BOSTON (AP) — Preliminary results of a survey of Massachusetts voters in Tuesday’s elections, according to an exit poll conducted for The Associated Press:


Honesty and trustworthiness was the top quality about a third of voters had in mind when they were trying to choose between Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown and Democratic challenger Elizabeth Warren. That was slightly ahead of whether the candidate “cares about people like me.” A willingness to compromise was most important to 1 in five voters, while political party affiliation mattered most to just 1 in 10 voters.



The economy was the top issue on Massachusetts voters’ minds Tuesday, and nothing else was close. About 6 out of 10 voters chose that as their top issue, with health care a distant second with about 1 in 10 considering that issue as most important. About that same ratio picked the budget deficit as their biggest concern, while only 1 in 20 chose foreign policy.


Massachusetts voters have apparently had their minds made up on the presidential race for quite a while. Nearly 8 in 10 voters said they knew who they were going to vote for before September.



Voters spread the blame for occasionally unfair play in the intense campaign between Brown and Warren. About a third thought that both Brown and Warren attacked their opponent unfairly at times. That’s larger than any group that said only one candidate was at fault. About a quarter of voters thought only Brown was unfair, while 1 in 5 voters said Warren was solely to blame for unfair attacks.



Just over half of Massachusetts voters said the government should do more to solve problems while a significant portion of Bay Staters, nearly five out of 10, believe government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals.


The preliminary exit poll of 1,173 Massachusetts voters was conducted for AP and the television networks by Edison Research in a random sample of 30 precincts statewide. Results were subject to sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points; it is higher for subgroups.


AP Surveys Online

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.


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