ATLANTA (AP) - Voters in Georgia deciding a close race between Republican David Perdue and Democrat Michelle Nunn appeared troubled by the economy and considered who their decision might affect control of the U.S. Senate. Those were some of the preliminary findings from exit polling conducted for The Associated Press and television networks:
WOMEN: Exit polls showed Democrat Michelle Nunn held an advantage among women, winning more than half of the female vote. Nunn attacked Perdue on pocketbook issues, from supporting an equal pay bill to criticizing Perdue over a gender lawsuit filed against a company he led as its chief executive.
RACE: The racial split remains one of the starkest divides in Georgia politics. Early exit poll results showed Perdue won about 70 percent of the white electorate. Nunn appeared to win the overwhelming majority of black voters.
SENATE CONTROL: Voters were considering how ballots cast in Georgia would affect whether Republicans or Democrats control the closely divided U.S. Senate. Better than 90 percent of voters said they considered party control of the Senate important, and around three-quarters considered it very important. Perdue and Nunn were closely splitting the ballots cast by voters who considered party control important.
GLOOMY ECONOMIC OUTLOOK: Georgia has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country. Just a third of voters polled said the country was moving in the right direction. About eight out of ten said they were worried about the direction of the economy in the coming year. Of those who said they were worried, nearly 60 percent reported voting for Perdue.
OBAMA: A voter's view on President Obama was a good indicator of how he or she voted in the Senate race. Nunn won more than nine out of 10 voters who approved of Obama's job performance. Perdue did almost as well among voters who disapproved.
MINIMUM WAGE: More than half of voters polled said they would support raising the minimum wage. Nunn won over about a third of those voters.
HEALTH CARE: Roughly half of Georgia voters polled said Obama's health care overhaul went too far, and better than eight in 10 reported voting for the Republican, Perdue. Around a quarter said it did not go far enough, and less than a fifth said it was about right.
The survey of 2,976 voters was conducted for AP and the television networks by Edison Research. This includes preliminary results from interviews conducted as voters left a random sample of 40 precincts statewide Tuesday, as well as 559 who voted early or absentee and were interviewed by landline or cellular telephone from Oct. 24 through Nov. 2. Results for the full sample were subject to sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points; it is higher for subgroups.