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VoteCast: Texas voters divided on state of nation

November 7, 2018

Voters casting midterm election ballots in Texas are divided over the state of the nation, 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 49 percent of Texas voters said the country is on the right track, compared with 50 percent who said the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Here’s a snapshot of who voted and why in Texas, based on preliminary results from AP VoteCast, an innovative nationwide survey of about 139,000 voters and nonvoters _ including 3,779 voters and 833 nonvoters in the state of Texas _ conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.

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RACE FOR SENATE

In the race for Senate, Republican Ted Cruz led Democrat Beto O’Rourke among white voters. Whites with a college education were more likely to support Cruz, and whites without a college degree were more likely to support Cruz as well.

O’Rourke led among black voters and also led among Hispanic voters.

Voters under 45 were more likely to favor O’Rourke; those ages 45 and older were more likely to favor Cruz.

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RACE FOR GOVERNOR

Democrat Lupe Valdez appeared to lead Republican Greg Abbott among voters under 45 in the race for governor. Voters ages 45 and older supported Abbott.

Black voters and Hispanic voters preferred Valdez. White voters overall preferred Abbott.

Whites without a college degree favored Abbott. Similarly, white college graduates were more likely to favor Abbott.

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TOP ISSUE: IMMIGRATION

Immigration was at the forefront of voters’ minds: 30 percent named it as the most important issue facing the nation in this year’s midterm elections. Others considered health care (23 percent), the economy (19 percent), gun policy (7 percent) and terrorism (6 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 _ 71 percent said the nation’s economy is good, compared with 28 percent who said it’s not good.

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TRUMP FACTOR

For 34 percent of Texas voters, President Donald Trump was not a factor they considered while casting their votes. By comparison, 31 percent said a reason for their vote was to express support for Trump, and 34 percent said they voted to express opposition to Trump.

Voters in Texas had mixed views of Trump: 50 percent said they approve of how he is handling his job as president, while 50 percent said they disapprove 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 76 percent of Texas voters said which party will hold control was very important as they considered their vote. Another 18 percent said it was somewhat important.

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STAYING AT HOME

In Texas, 71 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 _ 82 percent _ did not have a college degree. About as many nonvoters were Democrats (31 percent) as Republicans (36 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 3,779 voters and 833 nonvoters in Texas 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.

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AP created this story automatically using data from NORC.

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For AP’s complete coverage of the U.S. midterm elections: http://apne.ws/APPolitics

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