Most voters in the Republican presidential primaries held on Super Tuesday are worried about the economy, and they came to the polling place either dissatisfied or downright angry about the way the federal government in Washington is working. While about half say the next president should come from outside the political establishment, a sizable minority say the president should be someone who has served in elected office. And, GOP voters are split on the qualities they are seeking, with about a third prioritizing a candidate who shares their values and about three in 10 prioritizing someone who can bring needed change.
Across all states holding primaries Tuesday, 71 percent of GOP voters are very worried about where the nation’s economy is headed; among these worried voters, more voted for Donald Trump than any other contender. Some 40 percent of Super Tuesday voters in the GOP primaries say they are angry with government, and an equal share say they are dissatisfied with it. Trump captured a plurality of votes among those angry with government and a smaller, but still sizeable, share of votes among those who are dissatisfied with how government is working.
But there remain important divides among the GOP electorate over how to bring about change. About half of those going to the polls Tuesday want the next president to come from outside the political establishment. Trump won the lion’s share of support among this group. But the roughly four in 10 GOP voters looking for a president with political experience have not coalesced around a single candidate. For example, in Virginia, Sen. Marco Rubio ran a close second to Trump, drawing support among voters looking for a candidate with experience in politics. In Vermont, Ohio Gov. John Kasich ran a close second to Trump. And in Oklahoma, where Sen. Ted Cruz pulled out a win, he and Rubio split the vote among those looking for a president with political experience.