Here’s a look at results from a preliminary exit poll conducted in Indiana for The Associated Press:
Women voters key for Donnelly: Women may have made the difference in Donnelly’s margin over Richard Mourdock, just two weeks after Mourdock’s widely publicized comment about rape. Half of women voters chose Donnelly, while only about four in 10 were for Mourdock. The two were close among male voters. Mourdock said on Oct. 23 that pregnancy resulting from rape is something God intended. Donnelly also polled strongly among voters younger than 50, blacks, those without a college degree, and those with family incomes of under $50,000. Mourdock was stronger among whites, evangelical or born-again voters and Indianapolis residents.
Deconstructing Romney’s demographics: Romney’s victory in Indiana was helped by big support from a number of demographic groups. He won the support of a wide majority of whites, conservatives and those with family incomes of at least $50,000. Romney also was heavily backed by voters older than 40.
Obama’s support weakens: President Obama, who has polled better among young voters nationwide, managed to only break even with Romney among younger than 30 Indiana voters. That was down significantly from 2008, when he became the first Democratic presidential candidate to carry Indiana since 1964. He drew far less support from independent voters and from those with family incomes over $100,000 this time around.
Lugar’s lingering impact: Republican Sen. Richard Lugar’s presence on the ballot would have made for a completely different Senate race. If Lugar had been the Republican nominee instead of Mourdock, Donnelly would have lost about a quarter of his support to Lugar, exit polls showed. Voters indicated that in a head-to-head showdown between Donnelly and Lugar, a plurality would have preferred Lugar. Mourdock, the tea party-backed state treasurer, easily knocked the six-term incumbent out of the race in the May primary.
Pence scores with whites, older voters: Pence enjoyed broad support from many of the same groups as Romney. The six-term congressman was backed heavily by whites, voters older than 65 and those with family incomes of at least $50,000. Democrat John Gregg was preferred by women by a narrow margin, by blacks, moderates and those with no more than a high school education.
Economy supersedes all other issues: Any voter concerns about health care, foreign policy or other issues were dwarfed by the economy on Election Day. Six in 10 Indiana voters called the economy the top problem facing the nation – close to four times the number of voters who singled out any other issue. The federal budget deficit and health care were cited by about one in six voters each.