WASHINGTON (AP) — Indiana Democrats voting in the state’s primary on Tuesday say they’re energized and optimistic about their party’s nomination process, while Republicans say they’re worried their party is being torn apart.
Three-quarters of Democrats in the state say they’ve been energized by the nomination contest between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. But nearly 6 in 10 Republicans say they think their party has been divided by the battle being fought by billionaire Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
Those were among the early findings from exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and television networks by Edison Research.
Indiana voters also overwhelmingly expressed concern about the state of the U.S. economy. And most say they don’t see much of a fairness issue in the GOP nomination process or much of a difference in the political tactics employed so far by different candidates in the presidential race.
Other highlights from the exit polls:
DEMS OPTIMISTIC, GOP DIVIDED
About 7 in 10 Democrats say they would be excited or at least optimistic about either a Clinton or Sanders presidency, while only about half of Indiana GOP voters are excited or even optimistic about any of the remaining Republican candidates becoming president.
Still, most GOP primary voters say they would probably support Trump, Cruz or Kasich in November. Only about a quarter say they would not vote for Cruz and 2 in 10 say that about Trump. For Kasich, 3 in 10 say they wouldn’t support him.
CIVILITY AND FAIRNESS
Trump and Sanders have both criticized their parties’ nomination processes and gone after their opponents for what they call unfair tactics. But Indiana voters on both sides don’t see much of a fairness issue in the presidential race.
Most Democratic primary voters don’t see either Clinton or Sanders as having attacked the other unfairly — about a quarter say Clinton has and 2 in 10 say Sanders has, exit polls show.
Republican primary voters were about equally likely to say that each of the top two candidates ran the most unfair campaign. Four in 10 say that of Trump, and four in 10 say it of Cruz.
When it comes to the Republican nomination process, only a third of GOP voters say it’s been unfair. Still, about two-thirds of Republican primary voters think the candidate with the most support heading into their party’s nominating convention should be the nominee, even without the majority of delegates as required by party rules.
More than half of Republicans feel betrayed by leaders of their own party.
Voters from both parties say the economy was weighing heavily on their minds as they headed to the polls.
More than 9 in 10 Republican primary voters and more than 8 in 10 Democratic primary voters are either very or somewhat worried about the economy.
Asked about some specific economic issues, two-thirds of Democratic primary voters say Wall Street mostly hurts the economy. They’re divided over whether trade with other countries mostly helps or hurts the American economy.
CLINTON REALISTIC, SANDERS HONEST
Among Democrats, voters consider Sanders more inspirational and honest, but they see Clinton as more realistic and electable.
About three-quarters of Democrats consider Clinton’s policies realistic, while 6 in 10 say the same of Sanders. More than 8 in 10 say Sanders is honest, while just over half say the same of Clinton.
Compared to Clinton, voters say Sanders is more inspiring, but slightly more consider Clinton the better candidate to beat Trump if he is the Republican nominee in November.
The survey was conducted for The Associated Press and television networks by Edison Research as voters left their polling places at 35 randomly selected sites in Indiana.
Preliminary results include interviews with 790 Democratic primary voters and 1,335 Republican primary voters. The results among all those voting in each contest have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 5 percentage points for the Democratic primary and plus or minus 4 percentage points for the Republican primary.