A majority of voters casting midterm election ballots in California 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 26 percent of California voters said the country is on the right track, compared with 73 percent who said the country is headed in the wrong direction.
Here’s a snapshot of who voted and why in California, based on preliminary results from AP VoteCast, an innovative nationwide survey of about 138,000 voters and nonvoters — including 3,731 voters and 616 nonvoters in the state of California — conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.
RACE FOR SENATE
In the race for Senate, Democrat Dianne Feinstein had a sizable advantage over Democrat Kevin De Leon among white voters. Whites with a college education were more likely to support Feinstein, and whites without a college degree were more likely to favor Feinstein as well.
Feinstein had a sizable advantage among black voters and also had an apparent advantage among Hispanic voters.
Voters under 45 supported Feinstein; those ages 45 and older were more likely to support Feinstein.
RACE FOR GOVERNOR
Democrat Gavin Newsom was preferred over Republican John Cox among voters under 45 in the race for governor. Voters ages 45 and older favored Newsom.
Black voters and Hispanic voters were more likely to support Newsom. White voters overall favored Newsom.
Whites without a college degree modestly supported Newsom. In addition, white college graduates preferred Newsom.
TOP ISSUE: HEALTH CARE
Health care was at the forefront of voters’ minds: 26 percent named it as the most important issue facing the nation in this year’s midterm elections. Others considered the economy (18 percent), immigration (18 percent), the environment (11 percent) and gun policy (10 percent) to be the top issue.
STATE OF THE ECONOMY
Voters have a positive view of the nation’s current economic outlook — 57 percent said the nation’s economy is good, compared with 42 percent who said it’s not good.
For 29 percent of California voters, President Donald Trump was not a factor they considered while casting their votes. By comparison, 15 percent said a reason for their vote was to express support for Trump, and 55 percent said they voted to express opposition to Trump.
A majority of voters in California had negative views of Trump: 73 percent said they disapprove of how he is handling his job as president, while 27 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 72 percent of California voters said which party will hold control was very important as they considered their vote. Another 20 percent said it was somewhat important.
STAYING AT HOME
In California, 73 percent of registered voters who chose not to vote in the midterm election were younger than 45. A wide share of those who did not vote — 78 percent — did not have a college degree. More nonvoters were Democrats (46 percent) than Republicans (19 percent).