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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.

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.

But the negativity is not just for the government in Washington. It extends as well to the Republican Party itself. A solid majority of GOP voters today say they feel betrayed by Republican politicians. This view has helped fuel support for the two candidates running as insurgents, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. But it’s also present among John Kasich and Marco Rubio voters as well.

Given this sentiment, it’s no surprise that there is a lot of desire for a candidate who is outside the political system, a sentiment that has propelled Trump’s strong bid for the nomination. About half want an outsider – and just four in 10 say they’d prefer someone with political experience.

Asked what’s important in a presidential candidate, a small plurality of the GOP electorate today prefer a candidate who shares their values. Nearly as many want someone who can bring needed change. A fifth want someone who tells it like it is – no surprise that this is one of Donald Trump’s groups – and about one in 10 want a candidate who -– above all else -– can win in November.

No one issue has captured the focus of Republican primary voters this cycle. Of the four issues asked about in the exit poll, two of them are chosen by similar shares of the electorate – the economy and jobs, and government spending. Terrorism is mentioned by about one in five. Immigration – an issue stressed by Donald Trump -– is selected by only about one in 10 GOP voters.