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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

What the Voters Said

  • The ballots have been counted and the results are in. The November issue of AEI’s Political Report provides a comprehensive picture of what voters had to say on Election Day, presenting a compilation of exit-poll data from significant demographic groups in national House elections since 1986. This month’s report also includes a closer look at voters’ opinions on politically contentious social issues.
  • A sour mood: Of the 65 percent of voters who said the country is on the wrong track, a large majority (69 percent) voted for the Republican House candidate. Seventy percent of voters characterized national economic conditions as “not so good” or “poor.”
  • The marriage vs. gender gap: In 2010, 48 percent of women voted for the Democratic House candidate, whereas 52 percent of women did so in 2014. The marriage gap remains larger than the gender gap: In this year’s election, 58 percent of married voters chose the Republican House candidate, compared to 55 percent of nonmarried voters choosing the Democratic one.
  • Views toward government and the economy: Sixty-three percent of voters in this year’s House elections said the US economic system favors the wealthy. Forty-one percent said the government should do more to solve Americans’ problems, while 54 percent said the government is doing too many things that would be better left to businesses and individuals.
  • Legal or illegal? According to the exit-poll data, voters’ opinions of legalizing same-sex marriage vary by state. For example, 70 percent of voters in New Hampshire’s Senate race said gay marriage should be legal in their state. Almost the same percentage (69 percent) of voters in Arkansas’ Senate race said gay marriage should not be legal in their state.
  • Assessing the Affordable Care Act: In 18 Senate races, voters were asked to register their opinion of the 2010 health care law. In 17 of those races, more than 40 percent said the law “went too far.” Oregon voters expressed most satisfaction with the law, with 34 percent saying the law “did not go far enough.”
  • Looking ahead to 2016: Thirty-nine percent of Arkansas voters said Hillary Clinton would make a good president, while 50 percent said Mike Huckabee would. In Florida, 40 percent of voters said Jeb Bush would make a good president.