A national exit poll of voters in U.S. House races shows a broadly disgruntled electorate, down on the economy, skeptical of the country's direction and divided on the new health-care law. Here are some highlights from the preliminary data.
Independent voters sided with Democratic House candidates by a wide margin in 2006, the last midterm elections, propelling their takeover of Congress. This year, preliminary data showed independents breaking toward Republicans.
The electorate this year was made up of fewer younger voters and a more even split among Democrats and Republicans than the one that elected President Obama in 2008.
Q: Do you think things in this country are:
|Seriously off on the wrong track||61%|
|Generally going in the right direction||34|
Q: Which of these best describes your feelings about the way the federal government is working?
Percent saying it's the most important facing the country
|War in Afghanistan||7|
Q: How worried are you about the direction of the nation's economy in the next year?
|Not too worried||10|
|Not at all worried||3|
Q: What should Congress do with the new health-care law?
|Leave it as it is||16|
In the first election since the tea party political movement started rolling, voters split on what message they tried to send to candidates.
Was one reason for your vote to send a message:
|Tea party was not a factor||57%|
|In favor of the tea party||22|
|Against the tea party||17|
The Obama factor
Voters were also divided on President's Obama's job performance, and his role in their thinking about how to vote for Congress.
Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president?
Was one reason for your vote:
|Obama was not a factor||38%|
|To express OPPOSITION to Obama||37|
|To express SUPPORT for Obama||23|