Early exit polls: It's 2012, not 2009
Preliminary Virginia exit poll results, including interviews with early voters, suggest an electorate more closely resembling 2012 than the last gubernatorial election four years ago. Early voters are more Democratic, less white and more highly educated than the final composition of the electorate in 2009. These preliminary results will evolve as more vote returns are counted.
PARTY — Nearly four in 10 voters identify as Democrats in early exit poll results for the Virginia governor’s race. Just over three in 10 identify as Republicans or independents. If they hold, these early numbers would mark a big departure from the 2009 Virginia exit polls in which Republicans outnumbered Democrats by four percentage points, 37 to 33 percent. In the 2012 election, Democrats outnumbered Republicans in Virginia by seven points, 39 to 32 percent.
RACE — Just over seven in 10 voters in early network exit poll results are white, two in 10 African American, while 4 percent are Hispanic. That racial balance in preliminary results is closer to the composition of the 2012 presidential election than the last governor’s election, when 70 percent of voters were white, 20 percent black and 5 percent Hispanic. In the previous gubernatorial election in 2009, the racial balance stood at 78 percent white and 16 percent African American, according to exit polling.
IDEOLOGY — About one in five voters describe themselves as politically liberal, with just over a third identifying as conservative in preliminary exit poll results. Even more, more than four in 10, identify as moderates. In 2009, the electorate was more clearly conservative, outnumbering liberals by more than 2 to 1, 40 to 18 percent. In a related result, just about a quarter of early voters identify as white evangelical Christians, down somewhat from 34 percent in 2009 exit polls.
EDUCATION — College graduates outnumber non-graduates by nearly 2 to 1 in preliminary exit polling in Virginia. Four years ago, that balance was more narrow, with voters with a college degree outnumbering non-college graduates by 54 to 46 percent, an educational mix that was repeated in 2012.
These are preliminary results from a poll of voters as they exited voting places in Virginia on Nov. 5, 2013. Final results will be updated later in the evening as additional interviews and weighting is completed. The poll was conducted by Edison Media Research for the National Election Pool, The Washington Post and other media organizations. Typical characteristics have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.