NY Dems energized by nomination contest, GOP divided




WASHINGTON (AP) — As New York voters headed to the polls Tuesday, Democrats were more likely than Republicans to say they have been energized by the primary battles within their parties.

Two-thirds of Democratic voters say the contest between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has energized the party. But GOP voters hold the opposite view, saying their party has been divided by the sparring among front-runner Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

According to early results of exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and television networks by Edison Research, a majority of GOP voters say the candidate with the most votes going into the convention should be the party's presidential nominee. And many voters from both parties say they're concerned about the economy and Wall Street.

Voters also weighed in on how they feel about immigration and a proposed temporary ban on Muslims entering the country.

Other exit poll highlights:

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ENERGIZING OR DIVISIVE?

Nearly 6 in 10 New York Republican voters say their party has been divided by the nomination process, while only 3 in 10 Democratic voters say the same about their party's primaries. Only 4 in 10 GOP voters say they've been energized, exit polls show.

In the Democratic primary, about 7 in 10 supporters of each candidate said that they would definitely or probably vote for the other candidate if he or she became the party's nominee. Voters are about evenly split on whether Clinton or Sanders is more inspiring.

Seven in 10 Republican voters said they cast their vote because they like their candidate, while just 3 in 10 said they voted for a candidate because they didn't like their other options.

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LET THE VOTERS DECIDE

Seven in 10 GOP voters say the candidate with the most votes in primary contests should be the Republican presidential nominee. Conversely, just a quarter of voters say the delegates sent to the convention in Cleveland should decide.

So far, Trump is likely to go into the convention with the delegate lead over Cruz and Kasich. But the billionaire may not have enough delegates to win the nomination outright.

For Democrats, about 7 in 10 voters think the party's nominee will eventually be Clinton.

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WALL STREET AND THE ECONOMY

New Yorkers — Democrats and Republicans alike — are concerned about the economy. And many in both parties are worried about the influence of Wall Street.

Large majorities of voters in either primary said they are concerned about the direction of the national economy, and voters on both sides were most likely choose it as the top issue facing the country, exit polls show.

About 6 in 10 Democrats regard Wall Street as detrimental to the U.S. economy, while 3 in 10 say the New York City financial sector helps. GOP voters were nearly even on the question.

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IMMIGRATION AND BORDER BANS

Six in 10 New York Republicans say they prefer giving people in the country illegally the opportunity to apply for legal status. Only a third of New York GOP voters say they would rather see them deported.

At the same time, though, 6 in 10 Republican voters support temporarily banning Muslims from entering the country.

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The exit poll was conducted by Edison Research for The Associated Press and the television networks. Interviews were conducted with 974 Democratic voters and 356 Republican voters at 35 precincts throughout New York State. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points for Democrats and 7 points for Republicans. Polls opened at 6 a.m. in some areas while they opened at noon in others, and results in all areas include those voting through the mid-afternoon.

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Follow on Twitter: Chad Day at https://twitter.com/chadsday and Emily Swanson at http://twitter.com/EL_Swan

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