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VoteCast: North Dakota voters divided on state of nation

November 7, 2018

Voters casting midterm election ballots in North Dakota are divided over the state of the nation, according to a wide-ranging survey of the American electorate.

As voters cast ballots for U.S. Senate and members of Congress in Tuesday’s elections, AP VoteCast found that 52 percent of North Dakota voters said the country is on the right track, compared with 46 percent who said the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Here’s a snapshot of who voted and why in North Dakota, based on preliminary results from AP VoteCast, an innovative nationwide survey of about 139,000 voters and nonvoters _ including 1,096 voters and 155 nonvoters in the state of North Dakota _ 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 Heidi Heitkamp was about tied with Republican Kevin Cramer among voters under 45; likewise, those ages 45 and older were divided.

Voters with a college education were split between Heitkamp and Cramer. On the other hand, voters without a college degree modestly supported Cramer.

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TOP ISSUES

Voters considered several issues to be important to their vote in this midterm election, including health care (26 percent), immigration (24 percent), the economy (21 percent), foreign policy (7 percent) and the environment (6 percent).

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STATE OF THE ECONOMY

Voters have a positive view of the nation’s current economic outlook _ 70 percent said the nation’s economy is good, compared with 29 percent who said it’s not good.

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TRUMP FACTOR

For 43 percent of North Dakota voters, President Donald Trump was not a factor they considered while casting their votes. By comparison, 31 percent said a reason for their vote was to express support for Trump, and 25 percent said they voted to express opposition to Trump.

A majority of voters in North Dakota had positive views of Trump: 59 percent said they approve of how he is handling his job as president, while 41 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 59 percent of North Dakota 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 1,096 voters and 155 nonvoters in North Dakota 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 eligible voters drawn from state voter files and self-identified eligible 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 9.3 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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