Exit polls reveal mood of Oregon voters

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) An early look at voter views of Tuesday's elections, according to preliminary data from exit polling conducted in Oregon for The Associated Press and television networks:

LEGALIZING POT: Oregon women were more opposed to Measure 80 to legalize pot than men.

Also, about 7 in 10 senior citizens voted against it, while middle-aged voters were split.

Moderates broke against the measure, while political independents were evenly split.

Measure 80 found support in Multnomah County, but didn't fare well in other regions of the state; Portland suburbs were split on the issue.

PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: About a third of voters said they wanted a president who has a vision for the future and about as many said they wanted someone who shares their values.

Voters here were divided between whether President Barack Obama or his Republican challenger Mitt Romney would do a better job handling the economy. Those who thought the economy or federal budget deficit was the top issue facing the nation went for Romney. Obama carried health care voters by a wide margin, as well as those who wanted a president who cares "about people like you."

Romney fared well among voters in south and eastern Oregon, while Obama took Multnomah County, though by a smaller share than he did in 2008.

ECONOMIC WOES: Almost 6 in 10 Oregon voters said the economy was the top issue facing the nation, and half saw rising prices as the biggest problem facing them over unemployment, taxes or the housing market.

Voters here also held a dim view of the economy, with more than 8 in 10 describing it as in bad shape. Still, about 4 in 10 voters said the nation's economy is getting better while a quarter think it's getting worse.

JOBS OVER ENVIRONMENT: Amid these economic challenges, 6 in 10 said keeping jobs in the state should be a higher priority than protecting the environment.

BETTER OFF?: About a quarter of voters said they are better off today compared with four years ago when President Barack Obama was elected. About one-third said they're worse off.

HEALTH CARE LAW: Oregon voters were divided on the 2010 federal health care law, with about half in favor of expanding it or leaving it as is, while a similar share said they would prefer to repeal all or some of the law.

MIND MADE UP EARLY: Oregon voters didn't wait until the last minute to settle on a presidential candidate. More than 7 in 10 voters said they decided before September.

The survey of 1,525 Oregon voters was conducted for the AP and the television networks by Edison Research. This includes preliminary results from a survey of 1,525 voters who voted early or absentee and were interviewed by landline or cellular telephone from Oct. 29 through Nov. 4. Results for the full sample were subject to sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points; it is higher for subgroups.


Copyright 2012 The Associated Press