Exit Polls Illustrate Country's Divisions, from Climate to Terrorists

The midterm elections brought out a politically divided nation.

Democrats and Republicans even see the sky differently.

Among those who said they view global warming as a serious problem, 70 percent said they voted Democratic in U.S. House races Tuesday, while 84 percent of those who said they are not worried about something scientists say could lead to destructive changes in the weather said they voted Republican.

That finding, in exit polls conducted by the Associated Press and television networks, is one of many that show how American voters divided like two foreign lands Tuesday, split between Republicans and Democrats, men and women, whites and minorities, rich and poor, and young and old.

The portrait of the midterm election showed a politically divided nation with starkly different views on the state of the country, role of government and fears about future terrorist attacks.


Nationally, 56 percent of men backed Republicans in their local U.S. House election, while 52 percent of women went for Democrats, according to the polls. Those 65 and older backed Republicans 57 percent of the time, while 54 percent of those under 30 backed Democrats.

Sixty percent of the nation's white voters backed Republicans, while 89 percent of blacks supported Democrats, as did 63 percent of Hispanics.

Democrats and Republicans hold dramatically different views on virtually all the questions asked by exit pollsters:

— Among the 6 percent of voters who said they were "not at all worried" that "there will be another major terrorist attack in the U.S.," 73 percent were Democrats. Among the 28 percent who said they were "very worried," two-thirds were Republicans.

— Among the 41 percent of voters who said they think government should do more to solve problems, 78 percent said they voted for a Democrat in their House race. Among the 54 percent of those who agreed with the statement that government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals, 76 percent said they backed a Republican.

— Among the 37 percent of voters who said they are "very worried" about the direction of the nation's economy, 68 percent said they voted Republican. Just 4 percent of voters said they are "not at all worried" and 78 percent of them said they voted for a Democrat in their House race.

— Among the 28 percent of voters who said they think the condition of the nation's economy is good, almost three-quarters said they voted for a Democrat. More than three-quarters of the 22 percent who said they think the economy is in poor shape said they voted Republican.

— Among the 44 percent who approve of the job President Barack Obama is doing in office, 87 percent said they voted for a Democrat and 12 percent said they voted for a Republican.

— One rare point of agreement between Democrats and Republicans: 78 percent of voters disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job and those voting Democrat and Republican were fairly evenly matched in that view.

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