How different groups voted according to exit polls and AP VoteCast

See how various groups across the country voted for Congress in the 2022 midterm elections by reviewing data from the network exit poll conducted by Edison Research and the AP VoteCast poll. Charts show estimates for the share of each group that supported Democrats and Republicans for Congress.

Gender

Network exit polls found that women favored Democratic candidates for the U.S. House in this year’s elections while most men backed Republican candidates. AP VoteCast found women roughly split. Both surveys found that Republicans made at least some headway with both groups since 2018. The gender gap in vote preference was more pronounced in network exit polling this year than in AP VoteCast voter surveys.

Race and ethnicity

Nearly 6 in 10 White voters supported Republican U.S. House candidates across the country, with this group favoring Republicans by a wider margin than in the 2018 midterm elections.

Democrats continued to receive the overwhelming majority of support from Black voters, but by smaller shares than in 2018, when exit polling and AP VoteCast found 90 percent of Black voters supported Democrats.

Hispanic support of Democratic House candidates has slipped compared to previous elections. In 2018, nearly 7 in 10 Hispanic voters supported Democrats in the national exit poll, compared with 6 in 10 Hispanic voters this election cycle.

Democrats also have lost significant ground among Asian voters. In 2018, 77 percent of Asian voters supported Democratic candidates according to exit polling — that’s down to about 6 in 10 according to early exit polling and voter polls.

Age

About 1 in 8 voters were under 30, and these two sources differed in how much they supported Democrats. The network exit poll found more than 6 in 10 voters ages 18-29 supported Democrats for Congress, while AP VoteCast found Democrats winning a narrow majority of the same group. Both surveys found Republicans making some gains with younger voters since 2018.

Those aged 30 to 44 made up a little over 2 in 10 voters, and about half of them supported Democratic candidates. The majority of voters were 45 and older, and most of them supported Republicans, according to exit polls and AP VoteCast.

Party identification

Few voters crossed party lines to cast ballots for House candidates of the opposing party this year. According to national exit polls, more than 9 in 10 Democrats voted for the Democratic candidate for Congress in their district, and more than 9 in 10 Republican voters voted for GOP candidates. Independent voters, who made up about 3 in 10 voters, roughly split their House votes – about half voted for Democrats and about half voted for Republicans.

Party leaning

AP’s VoteCast poll showed over 9 in 10 Democrats and Democratic-leaning independent voters, and a similar share of Republican and Republican-leaning independent voters, backed candidates of their own party. Among the roughly 1 in 10 voters who are “pure independents” – those with no partisan leaning – about 4 in 10 voted for Democrats and a similar share voted for Republicans, with 2 in 10 of these voters saying they selected a candidate from outside of the two major parties.

Ideology

About 4 in 10 voters this year identified as conservative, and approximately 9 in 10 of those in this group backed Republican candidates for Congress, according to both network exit polling and voter polling from AP VoteCast. Conversely, roughly 9 in 10 liberal voters (who made up about a quarter of voters) supported Democratic candidates for the U.S. House. A majority of moderates supported Democrats according to both polls.

Education

According to national exit polling and AP VoteCast polling, a majority of voters with a college degree voted for Democrats, while a similar share of voters without college degrees favored Republicans in these contests.

Education by race

White voters without a college degree voted for Republican candidates by about a 2-to-1 margin over Democratic candidates, according to exit polling and AP VoteCast data. That marks an improvement for Republicans from 2018. White voters with a college degree were about evenly split in their support for Democratic and Republican candidates. Democratic candidates were favored by non-White voters, regardless of education.

Most important issue in vote

About 3 in 10 voters said inflation was the most important issue in their vote according to the exit poll, and roughly 7 in 10 of those voters supported Republicans. Almost as many voters said abortion was their most important issue and those voters supported Democrats by an even wider margin. About 1 in 10 voters each said crime, immigration and gun policy were their most important issues.

Most important issue facing the country

AP VoteCast asked voters to choose from a longer list of issues that were important in their vote and economic issues far and away the most important. Nearly half of voters said the economy and jobs was the biggest issue facing the country in AP VoteCast polling, and those voters supported Republican candidates by about a 2-to-1 margin. About 1 in 10 named immigration and crime and they largely supported Republicans. About 1 in 10 also named abortion, health care and climate change and they widely supported Democrats.

Biden approval

Should abortion be...

About 6 in 10 voters said abortion should be legal in all or most cases, and this group supported Democrats by about 3 to 1 in exit polling and about 2 to 1 in AP VoteCast. About 4 in 10 voters said abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, and over 8 in 10 of them voted for Republican candidates, according to exit polls and AP VoteCast polling.

Feeling about Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade

Rating of national economy

Has inflation caused your family...

In network exit polling, most voters – about 6 in 10 – said inflation had caused moderate hardship to their families. A slim majority of these voters favored Republicans for the House. Among the roughly 2 in 10 who said inflation had been a severe hardship, about 7 in 10 voted for Republicans. Democratic candidates won the votes of three-quarters of the nearly 2 in 10 who did not see inflation as a hardship.

Household Income

White evangelical/born-again Christian

Exit polls and voter polls from AP VoteCast found that about 8 in 10 White evangelical voters cast their ballots for Republican candidates in the U.S. House during the 2022 midterm election. Non-evangelical voters backed Democratic candidates by a more modest margin.

Veteran

About 6 in 10 voters who served in the U.S. military voted for Republican candidates, according to exit polling and AP VoteCast. Non-veterans and voters without a veteran in their household were more split between the two parties in their vote choice.


Methodology

For both polls: Results are weighted to match vote tallies for candidate support by region and to correct for differential participation by subgroup. Totals may not add to 100 because of rounding. Results are preliminary and will change as additional interviews are included and to match final election results.

Network exit poll: Results are from interviews of voters as they exited randomly selected Election Day and early voting places across the country. Early voters were also reached through telephone surveys. The poll was conducted by Edison Research for the National Election Pool consortium of ABC News, CBS News, Cable News Network and NBC News.

AP VoteCast: Results are from interviews of randomly selected registered voters drawn from state voter files, NORC at the University of Chicago’s probability-based AmeriSpeak panel and from non-probability online panels. Results shown are based on early voters and those identified as likely voters. The poll was conducted by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research for Fox News and the Associated Press.

Graphics by Janice Kai Chen and Chris Alcantara. Analysis by William Bishop, Emily Guskin, Jocelyn Kiley, Ashley Kirzinger and Alauna Safarpour. Copy editing by Paola Ruano.

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