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VoteCast: Nebraska voters divided on state of nation

November 7, 2018

Voters casting midterm election ballots in Nebraska 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 51 percent of Nebraska voters said the country is on the right track, compared with 49 percent who said the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Here’s a snapshot of who voted and why in Nebraska, based on preliminary results from AP VoteCast, an innovative nationwide survey of about 139,000 voters and nonvoters _ including 794 voters and 173 nonvoters in the state of Nebraska _ 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 Deb Fischer was roughly even with Democrat Jane Raybould among voters under 45; conversely, those ages 45 and older were more likely to favor Fischer.

Voters with a college education were divided over Fischer and Raybould. By contrast, voters without a college degree supported Fischer.

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RACE FOR GOVERNOR

Voters under 45 were split between Republican Pete Ricketts and Democrat Bob Krist in the race for governor. Voters ages 45 and older appeared to prefer Ricketts.

Voters without a college degree appeared to prefer Ricketts. By contrast, college graduates were split.

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TOP ISSUES

Voters considered several issues to be important to their vote in this midterm election, including immigration (28 percent), health care (26 percent), the economy (17 percent), gun policy (7 percent) and foreign policy (6 percent).

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STATE OF THE ECONOMY

Voters have a positive view of the nation’s current economic outlook _ 72 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 35 percent of Nebraska voters, President Donald Trump was not a factor they considered while casting their votes. By comparison, 36 percent said a reason for their vote was to express support for Trump, and 29 percent said they voted to express opposition to Trump.

Voters in Nebraska had mixed views of Trump: 53 percent said they approve of how he is handling his job as president, while 46 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 61 percent of Nebraska voters said which party will hold control was very important as they considered their vote. Another 23 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 794 voters and 173 nonvoters in Nebraska 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 10.2 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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