Exit poll: Donald Trump wins broad support in Florida, Hillary Clinton wins 4
March 15, 2016 Updated Tue., March 15, 2016 at 10:03 p.m.
WASHINGTON – Donald Trump claimed Florida, the biggest delegate haul of Tuesday night’s five Republican primary elections, by sweeping nearly all categories of voters– men and women, rich and poor, the highly educated and those without college degrees.
Trump’s appeal with Florida’s educated Republican voters notably broke from the trends seen in most other states like North Carolina and Illinois where the billionaire won with a coalition of less educated and lower income voters.
In Missouri where Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz were in a tight race, Cruz was garnering support from born-again Christians and the very conservative while Trump’s supporters were more moderate.
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton beat Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in Florida, North Carolina, Illinois and Ohio, largely thanks to widespread support from black voters.
In a close race in Missouri, Clinton’s policies were seen as more realistic while voters found Sanders slightly more inspiring than the former secretary of state, according to exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and television networks by Edison Research.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich won his home state by drawing the college educated, moderates and Republican voters looking for experience.
Other highlights from the exit polls:
Trump’s big Florida win
In Florida, Trump won about half of whites and nearly 3 in 10 Hispanics. He was also backed by most voters without a college degree, and about 4 in 10 of those with a college diploma.
Trump won large majorities of those looking for a political outsider and those angry with Washington. Trump was also backed by nearly two-thirds of those who would like to see immigrants who are here illegally deported.
For Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who ended his campaign Tuesday, it was a rough night.
Rubio was backed by voters looking for experience, by voters who are not so negative about politics and the government and by those opposed to denying Muslims entry into the country. Unfortunately for him, those voters made up a small portion of Republicans who turned out.
In North Carolina and Illinois, Trump prevailed with support from a familiar group of voters for him. In those states, he drew support from voters without college diplomas, those with lower incomes and people looking for a president from outside the political establishment.
Cruz close in Missouri
In Missouri, Cruz was supported by late deciders, most regular church attendees and those who say they’re very conservative. Missouri voters were about evenly divided on whether Trump or Cruz would make the best commander-in-chief.
Trump was supported by political moderates, most voters who want their president to be a political outsider and nearly half of voters age 65 and over.
Clinton and black voters
In Illinois, Missouri and Ohio, Clinton was supported by about 7 in 10 black voters. That’s similar to her level of support among black voters in Michigan where she lost last week, but in Ohio and Illinois it was enough to propel her to victory.
In Florida and North Carolina about 8 in 10 black voters supported her, which is closer to her average margin in previous states. She also was supported by about 7 in 10 Hispanic voters in Florida.
Realism vs. inspiration
In all five states, voters were more likely to describe Clinton’s policies as realistic than to say that of Sanders’ policies. But Sanders appealed to voters looking for inspiration.
Democratic primary voters in Illinois and Missouri were slightly more likely to say Sanders, rather than Clinton, inspires them about the future of the country.
Split on trade
Voters in Democratic primaries in Illinois and Missouri are divided over whether international trade costs the U.S. jobs. Voters saying trade takes jobs tend to back Sanders; those who consider trade beneficial generally support Clinton.
Kasich’s win at home
In Ohio, Kasich was supported by three quarters of those looking for a politically experienced president.
The governor also drew college graduates, moderates and those identified as somewhat conservative. People who say they want a candidate who shares their values and feel like they’re getting ahead financially also supported Kasich.
The surveys were conducted for The Associated Press and television networks by Edison Research as voters left their polling places at 30 to 40 randomly selected sites in five states holding primary elections Tuesday. Preliminary results include interviews with 663 to 1,710 Democratic primary voters and 718 to 2,255 Republican primary voters in each state. In Florida, North Carolina and Ohio, the results also include telephone interviews with early and absentee voters. The results among all those voting in each contest have a margin of sampling error ranging of either plus or minus 4 percentage points or plus or minus 5 percentage points.
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Updates with details from Missouri.
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