According to the first exit polls to be released, “nearly all voters are worried about the future direction of the economy” and 62 percent name it their “most important issue” this year. This is because roughly a third of those polled say their household suffered a job loss since the recession began, and nearly half say they are now worse off financially. Eighty percent are concerned that things aren’t going to get much better over the next year, either.
But that doesn’t necessarily indicate how they are going to vote: According to polls, voters dislike the Democratic Party and the Republican Party about equally. In potentially heartening news for the president, only about a quarter of those voting in House races today blamed Barack Obama for the country’s economic troubles — but still, nearly twice think his policies will eventually hurt us. Though many respondents said they voted specifically to either support or object to the those policies, his approval rating among those polled hovers around 45 percent, which is where it was last week.
Meanwhile, Jim Geraghty of the National Review passes this along: “I am told that one Democratic strategist, helping a television network with Election Night analysis, just declared that the Democrats were experiencing something on par with mass murder.” Indeed, so far about four out of ten voters said they support the Tea Party, and that group by and large voted Republican. Caveat: As FiveThirtyEight reminds on its live blog, “early exit polls are not intended to be taken at face value and can even be rather misleading.”