What voters said

January 4, 2008 

Results of a survey conducted for The Associated Press among voters arriving at the Iowa caucuses Thursday night:

THE CANDIDATES

About half of Democrats said they most wanted their candidate to bring about change, and Barack Obama won the support of 51 percent of this group. Hillary Rodham Clinton dominated among those citing experience, but they represented only one-fifth of voters. Another fifth said they most wanted a candidate who cared about people like them, and they liked John Edwards. Only about one in 10 said they most wanted a contender with the best chance of capturing the White House, and they opted for Edwards

Among Republicans, more than four in 10 said finding a candidate who shared their values mattered most, and the lion's share of them -- 44 percent -- liked Mike Huckabee. Another third wanted a candidate who says what he believes, and they also favored Huckabee. A smaller group was looking for experience, and they leaned toward Mitt Romney and John McCain. About one in 10 said they wanted a winner in November, and half of them picked Romney.

THE ISSUES

Given three choices, just over a third of Democrats said Iraq was the chief issue facing the country, with the same number naming the economy. Health care was close behind. Obama had the most support among those naming Iraq and the economy. Illegal immigration was the issue most often mentioned issue by Republicans from four choices, with a third saying it was most important. Next, in order, were the economy, terrorism and the war in Iraq. Huckabee led on every issue but terrorism.

RELIGION

Six in 10 GOP voters said they were born again or evangelical Christians, and by far the largest share of them --almost half -- supported Huckabee. More than a third of Republicans said having the same religious beliefs as their candidate was very important, and of that group just over half favored Huckabee.

about the survey: Surveys were conducted for AP and several television networks by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International at 40 sites each for Democratic and Republican caucuses in Iowa. Results included interviews with 1,600 Republicans and 2,136 Democrats. The margin of sampling error in each survey was plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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