By TAMMY WEBBER, Associated Press
CHICAGO (AP) — Health care and President Trump's policies were important issues among Indiana residents in the midterm election, according to a wide-ranging survey of the American electorate that found they're divided over the state of the nation.
As voters cast ballots for U.S. Senate and members of Congress in Tuesday's elections, AP VoteCast found that Indiana voters were split on whether the country is on the right track, with about half saying the country is headed in the wrong direction.
Here's a snapshot of who voted and why in Indiana, based on preliminary results from AP VoteCast, an innovative nationwide survey of about 135,000 voters and nonvoters — including 3,776 voters and 720 nonvoters in the state of Indiana — conducted for The Associated Press by NORC at the University of Chicago.
Top Issue: Health Care
Health care was at the forefront of Indiana voters' minds, with more than one-fourth naming it as the most important issue facing the nation in this year's midterm elections — including 30-year-old Cordell Chaney, who works at a Fort Wayne wire and cable products manufacturer. The father of four, with a fifth on the way, worries that Republicans will get rid of the Affordable Care Act if they remain in control of Congress.
"It really upsets me," said Chaney, a member of the steelworkers' union who said affordable health care that covers pre-existing conditions is critical. "Decent health insurance should be a right."
More than one-fifth of voters considered immigration to be the top issue, while another one-fifth said it was the economy.
State of the Economy
Indiana voters have a positive view of the nation's current economic outlook — seven in 10 said the nation's economy is good.
Forty-three-year-old steelworker Randy Graham said he has mixed feelings: He supports President Donald Trump's move to impose tariffs on some foreign steel and aluminum, but not some of the president's other steps, which he considers anti-labor.
"The tariffs have been great, they've helped stabilize the steel market, but he's done other things that have undermined organized labor as well," Graham said.
Chaney, the Fort Wayne worker, said Trump was a factor in his vote because, "I don't think that he's a leader" and he's worried about the president's tone.
"I believe that the president has taken us back. We're not progressing, With the racial things he says, especially with immigration ... I believe it's hate," said Chaney, who's biracial.
Two-thirds of Indiana voters said Trump was a reason for their vote; the other third said Trump was not a factor they considered while casting their vote.
Control of Congress
Tuesday's elections will determine control of Congress in the final two years of Trump's first term in office, and about 7 in 10 Indiana voters said which party will hold control was very important as they considered their vote. Another 2 in 10 said it was somewhat important.
Mark Allan, a 50-year-old truck driver from Indianapolis, said he likes how Trump is leading the country, particularly when it comes to immigration and foreign policy, and wanted to cast a ballot for someone who will vote for the president's priorities.
"We need to keep the Senate Republican to support the agenda of Donald Trump," he said.
AP VoteCast is a survey of the American electorate in all 50 states conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago for The Associated Press and Fox News. The survey of 3,776 voters and 720 nonvoters in Indiana was conducted Oct. 29 to Nov. 6, concluding as polls close on Election Day. It combines interviews in English or Spanish with a random sample of registered voters drawn from state voter files and self-identified registered voters selected from opt-in online panels. Participants in the probability-based portion of the survey were contacted by phone and mail and had the opportunity to take the survey by phone or online. The margin of sampling error for voters is estimated to be plus or minus 2.2 percentage points. All surveys are subject to multiple sources of error, including from sampling, question wording and order, and nonresponse. Find more details about AP VoteCast's methodology at http://www.ap.org/votecast.
Associated Press National Writer Sharon Cohen contributed from Fort Wayne, Indiana, and reporter Brian Slodysko contributed from Indianapolis.