Exit polls are often wrong. But they are sometimes right. And even when they get the election-night winner wrong, these surveys still provide a variety of information about voter attitudes and demographics that can really illuminate the contours of a race. Here, then, are what early exit polls are telling us about tonight’s primary in New Hampshire:
Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, and John Kasich may be about to have very nice nights.
Early exit polls show Sanders winning by double digits, while Trump doubles Ohio governor John Kasich’s share of the vote. Still, a second-place finish would allow Kasich to claim the coveted title of Most Successful Candidate Who Doesn’t Keep Reince Priebus Awake at Night.
New Hampshire Democrats have become much more liberal.
New Hampshire Democrats have turned left. Most strikingly, they almost unanimously accept one of the central premises of Bernie Sanders’s candidacy: The economy is rigged on behalf of the wealthy.
Donald Trump has mainstreamed Islamophobia.
Neither party cares much about electability.
Democrats trust that Bernie Sanders cares about “people like them.”
Only wealthy Democrats seemed to feel the same about Clinton.
Young white people still love Bernie Sanders.
Both parties drew out a lot of independents.
ABC News reports that four in ten voters in both primaries were independents, a much higher fraction than is found in most subsequent states, which tend to require party registration to participate in primary elections. Those independents were almost entirely responsible for Sanders apparent victory.
Marco Rubio coming out as a robot may have impacted the GOP race.
Rubio’s nationally televised glitch may have impacted the race, as 65 percent of GOP voters said they were influenced by Saturday night’s debate. Further, ABC News found nearly half of Republican primary voters saying they’d made their final decision in just the last few days. Only 20 percent of Democratic voters said they were late deciders.
Voters in both parties care most about the economy.
Democratic voters listed “the economy and jobs” and “income inequality” as their top two concerns, according to CNN’s exit poll, while Republicans put the economy just above “government spending” on their list of priorities.
According to ABC, GOP voters are decidedly more anxious about economic matters, with three-quarters saying they are “very worried” about the economy’s direction. Only a quarter of Democratic voters said the same.
Donald Trump was the most trusted Republican on foreign policy.