EXIT POLLS: Economy Looms Over Obama-McCain Presidential Race

Polls Closing at 9 p.m. ET:
Colorado, Minnesota, New Mexico, Wisconsin

Polls Closing at 10 p.m. ET:
Iowa, Nevada

Polls Closing at 7 p.m. ET

Virginia
  Neither candidate has pulled many punches in this bruising campaign, particularly not in battlegrounds like Virginia.

But more voters said John McCain's attacks seemed more unfair. Almost three quarters of voters, according to preliminary exit poll data, say McCain unfairly attacked Barack Obama while half said Obama unfairly attacked McCain.

The campaigns also covered a lot of ground in the Old Dominion. More than half of voters were personally contacted by an Obama campaign worker while a third were contacted by the McCain campaign. A quarter of voters were contacted by both.

And in keeping with pre-election polls throughout the country, economic troubles dominated voters' minds as they voted today.

In Virginia, six in 10 said the economy was their top voting issue, followed far behind by Iraq and terrorism, the major concern of just one in 10 voters.

This election also has proved exciting enough to draw new voters into the process. First time voters made up about a tenth of the electorate.

The 'Real' Virginia: The Obama campaign seized on a John McCain operative's dismissal of the area near the nation's capital in the north of the state as somehow removed from "the real Virginia" -- the more conservative areas in other parts of the state. How deeply these divisions play out will be telling.

Voter Contact: The campaigns also covered a lot of ground in the Old Dominion. More than half of voters were personally contacted by an Obama campaign worker while a third were contacted by the McCain campaign. A quarter of voters were contacted by both.

Economy: And in keeping with pre-election polls throughout the country, economic troubles dominated voters' minds as they voted today. In Virginia, six in 10 said the economy was their top voting issue, followed far behind by Iraq and terrorism, the major concern of just one in 10 voters.

Indiana
  In the past a reliably Republican state, pre-election polls this fall showed John McCain in a tough fight here. This is in part the result of a competitive Democratic primary in the state which energized the party.

But Democrats made a real effort in Indiana this year, with four in 10 voters saying they were contacted by Barack Obama's campaign compared with one in five contacted by McCain.

Indiana is just one of the hotly contested states in this election that form the industrial backbone of the nation, but it's the first of these rust belt states to finish voting tonight. Nine in ten Hoosiers give the current economy bad ratings, and just as many worry about direction of economy over next year.

Economy: Indiana is just one of the hotly contested states in this election that form the industrial backbone of the nation, but it's the first of these rust belt states to finish voting tonight. Nine in ten Hoosiers give the current economy bad ratings, and just as many worry about direction of economy over next year.

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