Exit poll: Financial worries turn voters to GOP

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Exit poll: Financial worries turn voters to GOP
LOUISVILLE, KY - NOVEMBER 4: U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) celebrates with his wife Elaine Chao at his election night event November 4, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky. McConnell defeated Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
LEXINGTON, KY - NOVEMBER 04: Democratic Senate candidate and Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes (D-KY) speaks to supporters following her defeat to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) November 4, 2014 in Lexington, Kentucky. McConnell's victory will leave him as the likely Senate Majority Leader in a potential new Republican majority of the U.S. Senate. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
LOUISVILLE, KY - NOVEMBER 4: U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) celebrates with his wife Elaine Chao at his election night event November 4, 2014 in Louisville, Kentucky. McConnell defeated Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes. (Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 4: Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue talks with members of the media during a gathering for his son and Republican U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue at the the InterContinental Buckhead on November 4, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. Perdue is running in a tight race against Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn. (Photo by Jason Getz/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 4: Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue greets members of his family during a gathering for his son and Republican U.S. Senate candidate David Perdue at the the InterContinental Buckhead on November 4, 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. Perdue is running in a tight race against Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Michelle Nunn. (Photo by Jason Getz/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 04: U.S. Rep. Diana DeGette meets with the reporters before the start of the Democratic election event. Democrat Party election night at the Westin November 4, 2014 in Denver. (Photo by Kathryn Scott Osler/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
BROOKLYN, IA - NOVEMBER 4: Democratic Senate Candidate Bruce Braley's mother Marcia Braley (L) casts her ballot at the Community Center November 4, 2014 in Braley's hometown of Brooklyn, Iowa. Braley is in a tight race against Republican Senate Candidate Joni Ernst. (Photo by Steve Pope/Getty Images)
Former Georgia Senator Sam Nunn, right, talks with a supporter as he arrives an election-night party for his daughter, Georgia Democratic Senate candidate Michelle Nunn, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., joined by his wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, celebrates with his supporters at an election night party in Louisville, Ky.,Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014. McConnell won a sixth term in Washington, with his eyes on the larger prize of GOP control of the Senate. The Kentucky Senate race, with McConnell, a 30-year incumbent, fighting off a spirited challenge from Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, has been among the most combative and closely watched contests that could determine the balance of power in Congress. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., joined by his wife, former Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, celebrates with his supporters at an election night party in Louisville, Ky.,Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014. McConnell won a sixth term in Washington, with his eyes on the larger prize of GOP control of the Senate. The Kentucky Senate race, with McConnell, a 30-year incumbent, fighting off a spirited challenge from Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, has been among the most combative and closely watched contests that could determine the balance of power in Congress. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., holds a sign he said was given him by his father former Sen. David Pryor at a rally for campaign volunteers and workers in Little Rock, Ark., Monday, Nov. 3, 2014. Pryor is being challenged by Republican Congressman Tom Cotton. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., speaks during a political rally in Little Rock, Ark., Monday, Nov. 3, 2014. Pryor is being challenged by Republican Congressman Tom Cotton. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., right, is interviewed as his wife Anna watches in Conway, Ark., Monday, Oct. 27, 2014. Cotton is challenging U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., in the Nov. 4, election. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, answers a question during a televised debate at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Ark., Monday, Oct. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., is interviewed at a Real Clear Politics event in Little Rock, Ark., Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
Republican candidate for U.S. Senate U.S. Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., left, greets Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor, far right, as Green Party candidate Mark Swaney walks past after a televised debate at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Ark., Monday, Oct. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston)
New Hampshire Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown, and his wife Gail Huff greet volunteers on election day from the Republican field office, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in Dover, N.H. Brown is trying to unseat incumbent U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
New Hampshire Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown gives a thumbs up as he calls voters on election day from the Republican field office, Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014, in Dover, N.H. Brown is trying to unseat incumbent U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
North Carolina Republican Senate candidate, North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis, right, greets a voter at a polling place in Charlotte, N.C., Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014. Tillis is running against democratic Sen. Kay Hagan. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Republican Senate candidate and North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis talks to a voter while making calls from his campaign office in Cornelius, N.C., Monday, Nov. 3, 2014. Tillis is running against Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, left, and Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC), right, celebrate with supporters during a campaign rally in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014. Hagan is running for re-election against Republican candidate and North Carolina Speaker of the House Thom Tillis. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-Maine, left, answers a question during a live televised debate with her Republican opponent, former Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, N.H. on Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Former Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire waves with his wife Gail Huff as they board a bus at his campaign headquarters in Manchester, N.H. Friday Oct. 31, 2014 before starting a state wide bus tour. Brown is trying to unseat U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., left, and former Massachusetts Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown are seen Thursday Oct. 23, 2014 before a live televised U.S. Senate debate hosted by NH1 News on WBIN TV in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
KANSAS CITY, KS October 31: Kansas U.S. Sen. Pat Roberts shares a laugh at the 'Vote the Kansas way bus tour' campaign rally at the Kansas speedway on October 31, 2014 in Kansas City Kansas (Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post via Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Republicans took control of Congress with a big push from voters who feel they've been left behind in the nation's gradual economic recovery, exit polls show. Although they turned against President Barack Obama and Democrats, gloomy voters also expressed scant confidence in Republican leaders.

