Highlights from preliminary results of exit polling in the Super Tuesday primary states for The Associated Press and television networks:
RACE AND GENDER
In the Democratic races, Barack Obama led with 8 in 10 black voters and Hillary Rodham Clinton led with 6 in 10 Hispanic voters. Obama led among white men, while Clinton led among white women. Overall, Obama led among men and Clinton led among women, although her advantage among women appeared smaller than was seen in early primary states. In the Republican races, John McCain led among men. He had only a small lead over Mitt Romney among women.
CONSERVATIVES AND MODERATES
John McCain led among Republicans who call themselves moderates, while Romney led among Republicans who call themselves conservatives. McCain and Romney tied among self-described Republicans while McCain led among independents voting in Republican primaries.
KEEPING THE FAITH
White, born again, evangelical Christians split across the three leading Republican candidates, with one-third supporting Mike Huckabee and the rest evenly divided between McCain and Romney. Huckabee was in a close race in Georgia, his standing bolstered by the 6 in 10 Republican voters there who were evangelicals.
Voters in both parties most frequently picked the economy as the most important issue facing the country. Given three choices, half of Democratic primary voters picked the economy, three in 10 said the war in Iraq and the remaining two in 10 said health care. Clinton led among voters most concerned about the economy and health care, while Obama led among those voters most concerned about Iraq.
Republican primary voters had four choices for that question and four in 10 picked the economy; two in 10 picked immigration and the war in Iraq and somewhat fewer said terrorism. McCain led among those Republicans who cared most about the economy, terrorism, and the war in Iraq. Romney led among those Republicans who cared most about immigration.
Republicans had a far rosier view of the economy's condition, although few called it excellent; about four in 10 said it was good. Romney had an advantage among voters who felt the economy was in good condition, while McCain was favored by those who felt negatively about the economy. Among Democratic primary voters, fewer than one in 10 called the economy excellent or good; half called it not so good and four in 10 labeled it poor. Obama led among those few Democrats who called the economy excellent or good, while the two candidates were tied among those who felt the economy was in poor condition.
Democratic primary voters also were asked about their family's financial situation and a little more than half said they were holding steady. Among the rest, somewhat more said they were falling behind than getting ahead.
In the Democratic races, nearly half of voters said they favored a candidate who could bring about needed change, and they voted 7 in 10 for Obama. Clinton won nearly all of those voters who favored a candidate with experience, about a quarter of all voters, and she won narrowly among the 1 in 10 voters who favored a candidate who cared about people like them. Obama had a small advantage among those voters looking for a candidate who can win in November.
On the Republican side, Romney led among the 4 in 10 Republicans who favored a candidate who shares their values, while McCain led among voters who favored a candidate with experience and who says what he believes. McCain also won two thirds of the vote of those few Republicans who said they were mostly looking for a candidate who can win in November.
BUT WHAT IF THE OTHER ONE WINS?
Just half of Democrats who voted for Clinton said they would be satisfied if Obama won, while just half of Obama voters said they would be satisfied if Clinton won.
About one in 10 voters in each party said they decided whom to vote for on Tuesday. Slightly more said they decided in the last three days. About half of Democratic primary voters and a third of Republicans said they made up their minds more than a month ago.
Preliminary results from exit polling by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International for The Associated Press and television networks. Partial samples in more than 400 precincts across 16 states with primaries Tuesday. There were 10,926 interviews of Democratic primary voters, 7,087 of GOP voters. Sampling error was plus or minus 1 percentage points for Democrats, 2 percentage points for Republicans.