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VoteCast: New Mexico voters say nation headed wrong way

November 7, 2018

A majority of voters casting midterm election ballots in New Mexico 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 41 percent of New Mexico voters said the country is on the right track, compared with 59 percent who said the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Here’s a snapshot of who voted and why in New Mexico, based on preliminary results from AP VoteCast, an innovative nationwide survey of about 139,000 voters and nonvoters _ including 844 voters and 130 nonvoters in the state of New Mexico _ conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.

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RACE FOR SENATE

In the race for Senate, Democrat Martin Heinrich was preferred over Republican Mick Rich among voters under 45; similarly, those ages 45 and older appeared to prefer Heinrich.

Voters with a college education were more likely to favor Heinrich. In addition, voters without a college degree leaned toward Heinrich.

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RACE FOR GOVERNOR

Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham was preferred over Republican Steve Pearce among voters under 45 in the race for governor. Voters ages 45 and older were divided.

Voters without a college degree were divided over Pearce and Lujan Grisham. On the other hand, college graduates appeared to prefer Lujan Grisham.

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TOP ISSUES

Voters considered several issues to be important to their vote in this midterm election, including immigration (30 percent), health care (25 percent), the economy (17 percent), the environment (8 percent) and gun policy (7 percent).

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STATE OF THE ECONOMY

Views of economic conditions in the country are mixed _ 50 percent of voters said the nation’s economy is not good, compared with 50 percent who said it’s good.

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TRUMP FACTOR

For 30 percent of New Mexico voters, President Donald Trump was not a factor they considered while casting their votes. By comparison, 26 percent said a reason for their vote was to express support for Trump, and 43 percent said they voted to express opposition to Trump.

A majority of voters in New Mexico had negative views of Trump: 61 percent said they disapprove of how he is handling his job as president, while 39 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 71 percent of New Mexico voters said which party will hold control was very important as they considered their vote. Another 21 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 844 voters and 130 nonvoters in New Mexico 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 11.4 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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