given four choices, one in three Republican voters said the economy was the top issue. Each of the other three choices _ the war in Iraq, illegal immigration and terrorism _ was picked by one in five GOP voters. Half of Republicans viewed the economy positively.

RACE AND GENDER

In the historic Democratic contest to nominate either the first black or first woman for president, about one in five voters said gender was an important factor in their vote and about as many said that about race.


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