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Posted on Wed. Nov. 07, 2012 - 12:01 am EDT

Survey: Economy remains top concern for voters

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WASHINGTON (AP) Preliminary results from a national exit poll in Tuesday's elections for The Associated Press and the television networks:

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ECONOMY TOPS THE CHARTS

Fifty-nine percent of voters said the economy was the biggest issue facing the country, about the same percentage as 2008. Next were health care (18 percent) and the deficit (15 percent). A measly 4 percent said foreign policy was the top issue. Seventy-seven percent of voters called the economy not so good or poor.

BIGGEST ECONOMIC CONCERNS: JOBS AND PRICES

Just under 4 in 10 voters said unemployment was the biggest economic problem facing voters like them. Nearly as many called rising prices the biggest economic problem. Taxes and housing were a distant third and fourth, respectively.

GETTING BETTER?

About 4 in 10 voters said the U.S. economy was getting better, while 3 in 10 said it was getting worse and 3 in 10 said it was the same.

MORE IN TOUCH

Fifty-two percent of voters said that President Barack Obama is more in touch with people like them, compared to 44 percent for Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

MOST FAVOR TAX INCREASE

Six in 10 voters said that taxes should be increased. Nearly half of voters said that taxes should be increased on income over $250,000, as Obama has called for, while 1 in 7 said taxes should be increased for all. Just over one-third said taxes should not be increased for anyone. But more than 6 in 10 voters said taxes should not be raised to cut the budget deficit.

HEALTH CARE SPLIT

Just under 50 percent of voters favored repealing some or all of Obamacare. Forty-three percent preferred that the health care law be expanded or left as is.

NO TO DEPORTATION

Only 3 in 10 voters said that most illegal immigrants working in the U.S. should be deported, while nearly two-thirds said such people should be offered a chance to apply for legal status.

VALUES & VISION

Just under one-third of voters said vision for the future mattered most in their vote for president, and a similar number said sharing their values was the most important candidate quality.

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The survey of 19,728 voters was conducted for The Associated Press and the television networks by Edison Research. This includes preliminary results from interviews conducted as voters left a random sample of 350 precincts nationally Tuesday, as well as 4,389 who voted early or absentee and were interviewed by landline or cellular telephone from Oct. 29 through Nov. 4. Results for the full sample were subject to sampling error of plus or minus 2 percentage points; it is higher for subgroups.

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Follow Fred Frommer on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ffrommer


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