Entrance polls: Iowa GOP unhappy with federal government

WASHINGTON (AP) — Iowa Republican caucus-goers are deeply unhappy with how the federal government is working, and half wanted a political outsider as the party's nominee for president, according to entrance poll interviews of those arriving at caucus sites.

Democratic caucus-goers said the economy is the top issue facing the country, followed by health care and income inequality, according to the survey conducted by Edison Research for The Associated Press and television networks.

Here is a closer look at the attitudes of the electorate:



Four in 10 Republicans said they are angry and half say they're dissatisfied with the federal government. Angry caucus-goers were split between billionaire real estate developer Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz as their top candidate.

Trump's attempt to portray himself as a political outsider who would shake up the status quo appeared to resonate with Iowa Republicans. Of the 5 in 10 who said they wanted a candidate from outside the political establishment, Trump was supported by nearly half. Rubio edged out Cruz as the top choice of those who said they want someone with political experience.

Trump and Cruz both have been trying to tap into voter discontent on the campaign trail.



Government spending was the top issue for just over 3 in 10 Republicans, followed closely by the economy and terrorism. Just over 1 in 10 said they cared most about immigration.

A third of Democratic caucus-goers said the economy is the top issue facing the nation, slightly more than said health care or income inequality. Less than one in 10 say terrorism is the top issue.

More than half of Democratic caucus-goers want a candidate who will continue President Barack Obama's policies.



The Democratic race between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was tight, according to the caucus-goers.

More than 8 in 10 caucus-goers under 30 came to support Sanders, as did 6 in 10 of those between 30 and 44. But nearly 6 in 10 caucus-goers between 45 and 64 and 7 in 10 of those 65 and over came to support Clinton.

Caucus attendees who identify as Democrats were more likely to come to support Clinton, while 7 in 10 independents favored Sanders.

Clinton was favored by moderates and Sanders by those who said they are very liberal, while those who were somewhat liberal were split between the two.

The Republican race appeared headed for a three-way contest between Trump, Cruz and Rubio. Cruz was the top choice among very conservative caucus-goers, while Trump was the top choice of moderates. Those who said they were somewhat conservative split between Rubio and Trump, followed by Cruz.



Over 4 in 10 Democrats say they're first-time caucus attendees, about the same proportion who said so in 2008. Six in 10 of first-timers favored Sanders and about one-third favored Clinton.

Similarly, more than 4 in 10 GOP caucus-goers say they have not attended a caucus previously. Three in 10 first-timers favored Trump, while 2 in 10 supported Rubio and Cruz.


The survey was conducted for AP and the television networks by Edison Research as voters arrived at 40 randomly selected sites for Democratic and Republican caucuses in Iowa. The survey includes preliminary results from interviews with 1,401 Democratic caucus-goers and 1,771 Republican caucus-goers. The survey had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points for both Democrats and Republicans, with higher margins of error for subgroups.