CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) – A look at the highlights of the views of West Virginia voters from Tuesday’s elections, according to the final results of an exit poll conducted for The Associated Press and television networks.
CAPITO’S COALITION: Shelley Moore Capito defeated Natalie Tennant in West Virginia’s Senate contest with broad support from traditional Republican bases including conservatives, born-again Christians and white voters, while also pulling surprisingly large minorities from Democrats and those with negative impressions of the GOP.
TOP ISSUES: About half of voters said the economy was the top issue, and Capito carried 59 percent among this group. Health care followed, named top issue by 26 percent, with immigration and foreign policy following.
ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT: Almost 7 in 10 voters opposed an Environmental Protection Agency proposal to curb carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, just 28 percent favored the rule. Most, 57 percent, said global warming was not a serious problem, and 62 percent think government environmental regulations go far enough already.
HEALTH CARE: Six in 10 voters surveyed said they thought the 2010 Affordable Care Act was too far-reaching, and these voters broadly backed Capito. Tennant captured three-quarters of those who thought it didn’t go far enough, but they made up just 18 percent of the electorate. Another 19 percent said the law was about right.
POLITICAL PARTIES: Voters were divided in their impression of the Republican Party, 49 percent favorable to 48 percent unfavorable. Democrats fared worse. Sixty-one percent of voters saw Democrats unfavorably, versus 35 percent who saw them favorably.
The survey of 1,391 West Virginia voters was conducted for AP and the television networks by Edison Research in a random sample of 25 precincts statewide on Tuesday. Results for the full sample were subject to sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points; it is higher for subgroups.
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