Immigration: Anti-immigration sentiment is down, something we noticed in the Republican primary exit polls when voters were more likely than in the past to favor a path to citizenship. On Election Day, in each of the nine states in which the exit pollsters asked about immigration, more than 60% of voters said most illegal immigrants working in the United States should be offered a chance to apply for legal citizenship. Sixty-one percent in Arizona, where the issue has received so much attention, gave that response. In the national exit poll, 65% supported a path to citizenship and 28% supported deportation
Health care: When the exit poll consortium asked voters about the Affordable Care Act, 26% said it should be expanded, 18% left as is, 24% partially repealed, and 25% wholly repealed.
The exit pollsters asked about the ACA in 19 states, and there was considerable variation in responses. In only one state (Arizona) did more than 30% support complete repeal, though two other Western states (New Mexico and Colorado) came close at 29%.
In eight states, more than three in ten voters wanted to expand it: California (33%), Illinois (34%), New Hampshire (32%), New Jersey (41%), New York (39%), Pennsylvania (33%), Virginia (32%), and Wisconsin (31%).
Taxes: In a three-part question about income tax rates, a strongly plurality of 47% wanted to increase them for those making over $250,000. Thirteen percent wanted them increased for everyone, and 35% not increased.
In all 13 states where the question was asked, the most popular option was to increase rates for those making over $250,000. Only in Arizona did a sizable number, 45%, not want to increase rates for anyone.
Government’s role: In seven of 31 states where the question was asked, a majority of voters said government should do more to solve the country’s problems (California, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont). In 22 states, majorities said government was doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals.
Blame Bush: Obama successfully diffused the economic issue. In every one of the 16 states where the question was asked, which included battleground states Ohio, Virginia, and Florida, people blamed George Bush, not Obama, for the current economic problems. It wasn’t close anywhere.
Late deciders: Only a small portion of the electorate told exit pollsters that they finally decided how they were going to vote on Election Day or the last few days before it. Nationally, these voters made up 9% of the electorate and tilted toward Obama. The five states that had the highest share of late deciders were Indiana (16%), Maine (16%), Minnesota (16%), New Jersey (14%), and Pennsylvania (14%).
Miscellaneous: In Colorado, 59% of voters said the state’s gun control laws were about right; 23% they were too weak.
In the exit poll in Florida, 6% of voters said they were of Cuban descent, and they broke narrowly for Obama, 49 to 47%.
In Indiana, 46% of voters said they would have voted for Richard Lugar if he had been the candidate and 39% Joe Donnelly.
In Ohio, 62% approved of the federal government’s aid to US automakers. In Wisconsin, 60% gave that response.
In Wisconsin, 52% had a favorable opinion of Paul Ryan. Fifty-two percent approved of the job Scott Walker was doing as governor.
In Missouri, women voted for Romney, one of few states were that happened.