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VoteCast: Vermont voters say nation headed wrong way

November 7, 2018

A majority of voters casting midterm election ballots in Vermont 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 27 percent of Vermont voters said the country is on the right track, compared with 73 percent who said the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Here’s a snapshot of who voted and why in Vermont, based on preliminary results from AP VoteCast, an innovative nationwide survey of about 139,000 voters and nonvoters _ including 528 voters and 184 nonvoters in the state of Vermont _ conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.

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RACE FOR SENATE

In the race for Senate, independent Bernie Sanders was preferred over Republican Lawrence Zupan among voters under 45; likewise, those ages 45 and older were more likely to favor Sanders.

Voters with a college education were more likely to favor Sanders. Likewise, voters without a college degree were more likely to favor Sanders.

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RACE FOR GOVERNOR

Voters under 45 were split between Republican Phil Scott and Democrat Christine Hallquist in the race for governor. Voters ages 45 and older appeared to prefer Scott.

Voters without a college degree were more likely to support Scott. By contrast, college graduates were split.

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TOP ISSUE: HEALTH CARE

Health care was at the forefront of voters’ minds: 27 percent named it as the most important issue facing the nation in this year’s midterm elections. Others considered the economy (19 percent), immigration (16 percent), the environment (15 percent) and foreign policy (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 _ 61 percent said the nation’s economy is good, compared with 39 percent who said it’s not good.

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TRUMP FACTOR

For 29 percent of Vermont voters, President Donald Trump was not a factor they considered while casting their votes. By comparison, 16 percent said a reason for their vote was to express support for Trump, and 53 percent said they voted to express opposition to Trump.

A majority of voters in Vermont had negative views of Trump: 69 percent said they disapprove of how he is handling his job as president, while 31 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 62 percent of Vermont voters said which party will hold control was very important as they considered their vote. Another 27 percent said it was somewhat important.

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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 528 voters and 184 nonvoters in Vermont was conducted Oct. 29 to Nov. 6, concluding as polls close on Election Day. Interviews in English and Spanish with self-identified registered voters selected from opt-in online panels are calibrated with interviews of randomly sampled registered voters nationwide. The margin of sampling error for voters is estimated to be plus or minus 11.1 percentage points. Although there is no statistically agreed upon approach for calculating margins of error for non-probability samples, the margin of error is estimated using a calculation called the root mean squared error and other statistical adjustments. 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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