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Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Exit polls: Divided GOP prefers Trump

Voters wait to cast their ballot in the Indiana Primary at the Hamilton Co. Auto Auction, Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in Noblesville, Ind. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
Voters wait to cast their ballot in the Indiana Primary at the Hamilton Co. Auto Auction, Tuesday, May 3, 2016, in Noblesville, Ind. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Donald Trump called for GOP unity after his Indiana primary victory Tuesday night, but exit polls suggest he’s facing a significant intraparty rift.

A majority of Indiana Republicans say they think their party has been divided by the battle fought by Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

In fact, half of those who voted for Cruz or Kasich on Tuesday night said they would not vote for Trump in the general election.

On the Democratic side, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders beat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by drawing support from men and younger voters. But Democrats are largely satisfied with either of their top candidates, according to exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and television networks by Edison Research.

The findings from the exit polls also show that Trump can thank male voters for running up the score against Cruz, who dropped out of the presidential race after his Indiana defeat.

Other highlights from the exit polls:



Among all GOP voters, three-quarters say they would support Trump in November. But the results show Trump would be a tough sell for the remaining quarter of primary voters.

Half of non-Trump voters say they would be scared and another third would be concerned about Trump being president.

Overall, half of Republican voters say they feel betrayed by their own party leaders, but only a third agree with Trump’s criticism that the GOP nomination process has been unfair.

On the Democratic side, more than 7 in 10 in the state say they’ve been energized by the nomination contest between Clinton and Sanders. And about 7 in 10 say they would be excited or at least optimistic about either a Clinton or Sanders presidency.



Trump ran up the score on Cruz with the help of men and his outsider appeal.

The billionaire won the support of Republican men by a more than 25-point margin over Cruz. Six in 10 male voters supported Trump, compared to only a third who voted for Cruz.

Six in 10 Indiana Republicans said they want the next president to be a political outsider, and those voters overwhelmingly supported Trump.

Trump also was supported by most GOP voters who say they’re angry about the way the federal government is working.

Trump won nearly 6 in 10 voters over 45 and a similar percentage of those without a college degree.

Just over half of self-identified Republicans and independents voted for Trump, as did 6 in 10 Democrats voting in the Republican primary, who made up about 5 percent of GOP primary voters.

Trump’s margin of victory was in the single digits among women and more educated voters.



Most men supported Sanders, while women were about equally divided between him and Clinton. Two-thirds of voters under 45 voted for Sanders, while 6 in 10 of those 45 and over voted for Clinton.

Three-quarters of black voters supported Clinton, but they were far outnumbered by white voters, nearly 6 in 10 of whom supported Sanders. Nearly two-thirds of white voters without a college degree supported Sanders.

A majority of self-described Democrats supported Clinton, but 7 in 10 self-described independents supported Sanders. Six in 10 of those who said they are very liberal supported Sanders, while Clinton was supported by moderates.

Among Sanders voters, nearly half said they think he will win the nomination. Nearly all Clinton voters think she will. Still, voters consider Sanders more inspirational and honest, while they see Clinton as more realistic and electable.



Voters from both parties say the economy was weighing heavily on their minds as they headed to the polls.

More than 9 in 10 Republican primary voters and more than 8 in 10 Democratic primary voters are either very or somewhat worried about the economy.

Asked about some specific economic issues, more than 6 in 10 Democratic primary voters say Wall Street mostly hurts the economy. Nearly half say trade with other countries takes American jobs. Just under 4 in 10 say it creates jobs.

Six in 10 of those saying Wall Street hurts the economy voted for Sanders, as did 6 in 10 of those who are very worried about the economy.


The survey was conducted for The Associated Press and television networks by Edison Research as voters left their polling places at 35 randomly selected sites in Indiana.

Results include interviews with 1,324 Democratic primary voters and 2,092 Republican primary voters. The results among all those voting in each contest have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.


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