BOSTON (AP) — Results of a survey of Massachusetts voters in Tuesday's elections, according to an exit poll conducted for The Associated Press:
DON'T MISS YOU MUCH
As expected, Democratic President Barack Obama had a sweeping win in rival Mitt Romney's home state, with the former Massachusetts governor finding majority support in just scattered demographic groups. Voters between ages 40 and 49 preferred Romney, but 8 in 10 voters were outside that group. Romney also found a narrow majority of support among white men, but that was offset by white women, 6 of 10 of whom went for Obama. Among Romney's strongest supporters were self-described conservatives, three-quarters of whom supported him. But they accounted for just 1 in 5 voters in the Bay State. Overall, voters didn't have warm feelings for their former governor, with almost two-thirds viewing him unfavorably. By contrast, Obama had a favorable rating from about two-thirds of the voters.
WOMEN FOR WARREN
Both candidates for U.S. Senate pushed hard for the female vote, and Democrat Elizabeth Warren captured it decisively, winning the votes of nearly 6 in 10 women. Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown captured the male vote, but the margin was smaller and men were outnumbered in the electorate. Brown did well among the independents that are the largest voting group in Massachusetts, winning 6 out of 10. But he couldn't peel off many of the Democrats who make up nearly 4 out of 10 voters. Nearly 9 out of 10 Democrats went for Warren.
BUT CAN I TRUST YOU?
About a third of voters thought honesty and trustworthiness mattered most when they cast their vote for U.S. Senate, and Brown was the clear choice for those voters. But whether the candidate the candidate "cares about people like me" was a close second in importance, Warren ran away with those voters, with 8 in 10 choosing her. A willingness to compromise was most important to one in five voters, and Brown made a strong showing among them. Party affiliation mattered most to just 1 in 10 voters, most of whom chose Warren.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Obama's support across Massachusetts was geographically wide and deep. Two-thirds of voters in Boston and the surrounding urban and suburban areas preferred Obama. But the support extended to the more rural areas in western Massachusetts, where Obama won a clear majority of voters. The only area where Romney was preferred was the South Shore of Boston to Cape Cod, where the Republican pulled half the vote.
ECONOMY ON THE BRAIN
The economy was the top issue on Massachusetts voters' minds Tuesday, and nothing else was close. About two-thirds of voters chose that as their top issue, and Obama took the majority of them. Health care was a distant second, with about 1 out of 6 voters considering that issue as most important. Nearly eight in 10 of those voters preferred Obama. Romney won a majority among voters who considered the budget deficit the most important issue, but they only amounted to about 1 of every 10 voter.
NOT MANY SWINGERS
Massachusetts voters have apparently had their minds made up on the presidential race for quite a while. Nearly 8 in 10 voters said they knew who they were going to vote for before September.
LET'S PLAY FAIR
The intense campaign for U.S. Senate included attacks by Brown on Warren's unverified claims of Indian heritage, while Warren hammered Brown's claims of independence from his party and record on women's issues. When it was all over, about a third of voters thought that both Brown and Warren attacked their opponent unfairly at times. That's larger than any group that said only one candidate was at fault, and that group split their vote between the candidates evenly. About a quarter of voters thought only Brown was unfair, while 1 in 5 voters said Warren was solely to blame for unfair attacks.
MORE OR LESS
Just over half of Massachusetts voters said the government should do more to solve problems while a significant portion of Bay Staters, nearly five out of 10, believe government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals.
The exit poll of 1,920 Massachusetts voters was conducted for AP and the television networks by Edison Research in a random sample of 30 precincts statewide. Results were subject to sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points; it is higher for subgroups.