By Jack Elliott Jr.
Associated Press Writer
JACKSON, MS (AP) - The economy was on the minds of Mississippi voters as they went to the polls Tuesday to cast ballots for president. Neither Republican John McCain nor Democrat Barack Obama had a clear advantage among Mississippians worried about the economy, according to an Associated Press exit poll.
Eight in 10 voters said they were worried about the direction of the nation's economy in the next year. Asked to rank what issues were the most important facing the country, more than half of the voters said the economy.
Following at a distant second was the war in Iraq. Even then, neither McCain or Obama had a clear advantage among voters.
McCain enjoyed strong support from typical Republican groups - conservatives and white evangelicals or born-again Christians. An overwhelming majority of black voters supported Obama, who also had support from voters who saw themselves as liberal. Voters describing themselves as moderates and independents split their votes between the two.
Two-thirds of Obama's voters were women while roughly half of McCain's supporters were women. About two-thirds of voters disapproved of President Bush's job performance, with a majority of those voters saying they supported Obama. McCain got support from about eight of 10 voters who approved of Bush's work.
The candidates generally split support among voters based on family income, education levels and rural and urban geographic regions.
The survey of 1,013 Mississippi voters was conducted for AP by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International. Most were interviewed in a random sample of 20 precincts statewide on Tuesday. Results for the full sample were subject to sampling error of plus or minus 5 percentage points, higher for subgroups.
Methodology details: http://surveys.ap.org/exitpolls/