Economy top issue for Arizona voters, poll shows - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Economy top issue for Arizona voters, poll shows

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PHOENIX (AP) - Highlights of preliminary results of exit polls conducted in Arizona for The Associated Press and television networks:

LOOKING FOR LEADERSHIP: In his failed presidential campaign, Republican challenger Mitt Romney won Arizona by taking commanding advantages over President Barack Obama among Grand Canyon State voters who wanted a president who shares their values and is a strong leader.

Romney also drew votes from those who believed he could better handle the federal budget deficit and the economy.

Obama defeated Romney among voters who believe he "cares about people like me." The newly re-elected president also had more support from voters who said he is more in touch with "people like me."

ECONOMY TRUMPS ALL: Arizona voters have said overwhelmingly that the economy is the most important issue facing the country. About 6 in 10 voters named the economy, while one-fifth said they were worried most about the federal budget deficit.

Rising prices are weighing heavily on their minds, followed by unemployment, taxes and the housing market.

Voters are pessimistic about the economy, with 8 in 10 rating it as "not so good or poor."

A majority of Arizonans said Romney would better handle the economy.

THE DIRECTION WE'RE HEADED: Nearly 6 in 10 voters think the government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals.

Voters were nearly evenly divided on whether their family's financial situation is better, worse or about the same today as it was four years ago.

About 4 in 10 voters say the U.S. economy is getting better, but more than half feel like it's getting worse or staying about the same. Their views on economic conditions were about the same.

WHO'S TO BLAME?: Voters didn't necessarily lay blame for the country's economic problems on Obama or his predecessor, George W. Bush.

Their feelings about the Obama administration were more negative than positive, but voters were split on whether they approve of the way he's handled his job as president.

Their opinion of Obama was favorable but didn't sway in either direction for Romney.

RACE, AGE, POLITICAL IDEOLOGY: Romney drew support from white voters and those over 65 years old, while Obama won high marks among Hispanics and younger voters. The candidates nearly split votes among Independents.

IMMIGRATION: About 6 in 10 voters say that illegal immigrants working in the U.S. should be offered a chance to apply for legal status. Half as many want illegal immigrants deported.

RACE FOR SENATE: Republican Jeff Flake, who won the race, drew support from white voters, while Democrat Richard Carmona won high marks among Hispanics. Votes among independents were nearly evenly split among the candidates.

Voters who named the economy as the top issue facing the country didn't necessarily prefer one candidate over the other, but those who said health care weighs most heavily on their minds favored Carmona.

Liberals and moderates sided with Carmona while Flake scored well among conservatives.

The survey of 1,634 Arizona voters was conducted for AP and the television networks by Edison Research. This includes preliminary results from interviews conducted as voters left a random sample of 10 precincts statewide Tuesday, as well as 1,050 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 4%age points; it is higher for subgroups.

Online: http://surveys.ap.org/exitpolls

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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