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VoteCast: Rhode Island voters say nation headed wrong way

November 7, 2018

A majority of voters casting midterm election ballots in Rhode Island 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 33 percent of Rhode Island voters said the country is on the right track, compared with 67 percent who said the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Here’s a snapshot of who voted and why in Rhode Island, based on preliminary results from AP VoteCast, an innovative nationwide survey of about 139,000 voters and nonvoters _ including 787 voters and 215 nonvoters in the state of Rhode Island _ 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 Sheldon Whitehouse led Republican Robert Flanders among voters under 45; similarly, those ages 45 and older appeared to prefer Whitehouse.

Voters with a college education appeared to prefer Whitehouse. Similarly, voters without a college degree modestly supported Whitehouse.

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RACE FOR GOVERNOR

Democrat Gina Raimondo appeared to lead Republican Allan Fung among voters under 45 in the race for governor. Voters ages 45 and older were split.

Voters without a college degree were divided in their support over Raimondo and Fung. By comparison, college graduates appeared to prefer Raimondo.

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TOP ISSUES

Voters considered several issues to be important to their vote in this midterm election, including health care (25 percent), immigration (21 percent), the economy (17 percent), foreign policy (9 percent) and gun policy (8 percent).

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STATE OF THE ECONOMY

Voters have a positive view of the nation’s current economic outlook _ 60 percent said the nation’s economy is good, compared with 40 percent who said it’s not good.

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TRUMP FACTOR

For 38 percent of Rhode Island voters, President Donald Trump was not a factor they considered while casting their votes. By comparison, 20 percent said a reason for their vote was to express support for Trump, and 42 percent said they voted to express opposition to Trump.

A majority of voters in Rhode Island had negative views of Trump: 58 percent said they disapprove of how he is handling his job as president, while 42 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 67 percent of Rhode Island voters said which party will hold control was very important as they considered their vote. Another 22 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 787 voters and 215 nonvoters in Rhode Island 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 10.6 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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