Key findings from the Missouri exit poll
Wednesday, November 3, 2004
Key findings from an exit poll of voters in Missouri's general election:
Bush had a slight advantage among both men and women. In 2000, Bush easily carried the male vote but lost the female vote to Al Gore.
The Catholic vote in Missouri, which makes up nearly a quarter of the state's voters, was almost evenly split. John Kerry is a Catholic while President Bush is a Methodist, but St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke had urged parishioners to vote for abortion opponents, of which Bush is one. About six-in-10 Protestants voted for Bush.
Voters age 65 and older slightly favored Kerry.
Kerry did best among those making less than $30,000 annually; Bush was strongest among those earning $75,000 or more.
Nearly half of Missourians consider themselves moderates. More than one-third call themselves conservative, and about one-fifth say they are liberal.
About half of Missourians say the economy is good, and three-quarters of those voters favored Bush; among the four-in-10 who said the economy was not so good, Kerry was favored by more than two-thirds.
Voters were asked to cite the most important issue, and moral values and economy/jobs topped the lists, with Iraq and terrorism close behind. Bush was the overwhelming choice for those who cited terrorism and moral values; Kerry was strongly favored by those citing Iraq and economy/jobs.
Democrat Claire McCaskill did best among those who cited the economy/jobs, education and health care as the issues that mattered most. Republican Matt Blunt was strongest among those citing same-sex marriage, abortion, gun control and taxes as their biggest issues.
McCaskill's best showing was in St. Louis city and Kansas City. Blunt did best in the rural areas and small towns. The two candidates virtually split in the suburbs.
Incumbent Republican Kit Bond won the small towns and rural areas by about a 2-to-1 margin; Democratic challenger Nancy Farmer did equally well in the big cities, but Bond won in the suburbs of St. Louis and Kansas City.
By Jim Salter, Associated Press Writer
Exit poll conducted for The Associated Press and television networks by Edison Media Research/Mitofsky International among 2,452 voters as they left 50 randomly selected precincts around Missouri on Tuesday. Margin of sampling error plus or minus 3 percentage points for the overall sample, larger for subgroups.