Almost half say their own family's financial situation hasn't improved much over the past two years, and a fourth say it's gotten worse. Those who said their finances were worse supported Republican congressional candidates by more than a 2-1 margin.

Six in 10 voters said they were dissatisfied or angry with the Obama administration, but about the same number felt that way about Republican leaders in Congress.

"We have a dysfunctional Congress, period," said Allen McClure of Statesboro, Georgia, a Republican who voted for the GOP's David Perdue for Senate.

Fifty-five percent of voters disapproved of the way Obama is handling his job, and 8 in 10 disapproved of Congress.

In Concord, New Hampshire, Julie Votaw said she chose a straight Republican ticket to protest a lack of leadership from the White House.

"I want to send a statement to the Obama administration that I'm very upset," the 50-year-old homemaker said, adding, "I just feel like no one is in control."

What was on voters' minds:

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IT'S THE ECONOMY, STILL

The economy remains the big issue for 45 percent of voters, who rank it ahead of health care, immigration or foreign policy. And economic worries played to Republicans' advantage, according to the surveys of voters as they left polling places.

Despite the stock market's recovery and improvements in hiring, most say the U.S. economy is stagnating or even getting worse these days.

The third who say the economy is improving strongly backed Democrats.

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ISSUES CUT BOTH WAYS

Exit poll results show just over half of voters think the government is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals, a Republican mantra.

But on some other issues, most voters took positions that align more with the Democratic Party.

A majority favor offering immigrants who are in the country illegally a way to stay. A little more than half think abortion ought to be legal in most cases, and most of the voters consider climate change a serious problem.

Nearly two-thirds think the U.S. economic system favors the wealthy, a common theme among Democratic candidates.

Health care complaints came from both sides. People who said health care is their top issue were about as likely to say Obama's overhaul didn't go far enough as to say it went too far. Overall, those people tended to vote Democratic.

People who said either immigration or foreign policy was their top issue tended to vote Republican.

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WHO VOTED HOW

Democrats lost some of the female support that helped re-elect Obama and Senate Democrats in 2012.

Still, more women supported Democrats than in 2010.

As usual, men leaned Republican.

White voters favored Republicans by a 22-point margin. Two-thirds of Hispanics voted Democratic in House races, and black voters were overwhelmingly for the Democrats.

Republicans did better among married people, whether male or female, and rural residents.

Single women and city dwellers were especially Democratic.

Regular churchgoers favored Republicans, while those who never attend religious services overwhelmingly voted for Democrats.

Voters with incomes under $50,000 generally favored Democrats, while those who earn more tended to support Republicans.

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DISSATISFIED CUSTOMERS

About two-thirds feel the nation is seriously off on the wrong track - slightly more than thought that when Republicans won back control of the House in 2010. Seven in 10 of those people voted for Republican candidates.

Most voters leaving polling places said they don't have much trust in government. And they were twice as likely to think life will be worse for the next generation than better.

Anti-Obama feeling was a significant drag on Democrats: A third of voters said their congressional choice was partly a repudiation of Obama.

But Republicans still have a lot to prove to disgruntled Americans. More than a third of those who voted for a Republican House candidate were dissatisfied or even angry with GOP leaders in Congress. A quarter of Democratic voters were similarly upset with Obama.

Both political parties were viewed unfavorably by a majority of midterm voters.

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The survey of 19,436 voters nationwide was conducted for AP and the television networks by Edison Research. This includes results from interviews conducted as voters left a random sample of 281 precincts Tuesday, as well as 3,113 who voted early or absentee and were interviewed by landline or cellular telephone from Oct. 24 through Nov. 2. Results for the full sample were subject to sampling error of plus or minus 2 percentage points; it is higher for subgroups.

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