Live Blog: Exit Poll Analysis From Tuesday’s Big Five Primaries

Voters in five states -- Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Missouri and Illinois -- head to the polls Tuesday to cast their votes in the Republican and Democratic primary contests.

The NBC News Exit Poll Desk will be reporting out results from the NBC News Exit Poll in all five states. Exit polls are surveys based on interviews of voters leaving their polling places. The NBC News Exit Poll is conducted by Edison Research.

Throughout the night, a team of survey research analysts will be crunching the numbers on who turned up, what issues were on their minds, and why they voted the way they did. The team includes Scott Keeter, senior survey advisor at Pew Research Center; Stephanie Psyllos, associate manager of exit polling, NBC News; Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute; Maureen Michaels, president of Michaels Opinion Research Inc.; Cary Funk, associate director of research at Pew Research Center; Mara Ostfeld, postdoctoral fellow, Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan; Patrick Egan, associate professor of politics and public policy at New York University; Hannah Hartig, assistant director, University of Pennsylvania's Program on Opinion Research and Election Studies; Jennifer Su, senior project director, Princeton Survey Research Associates International; and Andrew Arenge, assistant producer, NBC News. The NBC News Exit Poll Desk works closely with MSNBC homepage editor David Taintor to curate the stories we produce.

Follow our live blog below for all the exit poll analysis:


Illinois Exit Poll: NBC News Calls Clinton Apparent Winner in Illinois

The NBC News Exit Poll in Illinois finds Hillary Clinton closely wins the Democratic primary by taking a significant share of the votes from blacks and older Democrats. Clinton prevailed over Sanders among blacks, capturing 70 percent of their votes. She also won with 64 percent of the votes from Democrats 45 years of age and older—though Bernie Sanders still tugged away 70 percent of votes from those under age 45.

Sanders also surpassed Clinton among white voters, 58 percent over 42 percent, but Clinton did especially well with married women, getting 61 percent of their votes. She also won big among voters who put experience above other qualities when choosing which candidate to support.

When asked which candidate can beat Donald Trump if he is the Republican nominee in November, 65 percent said "Hillary Clinton." A 54 percent majority also think Clinton would make a better commander-in-chief.

March 15 Exit Poll Results: Does Age and Gender Only Matter Among White Voters?

Much has been made about the importance of gender and age in the race for the Democratic nomination. NBC News' Exit Polls have offered consistent evidence that white women tend to split for Clinton over Sanders, and young white voters tend to split for Sanders over Clinton. This has been critical in understanding who the candidates are doing well with, and who they still need to gain support from. But has this gender and age divide rung true for black and Latino voters.

Looking at data from NBC News Exit Polls from all of the 2016 primaries and caucuses, we see that younger black and Latino voters have split for Sanders at higher rates than their older counterparts, but not to the same degree as among whites.

While nearly four times as many white voters between 18- and 29-years-old have voted for Sanders over Clinton, only about twice as many Latino voters between 18 and 29 have voted for Sanders over Clinton. Black voters between ages 18 and 29 are voting for Sanders at higher rates than black voters older than 30, but black voters under age 30 are voting for Clinton and Sanders at about equal rates.

Looking more closely at the breakdown of the Latino Democratic vote by age, we see this trend more clearly. Latino voters over 45-years-old are decisively voting for Clinton, while only about a third of Latino voters under 30 are. Given that younger voters tend to vote less consistently, this helps explain why higher turnout tends to increase Sanders share of the vote.

With Clinton potentially being the first women president, gender has also received a lot of attention in understanding the breakdown of candidate support. According to results from all NBC News Exit Polls before the March 15 contest, it appears that gender is really only playing a role in the breakdown of Democratic support among white voters.

White women are more likely to support Clinton than white men. Among blacks and Latinos, however, gender does not appear to be playing a meaningful role. Both black and Latina women are about equally likely to support Clinton when compared with black and Latino men.

March 15 Primary Exit Poll Results: Family Finances Matter to Democrats

Throughout this primary season, Democratic voters across the nation have pointed to the economy as their most important issue. Voters who went to the polls Tuesday followed the same pattern.

One in five in Tuesday's Midwest contests and North Carolina say that they are getting ahead financially. But in these states where blue-collar jobs traditionally make up a significant share of the workforce, a similar share, nearly two in 10, say they are falling behind financially amid growing concerns over the shrinking manufacturing sector at home.

Industrial manufacturing historically plays a big role in the local economy in these states, and those casting ballots Tuesday favored the candidate they feel is best suited to keep them afloat. For a majority of primary voters who said that they are getting ahead financially, that person was Hillary Clinton.

