A majority of voters casting midterm election ballots in Maine said the country is headed in the wrong direction, according to a wide-ranging survey of the American electorate.
As voters cast ballots for governor, U.S. Senate and members of Congress in Tuesday’s elections, AP VoteCast found that 35 percent of Maine voters said the country is on the right track, compared with 65 percent who said the country is headed in the wrong direction.
Here’s a snapshot of who voted and why in Maine, based on preliminary results from AP VoteCast, an innovative nationwide survey of about 138,000 voters and nonvoters _ including 778 voters and 215 nonvoters in the state of Maine _ conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.
Race for Senate
In the race for Senate, independent Angus King led Republican Eric Brakey among voters under 45; in addition, those ages 45 and older were more likely to favor King.
Voters with a college education supported King. In addition, voters without a college degree leaned toward King.
Race for governor
Democrat Janet Mills had an edge over Republican Shawn Moody among voters under 45 in the race for governor. Voters ages 45 and older were split.
Voters without a college degree were split over Mills and Moody. By contrast, college graduates leaned toward Mills.
Top issue: Health care
Health care was at the forefront of voters’ minds: 38 percent named it as the most important issue facing the nation in this year’s midterm elections. Others considered immigration (20 percent), the economy (17 percent), the environment (7 percent) and gun policy (6 percent) to be the top issue.
State of the economy
Voters have a positive view of the nation’s current economic outlook _ 64 percent said the nation’s economy is good, compared with 36 percent who said it’s not good.
For 37 percent of Maine voters, President Donald Trump was not a factor they considered while casting their votes. By comparison, 22 percent said a reason for their vote was to express support for Trump, and 40 percent said they voted to express opposition to Trump.
A majority of voters in Maine had negative views of Trump: 63 percent said they disapprove of how he is handling his job as president, while 37 percent said they approve of Trump.
Control of Congress
Tuesday’s elections will determine control of Congress in the final two years of Trump’s first term in office, and 58 percent of Maine voters said which party will hold control was very important as they considered their vote. Another 28 percent said it was somewhat important.
AP VoteCast is a survey of the American electorate in all 50 states conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago for The Associated Press and Fox News. The survey of 778 voters and 215 nonvoters in Maine was conducted Oct. 29 to Nov. 6, concluding as polls close on Election Day. Interviews in English and Spanish with self-identified registered voters selected from opt-in online panels are calibrated with interviews of randomly sampled registered voters nationwide. The margin of sampling error for voters is estimated to be plus or minus 10.1 percentage points. Although there is no statistically agreed upon approach for calculating margins of error for non-probability samples, the margin of error is estimated using a calculation called the root mean squared error and other statistical adjustments. All surveys are subject to multiple sources of error, including from sampling, question wording and order, and nonresponse. Find more details about AP VoteCast’s methodology at http://www.ap.org/votecast.