Exit poll shows Virginia voters question ethical standards - New York News

Exit poll shows Virginia voters question ethical standards

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Highlights from exit polling in Virginia on Tuesday for The Associated Press and television networks:

McAULIFFE'S STRENGTHS: Democrat Terry McAuliffe fared well among women, blacks, low-income voters, abortion-rights supporters, city dwellers and people affected by the recent government shutdown.

CUCCINELLI'S STRENGTHS: Republican Ken Cuccinelli did best among whites, tea party supporters, opponents of the federal health-care reform law, gun owners and rural residents, and he held a slight edge among independents.

ETHICS: Nearly three in 10 said neither major party candidate for governor has high ethical standards. Nearly half of those voters backed McAuliffe, three in 10 supported Cuccinelli, and one-fifth favored Libertarian Robert Sarvis. Thirteen percent said both McAuliffe and Cuccinelli are ethical.

TOP ISSUES: The economy was the top issue for 45 percent of voters, followed by health care at 27 percent and abortion at 20 percent.

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN: About one-third of voters had someone in their household affected by the recent government shutdown, and voters were about evenly split on whether President Barack Obama or Republicans in Congress were to blame for the closure. Cuccinelli's backers overwhelmingly blamed Obama, while McAuliffe's supporters just as strongly blamed Republicans in Congress.

THE ECONOMY: About nine in 10 voters said they are worried or very worried about the economy. The vast majority of those who are not worried supported McAuliffe. Cuccinelli had the edge among those who listed the economy as their top issue.

HEALTH CARE: Fifty-three percent of voters overall said they oppose the federal health care reform law. McAuliffe supporters favored it and Cuccinelli backers opposed it, both by wide margins.

HOW THEY'RE PERFORMING: A slight majority disapprove of Obama's performance, while a similar percentage approve of Gov. Bob McDonnell's performance.

ABORTION: Six in 10 voters said abortion should be legal in most or all cases, and more than two-thirds of those voters supported McAuliffe. Of the 20 percent who listed abortion as the top issue, six in 10 backed the Democrat.

The exit poll of 2,376 Virginia voters was conducted for AP and the television networks by Edison Research in a random sample of 40 precincts statewide. Results were subject to sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points; it is higher for subgroups.

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