For those having a hard time making ends meet, Clinton was able to gain a bare majority among voters in Ohio and North Carolina, both states she won. Her ability to not lose those who are struggling financially was a key to her success in these important contests.

On the other hand, Missouri and Illinois voters who are falling behind financially break for Sanders, a pattern contributing to the very close race in both states.

Florida Exit Poll Results: Latino Republicans Failed to Put Rubio Over the Finish Line

Latinos in Florida—a growing share of that state's Republican voters—went decisively for home-state Sen. Marco Rubio in Tuesday's GOP presidential primary, according to the NBC News Exit Poll. But it wasn't enough to carry him across the finish line in what he had called a must-win state. Rubio suspended his campaign tonight after finishing a distant second in Florida to front-runner Donald Trump.

Among all Latino Republican primary voters in Florida, Rubio took about half the vote, with Trump a distant second at about one-quarter of the vote. Cruz finished with just 15 percent.

The son of Cuban immigrants, Rubio was the clear favorite of Cuban-American GOP voters in Florida on Tuesday: He captured roughly six in 10 of their votes. Rubio easily bested fellow Cuban-American Ted Cruz as well as Trump among these voters.

Although Cubans have long played an important role in Florida's GOP politics, there is now a sizable group of Latino Republicans in the state who are not of Cuban descent. This group split its support between Rubio and Trump, giving each candidate roughly four in 10 of their votes.

All told, Latinos made up nearly one in five Republican voters in Florida on Tuesday—a number significantly higher than indicated by exit polls eight years ago.

March 15 Exit Poll Results: With Rubio Out, Where Do His Supporters Go?

Marco Rubio suspended his campaign tonight after he lost his home state of Florida and turned in a disappointing performance in the four other states. Where are his supporters likely to go?

In Missouri, Ohio and North Carolina, Republican primary voters today were asked how they would have voted had they only had a choice between Ted Cruz and Donald Trump. Nearly six in 10 of Rubio's voters today said they would have voted for Cruz, while only 15 percent would have gone for Trump. Nearly one-quarter say that they would not have voted if faced with this choice.

Among all voters in these three states - including Trump and Cruz voters themselves - Cruz and Trump would have divided the vote evenly, had they been the only candidates on the ballot.

North Carolina Exit Poll: Clinton Beats Sanders, Though Support is Still Breaking by Age

According to the NBC News Exit Poll in North Carolina, Democrats voting for Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders very much aligned with their core bases of support. For Clinton, however, the vote from six in 10 women and eight in 10 blacks was just the level she needed to win the primary in this southern state.

In addition, Clinton's best groups included those 65 years of age and older and Democrats. Clinton also did exceptionally well with voters who indicate they place high value on a candidate with the right experience.

Sanders' key groups in North Carolina included a significant nearly three-fourths of those 17 to 29 years of age, six in 10 Independents and nearly as many white men (57 percent). He also continues to command the mantel for voters who say honesty and trustworthiness matter most to them in choosing who to support.

Ohio Exit Poll Results: Why Kasich Won

NBC News projects John Kasich will win the GOP primary in the key battleground state of Ohio. This is a badly needed win for the Ohio governor -- 66 delegates are up for grabs. The Kasich campaign is looking for their win in the Buckeye State tonight to jump start new momentum for the campaign going forward.

Kasich campaigned hard on his record of bringing economic recovery to Ohio, a state that, like other industrial states in the region, was hit hard by the economic downturn of 2009.

Nearly four in 10 Republican primary voters in Ohio say jobs and the economy are the most important issues facing the nation. But at the same time, a majority of Ohioans - some six in 10—say their own family finances are holding steady. About one in five are getting ahead, and roughly one in six voters say they are falling behind financially.

The groups helping keep the Kasich campaign alive tonight include a majority of those who have been on the fence until the last few days. More than half of late deciding voters chose Kasich. The Ohio governor wins strong support among those looking for the next nominee to have political experience. He also does well with moderate or liberal voters in the GOP primary as well as those who have more education—either a college or postgraduate degree.

Illinois Exit Poll Results: The Voters Supporting Trump, Cruz

NBC News Exit Poll analysis finds the Illinois Republican primary still too early to call, with Donald Trump in a tight race with Ted Cruz, and John Kasich further behind in third place.

Trump is pulling in a big share of voters who have a high school diploma or less education. And he captures about half of voters who are say they are looking for a candidate who can bring needed change in November. As we have seen in other primaries and caucuses so far in this campaign, Trump wins over the bulk of voters who are looking for a candidate who "tells it like it is" and close to seven in 10 of those who think the next presidential nominee should come from outside the political establishment.

