By 5:00pm Tuesday, the voter turnout in Oregon had reached 70% for an election set to determine the control of the state House and Senate, the new Portland mayor, a possible private casino and other key races. The earlier numbers Tuesday indicated higher numbers of Republicans were turning in their ballots earlier in numbers released by the Oregon secretary of state's office. Democrats are expected to get a majority in the state. According to Associated Press exit polling in Oregon, the economy is the top driver for Oregon voters.
In the early evening numbers voter turnout in Multnomah County was at 59% and 73% in Clakamas County. By 5:00pm Monday in Clatsop County was 57.89% of the county's registered voters had turned in ballots.
The new Oregon legislature will be set to take on issues of a tight budget, rising public pension costs, future of criminal sentences, health care and the education system.
Full Exit Polling Preliminary Data in Oregon:
An early look at voters' views of Tuesday's elections, according to preliminary data from exit polling conducted in Oregon for The Associated Press and television networks:
ECONOMIC WOES: Almost 6 in 10 Oregon voters said the economy was the top issue facing the nation, and half saw rising prices as the biggest problem facing them over unemployment, taxes or the housing market.
Voters here also held a dim view of the economy, with more than 8 in 10 describing it as in bad shape. Still, about 4 in 10 voters said the nation's economy is getting better while a quarter think it's getting worse.
JOBS OVER ENVIRONMENT: Amid these economic challenges, 6 in 10 said keeping jobs in the state should be a higher priority than protecting the environment.
BETTER OFF?: About a quarter of voters said they are better off today compared with four years ago when President Barack Obama was elected. About one-third said they're worse off.
PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: About a third of voters said they wanted a president who has a vision for the future and about as many said they wanted someone who shares their values. Voters here were divided between whether Obama or his Republican challenger Mitt Romney would do a better job handling the economy.
HEALTH CARE LAW: Oregon voters were divided on the 2010 health care law, with about half in favor of expanding it or leaving it as is, while a similar share said they would prefer to repeal all or some of the law.
MIND MADE UP EARLY: Oregon voters didn't wait until the last minute to settle on a presidential candidate. More than 7 in 10 voters said they decided before September.
The survey of 1,525 Oregon voters was conducted for the AP and the television networks by Edison Research. This includes preliminary results from a survey of 1,525 voters 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.
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