AP VoteCast: A state-by-state snapshot of Super Tuesday

Politics

Voters cast their ballots for the Super Tuesday primary election at a voting center in El Segundo, Calif., Tuesday, March 3, 2020. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Associated Press is surveying voters in eight of the 14 states holding Democratic presidential primaries on Tuesday. Here’s a snapshot of voters in Alabama, California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Texas and Virginia — who they are and what matters to them — based on preliminary results from AP VoteCast, conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.

VIRGINIA

Joe Biden’s late momentum was real in Virginia, a state likely to be a top battleground in November. Close to half of voters there said they made a late decision about whom to vote for in the primary, and about two-thirds of them went for the former vice president, who won the state.

Biden’s coalition there looks like it has elsewhere. He won roughly two-thirds of voters ages 45 and older, the majority of voters in the state. Black voters were far more likely to support Biden than any other candidate. About 6 in 10 of those who attend religious services at least monthly backed Biden.

Biden won about 60% of moderates and conservatives — and even about 40% of liberals, chipping away at Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ core supporters. Biden also received support from both college-educated voters and those without a degree.

Sanders continued his strength among young voters — winning about half of those under 30. About 40% of Latino voters supported Sanders, while about a third supported Biden.

ALABAMA

After Biden’s dominant win in South Carolina last week, Alabama was another test of his strength with black voters — and he performed just as well. A majority of Alabama’s Democratic primary voters are African American, and about 7 in 10 of them supported the former vice president. AP declared Biden the winner when polls closed in the state.

Overall, voters gave Biden an edge over other candidates as the one best able to handle issues related to race.

Biden also earned the support of older voters and religious voters, as well as voters across education levels.

In Alabama, voters were closely divided over whether they wanted a candidate who would bring fundamental change to Washington or one who would restore the political system to how it was before Donald Trump was elected in 2016. But they showed a slight preference for a candidate who will pursue practical, centrist policies to one pursuing bold liberal policies.

CALIFORNIA

Contrary to California’s lefty image, Democratic voters in California are evenly split between self-described liberals and those who are moderate or conservative. And a majority of California voters say they want to see a candidate who will pursue centrist policies over one who will propose bold liberal policies.

Still, Sanders pulled off a win in the state, with major help from the state’s Latino voters. Sanders won about half of Latino voters in California, while black voters were somewhat more likely to back Biden than Sanders, former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg or Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Sanders and Biden each received support from about a quarter of white voters in California.

About half of voters under 45 supported Sanders. And unlike in many other states, Biden’s edge over Sanders among older voters narrowed in California.

Voters without a college degree gave a clear advantage to Sanders, while college-educated voters divvied up their support among several candidates.

About a quarter of California voters said their vote in November will depend on who the Democratic Party nominates. About 40% of those were Sanders supporters.

COLORADO

Sanders appeared to connect with voters in Colorado on the issues and it paid off with a victory. Voters there considered both health care and climate change as the most important issues facing the nation, with about a third naming each.

On those two issues, voters say Sanders has an advantage over other candidates as the best positioned to handle both climate change and health care as president.

Sanders won about 4 in 10 Latino voters in Colorado. Close to half of voters under 45 supported the 78-year-old senator, while older voters divvied up their support among several candidates. And Sanders led among both college-educated voters and those without a college degree.

MASSACHUSETTS

Women in Massachusetts gave a clear advantage to Biden over Sanders or Warren, the hometown candidate and the only major woman candidate left in the race. Men were about as likely to support Sanders as they were Biden. Biden won Massachusetts.

Voters in Massachusetts ranked both health care and climate change as the most important issues facing the country.

A slim majority of voters said they wanted a candidate who would bring fundamental change to Washington, while fewer said they would prefer to restore the political system to how it was before Trump was elected.

But it was clear that change in Washington doesn’t look the same to everyone. About 6 in 10 said they preferred a candidate who will pursue practical, centrist policies to one pursuing bold liberal policies.

MINNESOTA

About half of Democratic primary voters in Minnesota say they made up their minds just days before casting their ballots, likely a result of Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s departure from the race. Biden was aided significantly, with more than half of those voters supporting his candidacy, and he won the primary.

But for Minnesota voters, the Democratic nominee will be their choice in November no matter who is nominated. Fifteen percent say their decision will depend on which candidate is top of the ticket against Trump.

Voters were closely divided over whether they wanted a candidate who would bring fundamental change to Washington or one who would restore the political system to how it was before Trump was elected. But about two-thirds of voters said they wanted a candidate proposing practical, centrist policies over one with bold liberal policies.

NORTH CAROLINA

Democratic voters in North Carolina — a general election battleground — were closely divided over whether they wanted a candidate who would transform Washington rather than return it to the way it was before Trump took office.

But an overwhelming share — close to 9 in 10 — did say it’s very important that a nominee be able to defeat Trump in November; 45% of those backed Biden, who won the state.

A wide majority say they will definitely vote for the Democratic candidate against Trump in the general election. Still, about 2 in 10 say their decision will depend on which Democrat is on the ballot in November, a share that might matter in the context of a competitive general election.

White voters in North Carolina gave an edge to Biden over Sanders, Bloomberg or Warren. Among black voters, Biden had a strong advantage: More than half supported him, while 2 in 10 went for Sanders and about 1 in 10 supported Bloomberg, who dropped out of the race on Wednesday.

TEXAS

Biden eeked out a win in Texas, where white voters divvied up their support between him and Sanders, with about 30% going to each. Some also supported Bloomberg and Warren.

Black voters in Texas gave a clear advantage to Biden, while Sanders held a lead among Latino voters.

While Sanders continued to dominate voters under 30, Biden’s edge over Sanders with older voters was cut somewhat by Bloomberg. About 40% of voters ages 45 and older supported Biden, with roughly 2 in 10 supporting both Bloomberg and Sanders.

Voters in the Democratic primary in Texas had health care on their minds, with close to 4 in 10 saying it was the most important issue facing the country.

Immigration was considered an important issue by just about 1 in 10 voters in the border state. But among all voters, border security is divisive. Half of voters said they favor increasing security along the U.S.-Mexico border, while roughly as many are opposed.

____

AP VoteCast is a survey of the American electorate conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago for The Associated Press and Fox News. The surveys were conducted for seven days, concluding as polls closed.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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