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VoteCast: New York voters dislike Trump, nation’s direction

November 7, 2018

People wait to cast their ballots at the Parkway Recreation Center in Utica, N.Y., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — New Yorkers are not happy with President Donald Trump, and many tried to show it at the ballot box, according to a wide-ranging survey of the American electorate.

Sixty-four percent of New York voters who cast ballots for governor, U.S. Senate and members of Congress in Tuesday’s election said they disapproved of how he is handling his job as president, and AP VoteCast found that about half said they were expressing opposition to their fellow New Yorker with their vote.

Around two-thirds of New York voters said the country is on the wrong track, compared with around one-third who said the country is headed in the right direction.

Here’s a snapshot of who voted and why in New York, based on preliminary results from AP VoteCast, an innovative nationwide survey of about 139,000 voters and nonvoters — including 3,751 voters and 940 nonvoters in the state of New York — conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.

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TRUMP FACTOR

Trump was on the mind of 44-year-old Michelle Mora as she voted near Albany, New York.

“He’s very divisive. He’s very insensitive and he likes to promote fear unnecessarily,” she said.

Democratic Attorney General-elect Letitia James has called Trump a “con man” and has said she would examine his real estate and other business dealings. The office already has several pending lawsuits against Trump administration policies on issues such as immigration and is suing the president’s charitable foundation, a lawsuit Trump’s lawyers are seeking to dismiss.

More than 6 in 10 New York voters said the Trump administration is less ethical than previous administrations, while nearly 7 in 10 say Trump does not have the right temperament to serve as president, and is not honest and trustworthy.

Seven in 10 voters said they were dissatisfied or angry with the federal government, while about 3 in 10 said they were satisfied or enthusiastic.

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CONTROL OF CONGRESS

Tuesday’s elections determined control of Congress in the final two years of Trump’s first term in office, and several House races in New York were among the most competitive in the country.

While both men and women favored Democrats in congressional races, enthusiasm for Democrats was significantly higher among women, with 69 percent of women saying they voted for the Democrat on the congressional ballot, and 29 percent going Republican. Men went for the Democratic candidate 57 percent of the time and with the Republican candidate 40 percent of the time.

Three-quarters of New York voters said which party will hold control was very important as they considered their vote. Around 1 in 6 said it was somewhat important.

Three-quarters said they disapproved of the job Congress was doing. Fewer than 1 in 5 said they trusted government to do what’s right always or most of the time, while more than 4 in 5 said they trusted it only some of the time, or never.

In the Hudson Valley, freshman Republican Rep. John Faso was ousted by Democrat Antonio Delgado, a Rhodes scholar and Harvard Law School graduate who is a first-time candidate. Democrats flipped another seat on Staten Island, where Army veteran Max Rose beat Republican U.S. Rep. Dan Donovan in a district that went for Trump in 2016.

Two more Republicans in upstate districts were in tight races too close to call as of Wednesday, including in western New York, where Republican Rep. Chris Collins is trying to hold his seat after being indicted federal insider trading charges. Collins, who has pleaded not guilty, declared victory. McMurray called for a recount after initially conceding.

In central New York, Republican U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney, an early Trump supporter, was trying to hold off a challenge from Democrat Anthony Brindisi, a state assemblyman who has criticized her hyper-partisan approach.

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STAYING AT HOME

Lauryn Schrom, a 27-year-old graphic designer in Guilderland, New York, did not vote in the last off-year election, but made a point to do it this time because of her dissatisfaction with the Trump administration.

She said recent political events have “opened my eyes” on issues like civil rights and women’s rights.

“If you are not engaged enough in the political process then you can lose your rights,” she said, holding an “I Voted” sticker in her hand. “I have a significant number of friends who are LGBT and it’s disturbing that they could lose civil rights as well.”

She voted “straight across” for Democrats, something she likely would have done anyway. But there was added impetus this time.

“The votes have a greater chance of counting against the Trump administration if I vote Democratic this year,” she said.

In New York, more than 6 in 10 registered voters who chose not to vote in the midterm election were younger than 45. Around 7 in 10 of those who did not vote did not have a college degree. More nonvoters were Democrats than Republicans.

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TOP ISSUE: HEALTH CARE

Health care was at the forefront of voters’ minds: Around 1 in 4 named it as the most important issue facing the nation in this year’s midterm elections. Another 1 in 5 named immigration, while 1 in 6 named the economy. Around 1 in 10 named gun policy or the environment 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 — about 6 in 10 said the nation’s economy is good, compared with around 4 in 10 who said it’s not good.

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RACE FOR GOVERNOR

Democrat Andrew Cuomo was elected to a third term as the leader of the nation’s fourth-largest state, winning over Republican Marc Molinaro.

Black voters and Hispanic voters were more likely to favor Cuomo. White voters overall were divided in their support over Cuomo and Molinaro.

Whites without a college degree favored Molinaro. Conversely, white college graduates modestly supported Cuomo.

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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 3,751 voters and 940 nonvoters in New York 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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Associated Press writer Michael Hill contributed to this report from Guilderland, New York.

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

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