Exit polls: Wisconsin primary voters say trade leads to job loss

Story highlights

  • More than half of voters in the Republican contest said trade with other countries cost the country jobs.
  • According to exit polls for the Democratic contest, more than 8 in 10 voters were white

Washington (CNN)Republican voters who went to the polls in Wisconsin Tuesday saw trade with other countries as a drain, but Democratic voters were equally split between those who said it created jobs and those who said it cost jobs, according to exit poll results.

More than half of voters in the Republican contest (54%) said trade with other countries cost the U.S. jobs, but 42% of Democratic voters said it takes away jobs and 41% said it creates jobs.
    In the Democratic contest, 83% of voters were white -- about the same as in 2008 -- and Democrats made up 70% of the voters, while independents made up 27%.
    On the Republican side, 65% of voters identified as Republican and 28% said they were independent. And 34% of Republicans said they made up their mind in the last week, while 65% said they decided before that.
    Republican voters in Wisconsin were less conservative than in other states -- just 31% said they were "very conservative," and about four in 10 were white evangelical Christians.
    Ted Cruz beat Donald Trump with three key groups Tuesday, according to the exit polls: Republicans, voters dissatisfied with the government and voters looking for someone with experience. But Trump beat Cruz among voters who said they were not just dissatisfied, but "angry" at the federal government.
    Cruz won 52% of the roughly one-half of voters who said they were looking for the U.S. to take a more active role in the world, but Trump won 45% of voters who said they wanted the U.S. to be less active across the globe.
    On the Democratic side, 52% of voters say the next president should generally continue President Barack Obama's policies, 34% said the next president should be more liberal, and the economy tops the list of top issues.
    Almost six in 10 Democrats (59%) said they thought Bernie Sanders was "more inspiring about the country's future" than Hillary Clinton. But Clinton was judged better positioned to beat Trump in a hypothetical matchup than Sanders by 54% of voters.
    Sanders and Clinton split the support of women in Wisconsin with 49% each, according to the exit polls, but Sanders won men by 25 percentage points. A little more than half of voters (51%) said he would make the best commander-in-chief and won 60% of voters who said that trade costs U.S. jobs.
    Sanders won the support of 83% of voters who said they were looking for an "honest" candidate, but Clinton won 86% of voters who said they wanted a candidate the "right experience."
    Republican voters were about as concerned about government spending as the economy, with terrorism also a top issue for 30% of voters -- but just 6% of voters called immigration a top concern, less than in most other states where exit polls were conducted this year.
    Considering candidate attributes, 33% of Democrats say honesty is their top priority, 27% cited experience and 30% cited empathy. But just 9% were primarily concerned with electability. For Republicans, shared values and ability to bring change battled for the top slot, while 11% were concerned about electability.
    The exit polls were conducted at 35 polling places around the state, including 1,012 interviews with Republican primary voters and 1,188 interviews with Democratic voters. Results for both parties have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.