PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A majority of voters casting midterm election ballots in New York said the country is headed in the wrong direction, according to a wide-ranging survey of the American electorate.
As voters cast ballots for governor, U.S. Senate and members of Congress in Tuesday’s elections, AP VoteCast found that two-thirds of New York voters said the country is on the wrong track, compared with around one-third who said the country is headed in the right direction.
Here’s a snapshot of who voted and why in New York, based on preliminary results from AP VoteCast, an innovative nationwide survey of about 139,000 voters and nonvoters — including 3,751 voters and 940 nonvoters in the state of New York — conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.
Around half of New York voters said they voted to express opposition to President Donald Trump. By comparison, around 2 in 10 said a reason for their vote was to express support for Trump, while around 3 in 10 said Trump was not a reason for their vote.
A majority of voters in New York had negative views of Trump: About 6 in 10 said they disapprove of how he is handling his job as president, while about 4 in 10 said they approve of Trump.
Trump was on the mind of 44-year-old Michelle Mora as she voted near Albany, New York.
“He’s very divisive. He’s very insensitive and he likes to promote fear unnecessarily,” she said.
CONTROL OF CONGRESS
Tuesday’s elections determined control of Congress in the final two years of Trump’s first term in office, and several House races in New York are among the most competitive in the country.
Three-quarters of New York voters said which party will hold control was very important as they considered their vote. Around 1 in 6 said it was somewhat important.
Three-quarters said they disapproved of the job Congress was doing. Fewer than 1 in 5 said they trusted government to do what’s right always or most of the time, while more than 4 in 5 said they trusted it only some of the time, or never.
In the Hudson Valley, freshman Republican Rep. John Faso was ousted by Democrat Antonio Delgado, a Rhodes scholar and Harvard Law School graduate who is a first-time candidate. A video released last month by the Republican National Congressional Committee showed clips of Delgado, who is black, performing songs from his 2006 rap album under his stage name, A.D. The Voice. Delgado accused Faso of using racial attacks.
In western New York, the race between Republican Rep. Chris Collins and Democrat Nate McMurray was too close to call, although Collins was claiming victory and McMurray had conceded. Collins is under indictment and has pleaded not guilty to federal insider trading charges.
Also too close to call was the race in central New York between Republican U.S. Rep. Claudia Tenney and Democrat Anthony Brindisi. Eric Trump last month campaigned with Tenney, an early supporter of his father.
Brindisi, a state assemblyman, has criticized her hyper-partisan approach.
STAYING AT HOME
Lauryn Schrom, a 27-year-old graphic designer in Guilderland, New York, did not vote in the last off-year election, but made a point to do it this time because of her dissatisfaction with the Trump administration.
She said recent political events have “opened my eyes” on issues like civil rights and women’s rights.
“If you are not engaged enough in the political process then you can lose your rights,” she said, holding an “I Voted” sticker in her hand. “I have a significant number of friends who are LGBT and it’s disturbing that they could lose civil rights as well.”
She voted “straight across” for Democrats, something she likely would have done anyway. But there was added impetus this time.
“The votes have a greater chance of counting against the Trump administration if I vote Democratic this year,” she said.
In New York, around 6 in 10 registered voters who chose not to vote in the midterm election were younger than 45. Around 7 in 10 of those who did not vote did not have a college degree. More nonvoters were Democrats than Republicans.
TOP ISSUE: HEALTH CARE
Health care was at the forefront of voters’ minds: Around 1 in 4 named it as the most important issue facing the nation in this year’s midterm elections. Another 1 in 5 named immigration, while 1 in 6 named the economy. Around 1 in 10 named gun policy or the environment to be the top issue.
STATE OF THE ECONOMY
Voters have a positive view of the nation’s current economic outlook — about 6 in 10 said the nation’s economy is good, compared with around 4 in 10 who said it’s not good.
RACE FOR GOVERNOR
Democrat Andrew Cuomo was elected to a third term as the leader of the nation’s fourth-largest state, winning over Republican Marc Molinaro.
Black voters and Hispanic voters were more likely to favor Cuomo. White voters overall were divided in their support over Cuomo and Molinaro.
Whites without a college degree were split over Cuomo and Molinaro. Conversely, white college graduates supported Cuomo.
AP VoteCast is a survey of the American electorate in all 50 states conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago for The Associated Press and Fox News. The survey of 3,751 voters and 940 nonvoters in New York was conducted Oct. 29 to Nov. 6, concluding as polls close on Election Day. It combines interviews in English or Spanish with a random sample of registered voters drawn from state voter files and self-identified registered voters selected from opt-in online panels. Participants in the probability-based portion of the survey were contacted by phone and mail, and had the opportunity to take the survey by phone or online. The margin of sampling error for voters is estimated to be plus or minus 1.9 percentage points. All surveys are subject to multiple sources of error, including from sampling, question wording and order, and nonresponse. Find more details about AP VoteCast’s methodology at http://www.ap.org/votecast .