The Ohio exit poll suggests that Republican voters’ support for Trump likely fueled his election in the Senate primary.

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The broad support of Ohio Republican primary voters for donald trump may have helped propel his preferred candidate, businessman Bernie Moreno, to victory in the state election. Republican Senate primaries on Tuesdayaccording to the results of CNN’s exit poll in the state.

The vast majority of Republican primary voters, more than 7 in 10, said it was at least somewhat important for Ohio’s next senator to support the presumptive Republican presidential nominee. And that group fell heavily in favor of the Trump-backed candidate, according to the exit poll, with about 60% voting for Moreno.

By contrast, among the minority of voters who saw loyalty to Trump as unimportant, nearly two-thirds backed state Sen. Matt Dolan, the only one of the three Republican candidates in the race who had not explicitly supported the former president. The third candidate, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose, fell behind his rivals among both groups of voters.

Tuesday’s primaries were the first direct test this year of Trump’s endorsement power in a hotly contested Senate race. Moreno will next face Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown in a race that could determine the balance of power in the Senate. The three-term incumbent is one of two Senate Democrats running for reelection in a state Trump won twice.

Voters who said they had decided on their Senate vote in the final week of the campaign favored Dolan over Moreno by a modest margin, while Moreno won over those who said they had made up their mind in early 2024 or at some point. from last year. Triumph supported moreno in December and appeared at a rally with him over the weekend.

Ohio Republican primary voters’ acceptance of Trump’s worldview goes beyond their support for the candidate they endorsed. About 8 in 10 said they approved of Trump’s job performance when he was in the White House, and about two-thirds said they expect that if he returns to the Oval Office, a second Trump term would be better than his first. About two-thirds also said they would consider Trump fit for office even if he were convicted of a crime. And only about 3 in 10 acknowledged that president joe bidenIsrael’s victory in the 2020 elections was legitimate.

These results echo Entry and exit polls in the Republican presidential election earlier this year. by underscoring the extent to which the Republican electorate has been shaped around Trump’s influence. The Senate result in Ohio also highlights the gap between the Republican base and the much smaller faction of the party that continues at least to some extent to resist the former president’s electoral falsehoods. About 6 in 10 election deniers supported Moreno, while Dolan won a similar share of the smaller group that recognized the 2020 election results. There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.

Exit polls are a valuable tool to help understand the demographic profile and political opinions of primary voters. However, like all polls, exit polls are estimates, not precise measurements of the electorate. This is particularly true for this preliminary set of exit poll numbers, which have not yet been weighted to match the final primary results. But the results give an idea of ​​the types of voters who go to the polls.

About 4 in 10 GOP primary voters in Ohio said the GOP as a whole is right ideologically; More than a third called the party insufficiently conservative and just under a fifth said it is too conservative. Moreno won in the first two groups, with Dolan leading among those who called the party too conservative.

Nearly three-quarters of Ohio GOP primary voters said undocumented immigrants in the United States should be deported, rather than offered the opportunity to apply for legal status. Republican primary voters in Ohio were also more likely than those against to favor a nationwide ban on most or all abortions, a position opposed by most Republican presidential primary voters in California. , Virginia and New Hampshire.

Few Ohio Republican primary voters described the country’s economy as excellent or good, but the majority, about 70%, said it was stable or making progress financially. About 9 in 10 said they were unhappy with the way things are going in the U.S., and nearly half described themselves as angry about the state of the nation.

The exit poll for the Ohio Republican primary was conducted by Edison Research on behalf of the National Election Group. It includes 1,813 interviews with Republican primary voters, including both Election Day voters and those who voted early or absentee. Election Day interviews were conducted at 30 different polling locations on Election Day, while pre-election interviews were conducted March 8-16 using phone, email, and text messaging to reach respondents selected from the voter file. Results for the full sample have a margin of error of plus or minus 4.0 percentage points; is greater for subgroups.

This story and headline have been updated with additional information.

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