TN Exit Polling Finds 7 in 10 GOP Voters are Born-Again Christians

By Travis Loller, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn.– Nearly half of those voting in Tennessee’s Republican presidential primary on Tuesday said the economy was their top concern, with another third citing the deficit and more than nine in 10 saying gas prices were a factor in how they voted.
David Morgan, a 55-year-old salesman voting in Nashville listed his top concerns as “the economy and jobs and now the gas prices.”
“The whole economy is down,” he said. “Myself, I don’t make as much as I used to.”
Morgan said he voted for Mitt Romney because “I feel like he is the one that can beat Obama.”
About a third of Republican voters said the candidate quality that mattered most to them was beating President Barack Obama, according to preliminary results from an exit poll conducted by Edison Research for The Associated Press. Smaller percentages were most concerned about their candidate’s moral character, experience or conservative credentials.
About seven in 10 Tennessee voters identified themselves as born-again Christians, more than in any state voting previously. About three-quarters said it mattered at least somewhat that a candidate shared their religious beliefs.
Mary Cecil, a retiree voting in Sevierville, said she voted for Rick Santorum on Tuesday. Although the economy was a concern, she said the deciding factor was: “I would like to have a true Christian in the White House.”
About nine in 10 voters said they had a negative view of the way the federal government is working, with about four in 10 saying they were “angry” about it. Almost two-thirds backed the tea party movement.
Results from the Tennessee exit poll are based on interviews with 1,769 Republican primary voters, including 640 absentee or early voters who were interviewed by phone before election day. Election day voters come from a random sample of 30 polling places. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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