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Feb 9, 2016 11:29 PM

Exit polls: New Hampshire Democrats trust Sanders

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire Democratic primary after convincing voters he is more honest and trustworthy than Hillary Clinton, pointing to a potential liability for the former secretary of state as the race for president moves to Nevada and South Carolina, according to exit poll results.

Sanders also won big among young voters, including young women, according to the polls conducted by Edison Research for The Associated Press and television networks.

Billionaire businessman Donald Trump, meanwhile, was propelled to victory in the state's Republican primary by voters who wanted an outsider and someone who "tells it like it is."

Here is a closer look at the mood of the electorate:



Fewer than half the New Hampshire Democrats polled find Clinton to be honest and trustworthy, a stark difference from Sanders. Asked which of the two Democratic candidates had those qualities, half said only Sanders had them, and nearly all of those people voted for him. About 4 in 10 said both of the Democrats had those traits, but very few said only Clinton is honest and trustworthy.

Clinton, who has faced scrutiny of her emails while secretary of state and congressional inquiries into her handling of an attack on an American diplomatic compound in Libya, struggled similarly last week in Iowa's caucuses among people who said that honesty was an important issue to them.

Half of those polled say both Democrats share their values. About 3 in 10 say only Sanders shares their values, compared to 1 in 10 who say Clinton alone does.



About a third of Republican voters said the most important quality in a candidate is someone who shares their values. That was ahead of any other quality in a candidate. But it was the 2 in 10 voters who said they wanted a candidate who "tells it like it is" who propelled Trump's victory, with two-thirds supporting him.

Almost 3 in 10 say the most important quality is in a candidate is someone who could bring needed change, and more than a third of them voted for Trump.

A third of Democratic voters valued honesty, more than said they wanted a candidate with experience, one who cares about people like them, or who preferred someone who could win in November.

Even so, most voters in both primaries said they made their vote decisions based on candidates' positions on issues, rather than personal qualities.



On the Democratic side, Sanders won a majority of both men and women, after Clinton received a plurality of women's votes in 2008, and a majority of their support last week in Iowa.

Voters under 45 broke decidedly in Sanders' favor, and he won more than half of those ages 45 to 64 as well.

Seven in 10 women under 45 voted for Sanders.

Clinton held a majority of Democratic voters over age 65.

Six in 10 white voters supported Sanders, but non-white voters were evenly split between the two candidates.



Voters were deeply unhappy with the federal government, with half of Democratic voters saying they're dissatisfied with the way government is working and another 1 in 10 saying they're angry. Among Republican primary voters, nearly half said they're dissatisfied and 4 in 10 they're angry. Those who said they're angry were particularly likely to vote for Donald Trump.

Dissatisfied Democrats broke in favor of Sanders.

Nearly half of Republicans preferred someone with experience and about the same number say they favored an outsider. Six in 10 of those who want an outsider voted for Trump, while among those who want an insider, almost 3 in 10 voted for Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Although the vast majority of Democrats 7 in 10 said they preferred a candidate with political experience, those who did not broke decidedly in favor of Sanders.



About 4 in 10 voters in both the Democratic and Republican primaries said they identify as independents, and their support made a big difference on the Democratic side. Seven in 10 independents supported Sanders, while Democrats were evenly split between the two candidates.

On the Republican side, self-identified Republicans and independents were about equally likely to support Trump.



About three-quarters of GOP voters say they're very worried about the economy, while 6 in 10 say they're very worried about terrorism.

Both of those issues favored Trump. Four in 10 said they trust Trump most to handle the economy, and 3 in 10 trust him most to handle an international crisis in both cases, the most who said so of any of the top candidates

Even though less than 2 in 10 Republican voters who said immigration is their most important issue fewer than said so of the economy, government spending or terrorism half of them supported Trump.

Two-thirds of GOP voters say they support a temporary ban on non-citizen Muslims entering the United States.

Three in 10 Democratic primary voters said the economy was the most important issue facing the country, while a similar share said income equality was most important.


The survey was conducted for The Associated Press and the television networks by Edison Research as voters left their polling places at 44 randomly selected sites in New Hampshire. Preliminary results include interviews with 2,215 Democratic primary voters and 2,012 Republican primary voters and have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.


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