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First exit polls show bad news for GOP

Published: Tuesday November 7, 2006

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The first exit polls released by a group of top news agencies have indicated that national issues drove today's votes by a margin of nearly two-to-one.

While 62% of respondents indicated that national issues made biggest difference in how they cast their votes, just 33% indicated that local issues decided their vote. Republicans had recently been pressing their case that local issues would decide the races.

In what is seen as more bad news for Republicans, corruption ranked as the top issue among those casting ballots, with 42% indicating that concern in that area drove their vote.

Terrorism ranked second, with the economy and Iraq following shortly behind. Of those indicating the war weighed heavily in their vote, 57% said that they disapproved of Bush's handling of the situation, with just 41% indicating they approved of his performance.

Taxes, an issue President Bush tried to bring to the forefront in recent weeks, did not rate highly among voters.

However, the GOP is warning its supporters not to trust exit poll data, citing their unreliable readings in recent elections.