Economic concerns weighed heavily on the minds of Virginia voters as they went to the polls, with more than six in 10 voters saying it was the most important issue facing the country, according to preliminary results from exit polling in the state Tuesday for The Associated Press. Among the findings:
Economy was by far the biggest concern of voters in the Old Dominion. No other issue topped 20 percent. Asked which economic issue affected them most directly, nearly half said unemployment, with about three in 10 citing rising prices. Fewer were concerned about taxes or the housing market
OTHER TOP ISSUES
Health care was a distant second in the ranking of top issues, followed closely by the federal budget deficit.
Voters were about evenly divided on whether they most wanted a president who shares their values or one who has a vision for the future.
Voters in Virginia were split on whether President Barack Obama or Republican Mitt Romney was more in touch with people like them.
By a 2-1 margin, voters favored keeping abortion legal in most or all cases.
A majority said government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals.
Virginia voters were divided on the nation's new health care law, with about half saying it should be repealed at least in part and a similar share saying it should be expanded or left as is.
Half of voters said they thought taxes should be increased for those earning incomes of $250,000 or more, four in 10 said they should not be increased for anyone and one in eight said everyone should pay more in taxes.
The preliminary exit poll of 2009 Virginia voters was conducted for the AP by Edison Research in a random sample of 50 precincts statewide. Results were subject to sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points; it is higher for subgroups.
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