Trump's position on trade also seems to be helping him in this multi-candidate race. A minority of GOP voters in Illinois think trade with other countries creates jobs for U.S. workers, while about half—51 percent—think trade takes away jobs from home. Trump does well with this group winning, some 49 percent of their vote, far more than any other candidate.

But in contrast to what we saw in southern states holding primaries already this year, Cruz and Trump are dividing white evangelical voters in Illinois, giving Cruz no particular advantage among this group. And the two candidates are also vying to split the vote among those who are dissatisfied or angry with the government in Washington.

March 15 Exit Poll Results: Two in Three GOP Voters Support Muslim Ban

Large majorities of Republicans voting in presidential primaries today across the country voiced support for a temporary ban on entry of Muslims to the United States—a change in immigration policy unlike anything previously instituted in American history.

In Florida, Illinois, North Carolina and Ohio, about two in three Republicans leaving the polls today said they would support such a ban. In Missouri, the number was even higher: roughly three-quarters of voters.

Donald Trump was the first GOP presidential candidate to propose such a ban, which in theory would be temporary and apply only to Muslims who are not U.S. citizens.

March 15 Exit Poll Results: Evangelical Voters in the GOP Contests Tonight

White evangelicals are a key constituency for the Republican Party, and their votes in this primary season have been closely watched. Across the five states voting tonight, evangelicals have ranged from a little over a third of the Republican electorate in Florida to about 60 percent in North Carolina.

In two states where the polls closed at 7:30 p.m. ET, the evangelical vote is playing out in different ways, though, as in previous contests, Donald Trump is continuing to get a strong share of this important group's support. In Ohio, Donald Trump and John Kasich are neck-and-neck among evangelicals, one of the reasons why this state is still too early to call.

In North Carolina, Ted Cruz is also splitting the evangelical vote with Trump, keeping that state too close to call.

North Carolina Exit Poll Results: How Cruz Is Making It a Two-Man Race with Trump

As polls closed in the North Carolina Republican primary at 7:30 p.m. ET, Ted Cruz and Donald Trump were locked in a neck-and-neck battle that was too close to call, according to NBC News.

What a difference two weeks makes. Back on Super Tuesday (March 1), Trump swept decisively to victory in seven states—some of them demographically and politically quite similar to North Carolina.

Why is the race so much closer today? We can begin to answer this question by comparing the vote for Cruz in North Carolina with his Super Tuesday performance two weeks ago in Georgia—a state whose Republican voters look nearly the same in terms of their age, income and political ideology.

  • Look first at North Carolina GOP voters who call themselves "very conservative." Cruz won a majority of their votes today; he only won 37 percent of this group in Georgia on Super Tuesday.
  • White evangelicals—a group courted heavily by Cruz—gave him four in ten of their votes today in North Carolina. Two weeks ago, he garnered only a quarter of the votes of Georgia's white evangelicals.
  • Among North Carolina Republicans who said having a candidate who "shares my values" was their chief consideration in voting today, Cruz won a clear majority. On Super Tuesday, only 37 percent of these voters in Georgia supported him.

Florida Exit Poll Results: How Trump Won

NBC News projects that Donald Trump has swept to victory in the winner-take-all Republican primary in Florida tonight, easily besting home-state favorite Sen. Marco Rubio and collecting the state's 99 GOP delegates.

Trump's performance was especially strong among less-educated white voters, those opposed to a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and those frustrated with politics as usual, according to the NBC News Exit Poll.

Whites without a college education went strongly for Trump, delivering him nearly a majority of their votes. He also won about six in 10 votes from those who say undocumented immigrants should be deported rather than being offered legal status. More than half of GOP voters saying they feel "betrayed" by their party's politicians supported Trump. Unsurprisingly, Trump—the only non-politician left in the race—dominated among those who want the next president to be from outside the political establishment, winning three-quarters of their votes.

Florida Exit Poll Results: Clinton Wins Florida with Broad Levels of Support

According to the NBC News Exit Poll, Hillary Clinton won the Florida Democratic primary tonight by securing overwhelming support from most major demographic groups in the state. Clinton won every age group except the 18- to 29-year-olds who stuck with Bernie Sanders. Overall, 72 percent of those ages 45 and older voted for Clinton.

Clinton maintained her solid advantage among women voters (67 percent) and had an advantage with men as well (59 percent), but the margin among men was influenced by her big lead among black men (85 percent). She did not surpass Sanders among white men, who voted 46 percent to 54 percent for Sanders. Among Hispanics, however, Clinton was the clear choice, getting about six in 10 votes from Hispanic men and three-quarters from Hispanic women.

