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VoteCast: Maine voters say nation headed wrong way

November 7, 2018

A majority of voters casting midterm election ballots in Maine 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 39 percent of Maine voters said the country is on the right track, compared with 61 percent who said the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Here’s a snapshot of who voted and why in Maine, based on preliminary results from AP VoteCast, an innovative nationwide survey of about 139,000 voters and nonvoters _ including 782 voters and 215 nonvoters in the state of Maine _ 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 Angus King had an apparent advantage over Republican Eric Brakey among voters under 45; in addition, those ages 45 and older leaned toward King.

Voters with a college education favored King. Conversely, voters without a college degree were split.

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RACE FOR GOVERNOR

Voters under 45 were divided between Democrat Janet Mills and Republican Shawn Moody in the race for governor. Voters ages 45 and older were divided.

Voters without a college degree were split over Mills and Moody. On the other hand, college graduates leaned toward Mills.

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TOP ISSUE: HEALTH CARE

Health care was at the forefront of voters’ minds: 36 percent named it as the most important issue facing the nation in this year’s midterm elections. Others considered immigration (21 percent), the economy (18 percent), the environment (8 percent) and gun policy (6 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 _ 65 percent said the nation’s economy is good, compared with 34 percent who said it’s not good.

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TRUMP FACTOR

For 36 percent of Maine voters, President Donald Trump was not a factor they considered while casting their votes. By comparison, 24 percent said a reason for their vote was to express support for Trump, and 38 percent said they voted to express opposition to Trump.

A majority of voters in Maine had negative views of Trump: 59 percent said they disapprove of how he is handling his job as president, while 41 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 60 percent of Maine 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 782 voters and 215 nonvoters in Maine 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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