2012 Elections: News, Analysis, Videos, and Breaking on the Presidential Election, Local Elections, and More

2012 Elections: News, Analysis, Videos, and Breaking on the Presidential Election, Local Elections, and More

Complete coverage of the 2012 election

Parents, Young People Voters Boost Calif. Issues: Exit Polls

Here's a look at results from an exit poll conducted in California for The Associated Press and television networks:

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    President Barack Obama and Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein posted victories in California on Tuesday, and voters also approved Gov. Jerry Brown's plan to temporarily raise income taxes on the wealthy and increase the statewide sales tax to fund K-12 schools and help balance the state budget.

    Exit Poll Breakdown:

    PARENTS, YOUTH HELP PASS TAX HIKE: Mothers broke for Brown's tax increase initiative by a rate of 2 to 1, as did people younger than 30.
     
    A bare majority of fathers and people in their 30s also supported Proposition 30, which will increase the statewide sales tax by a quarter-cent for four years and temporarily raise income taxes on people who make more than $250,000 a year.
     
    The measure, which was sold as a way to help schools, did well among black, Hispanic and Asian voters, but won over slightly less than half of whites.
     
    Support for the measure dropped with each rising income bracket, falling below 50 percent for voters with an annual family income of more than $100,000.
     
    FEINSTEIN DOMINATES:
    The longtime Democratic incumbent led in every age group, every education and income level, as well as most other demographic groups.
     
    She beat out her GOP challenger Elizabeth Emken among voters who self-identified as "moderate'' by a margin of 2 to 1. Feinstein also picked up 20 percent of voters who called themselves "conservative.''
     
    Emken won a bare majority of white men, and drew more support than Feinstein among voters living inland.

    OVERWHELMINGLY FOR OBAMA: Young people favored President Barack Obama by double-digits, as did women and people of color, helping him win the state handily.
     
    White voters were divided between Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.
     
    Obama drew strongest support from the Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay Area regions, and led by a wide margin among low-income people. About 7 in 10 voters who thought abortion should remain legal said they voted for Obama.
     
    The Democrat attracted even more support from people who said they thought illegal immigrants should be given a path to citizenship.
     
    IT'S STILL THE ECONOMY: More than half of California voters said the economy was the most important issue facing the county. About 1 in 5 said health care was the most important, and fewer still chose the federal budget deficit. Foreign policy was the top issue for fewer than one in 30 voters.
     
    Slightly more than half said they thought the country's economic system favored the wealthy, while 4 in 10 said they thought it was generally fair.
     
    MONEY TROUBLES: Voters indicated that they felt insecure both about their own finances and the national economy, though many seemed hopeful for a turnaround.
     
    About half called the national economic condition ``not so good.'' A plurality of voters thought the U.S. economy was staying about the same, but nearly twice as many thought it was getting better than thought it was getting worse.
     
    When asked about their own financial situation, about 4 in 10 voters said it was about the same as four years ago. About a third said their circumstances had gotten worse, while slightly less than that said their situation had improved.
     
    Voters who thought their own financial situation had improved voted for Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative, by a margin of 2:1. Voters who thought their situation had declined voted against the tax hike by the same margin.
     
    EARLY DECISIONS: A majority of voters say they made up their minds about whom to vote for in the presidential election well before the final weeks of the campaign.
     
    About a sixth of voters said they made up their minds in October, and the same portion said they decided in September.
     
    Two thirds of voters said they had already decided before the fall.

    BIG GOVERNMENT FAVORED: California voters weighed in on several initiatives Tuesday that could lead to increased government involvement and spending, including a bid to label genetically-modified foods and an initiative that would raise taxes to close the budget gap and fund schools.

    More than half of voters said that, in general, government should do more to solve problems. About 4 in 10 agreed with the statement that government is already doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals.
     
    The survey of 3,018 California voters was conducted for AP and the television networks by Edison Research. This includes preliminary results from interviews conducted as voters left a random sample of 30 precincts statewide Tuesday, as well as 933 who voted early or absentee and were interviewed by landline or cellular telephone from Oct. 29 through Nov. 4. Results for the full sample were subject to sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points; it is higher for subgroups.