VoteCast: New Jersey voters say nation headed wrong way

November 7, 2018

A majority of voters casting midterm election ballots in New Jersey said the country is headed in the wrong direction, 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 36 percent of New Jersey voters said the country is on the right track, compared with 62 percent who said the country is headed in the wrong direction.

Here’s a snapshot of who voted and why in New Jersey, based on preliminary results from AP VoteCast, an innovative nationwide survey of about 139,000 voters and nonvoters _ including 3,822 voters and 667 nonvoters in the state of New Jersey _ conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.



In the race for Senate, Democrat Bob Menendez was roughly even with Republican Bob Hugin among white voters. Whites with a college education leaned toward Menendez, and whites without a college degree were more likely to favor Hugin.

Menendez had a sizable advantage among black voters and also was preferred among Hispanic voters.

Voters under 45 were more likely to support Menendez; those ages 45 and older were divided.



Health care was at the forefront of voters’ minds: 27 percent named it as the most important issue facing the nation in this year’s midterm elections. Others considered immigration (19 percent), the economy (19 percent), gun policy (10 percent) and terrorism (7 percent) to be the top issue.



Voters have a positive view of the nation’s current economic outlook _ 66 percent said the nation’s economy is good, compared with 34 percent who said it’s not good.



For 31 percent of New Jersey voters, President Donald Trump was not a factor they considered while casting their votes. By comparison, 21 percent said a reason for their vote was to express support for Trump, and 48 percent said they voted to express opposition to Trump.

A majority of voters in New Jersey had negative views of Trump: 60 percent said they disapprove of how he is handling his job as president, while 40 percent said they approve of Trump.



Tuesday’s elections will determine control of Congress in the final two years of Trump’s first term in office, and 72 percent of New Jersey voters said which party will hold control was very important as they considered their vote. Another 20 percent said it was somewhat important.



In New Jersey, 63 percent of registered voters who chose not to vote in the midterm election were younger than 45. A wide share of those who did not vote _ 68 percent _ did not have a college degree. About as many nonvoters were Democrats (37 percent) as Republicans (27 percent).


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 3,822 voters and 667 nonvoters in New Jersey 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 2.2 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.


AP created this story automatically using data from NORC.



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

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