March 15 Exit Poll Results: Clinton's Gender is Not Important to Her Supporters

According to NBC News Exit Polls, gender has not been a significant influence in how Democrats have voted today. It wasn't an important factor in the 2008 Democratic primaries as well when Hillary Clinton squared off against Barack Obama.

Today, Just 4 percent say the gender of the candidate was the most important influence in how they voted, 15 percent say it was one of several important factors and 80 percent indicate gender had no influence on their votes. In the 2008 Democratic primaries, approximately eight in 10 voters also said gender was not an important factor in their vote.

Clinton voters also staunchly agree gender was not important in their support of her—70 percent report it was not important in their votes.

March 15 Exit Poll Results: Democrats Think Race Relations Have Declined

According to the results of the NBC News Exit Polls, a 55 percent majority believes race relations in the U.S. have gotten worse in the past few years. One-third think race relations have not changed in the country, while just 12 percent think relations have improved.

In fact, in all primary states tonight except Florida more than half of Democrats think race relations in the U.S. have deteriorated, including about six in 10 voters in North Carolina and Missouri.

When asked which Democratic candidate they would trust most to handle race relations, one in five say they would only trust Hillary Clinton, while nearly the same indicate they would only trust Bernie Sanders. More than half of Democrats, 54 percent, express confidence that either Clinton or Sanders can effectively address race relations issues in the country.

Missouri Exit Poll Results: Few GOP Moderates in a Bellwether State

Missouri—long considered to be a state reflecting political trends across the nation as a whole—has very few Republican voters who call themselves moderates, the NBC News Exit Poll results show.

Among Republicans voting in the state's presidential primary today, only about two in 10 considered themselves moderate or liberal on political matters. They were vastly outnumbered by GOP voters who call themselves "somewhat conservative" (roughly a third of voters) and—the largest group—those who consider themselves "very conservative" (more than four in 10 voters).

North Carolina Exit Poll Results: Immigration Ranks Low on List of GOP Voters' Concerns

Despite being exposed to a campaign focused significantly on the issue of undocumented immigration, North Carolina Republicans voting in that state's presidential primary today ranked immigration dead last on their list of important issues.

Instead, GOP voters said they were more worried about bread-and-butter concerns like the economy (roughly four in 10 mentioned it as the most important issue facing the country) and government spending (the focus of another three in 10 voters). Terrorism followed on Republicans' list of key issues (about a quarter of voters).

Immigration, which has dominated coverage of the GOP campaign, lagged far behind. Only about one in 10 North Carolina voters said it was their chief concern.

Florida Exit Poll Results: GOP Voters Feel Angry, Betrayed and They Want an Outsider

Substantial shares of Republicans voting in today's Florida primary say they are tired of politics as usual and want a candidate for president who can bring change to Washington, according to the NBC News Exit Poll.

Florida Republicans are fed up with Washington, with nearly four in 10 expressing anger at the way the federal government is working. GOP voters' frustration extends even to their own party: roughly six in 10 say they feel "betrayed" by Republican politicians. Not surprisingly, about half of the state's GOP voters want the next president to be from outside the political establishment.

March 15 Exit Poll Results: Trade and its Discontents

As we saw last week in Michigan and Mississippi, voters in both parties expressed the concern that trade with other countries takes away U.S. jobs. Especially in Michigan, a state hit hard by the loss of manufacturing jobs, the trade issue worked to the benefit of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump.

Tonight, voters in two key states that have lost manufacturing jobs over the past couple of decades are similarly negative about the effects of trade. On the Democratic side, more than half of voters in Ohio say trade has cost the U.S. jobs. Only about a quarter there think trade creates more jobs.

In North Carolina, Democratic voters are more divided over whether trade loses more jobs or creates more jobs, though a plurality believes that trade hurts employment.

As in Michigan last week, Sanders' voters in both states are more likely than Hillary Clinton's to see trade having a negative effect on jobs.

Republican voters in these two states today are about equally negative regarding the effects of trade, with small majorities in both places saying that trade takes away U.S. jobs. Just a third or so in each state think trade creates more jobs.

Trump's voters are more likely than those of his rivals to see trade as costing the nation jobs.

March 15 Exit Poll Results: The Mood of GOP Primary Electorate

The mood of the Republican electorates in the five primary states today is pretty grim. Nearly four in 10 are angry at Washington, and a majority says they've been betrayed by their own party.

Republican primary voters have negative views about how the federal government is working. The division is between dissatisfaction and downright anger.

Read more here.