Preliminary exit polling in Virginia Tuesday showed the economy was the top issue for about half of voters, followed by health care and abortion, according to The Associated Press.

Six in 10 voters said abortion should be legal in most or all cases.

Democrat Terry McAuliffe was faring well among women, blacks, low-income voters, abortion-rights supporters and city dwellers. Republican Ken Cuccinelli was doing best among white men, tea party supporters, opponents of the federal health-care reform law, gun owners and rural residents.

Thirty percent said neither major party candidate for governor has high ethical standards, while the rest split on whether either candidate was ethically sound. Half of those voters backed McAuliffe, nearly three in 10 supported Cuccinelli, and one-fifth favored Libertarian Robert Sarvis. Barely over one in 10 said both McAuliffe and Cuccinelli are ethical.

The government shutdown was also a major issue among voters.

About one-third of voters had someone in their household affected by the recent government shutdown, AP says, and more voters blamed Republicans in Congress than President Barack Obama for the closure. Although a slight majority disapprove of Obama’s performance.

The preliminary exit poll of 1,520 Virginia voters was conducted for AP and the television networks by Edison Research in a random sample of 39 precincts statewide. Results were subject to sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points, and is higher for subgroups.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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