Nightly News   |  January 21, 2012

Measuring the South Carolina exit polls

NBC’s Tamron Hall weighs in on what the voters of South Carolina had to say as they left voting booths.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> for a look at what voters had to see as they left the voting booths today, we want to turn to tamryn hall with a look at the exit polls .

>> good evening. the republican primary voters have been interviewed all day and this is an overwhelmingly conservative electorate. 37% call themselves very conservative. nearly as many describe themselves as somewhat conservative and 31% said they're moderate or liberal. what was on their minds as they went to the polls? south carolina has one of the worst unemployment rates in the nation and republican primary voters expressed great concern about the economy. in fact, 78% indicated they were very worried about the direction of the economy in the next few years. it may not come as a surprise that the top issue, the thing that mattered most today was the economy. another big concern is electability. the ability to beat barack obama . there we see nearly half. 45% said that was the quality that mattered most to them. finally with so much breaking news out of south carolina this week we found that a lot of voters were on the fence until the last minute. 53% said they made their minds up within the last few days. some of them today. we'll be watching closely to see what difference those late deciders made this this primary, lester.