Wisconsin Exit Polls a Crystal Ball

Voters worried mostly about economy, while 40% are 'moderate, liberal'
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2012 1:36 AM CDT
Swing State Wis. Vote May Offer Crystal Ball
Mitt Romney thanks supporters after declaring victory in the Wisconsin yesterday.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

Perhaps the most interesting of yesterday's primaries was the vote by the relatively moderate electorate in the key swing state of Wisconsin. Analysts are salivating over exit poll results, and the hints they may offer into how voters are likely to lean come November. For one thing, the economy, and not social issues, was a priority for Wisconsin voters, notes the New York Times. As for where they stand on the political spectrum, just over half said they support the Tea Party—and they generally voted for Mitt Romney.

Three of 10 consider themselves "very conservative," another three are "somewhat conservative," and four of 10 said they were moderate or liberal. Romney split the very-conservatives with Santorum, but won the other groups. Only 60% of the voters identified themselves as Republican, with 30% considering themselves independents, and 10% as Democrats—who mostly voted for Rick Santorum. Wisconsin voted for Ronald Reagan in the '80s, but has voted for the Democratic candidates ever since. Controversial GOP Gov. Scott Walker swept into office in 2010 on a wave of anti-Obama sentiment, but the state may now also be fed up with Walker. (More Mitt Romney stories.)

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