WASHINGTON — Donald Trump can thank male voters for running up the score in his big victory in the Indiana Republican primary.
The billionaire won the support of Republican men by a more than 25-point margin over Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who dropped out of the presidential race after his defeat Tuesday night.
On the Democratic side, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders beat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by also drawing support from men and younger voters, according to early findings from exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and television networks by Edison Research.
The exit polls also show that Democrats say they’re energized and optimistic about their party’s nomination process, while Republicans say they’re worried their party is being torn apart.
Indiana voters also overwhelmingly expressed concern about the state of the U.S. economy. And most say they don’t see much of a fairness issue in the GOP nomination process or much of a difference in the political tactics employed so far by candidates in the presidential race.
Other highlights from the exit polls:
TRUMP’S BIG WIN
Trump’s outsider appeal helped fuel his Indiana victory. Six in 10 Indiana Republicans said they want the next president to be a political outsider, and those voters overwhelmingly supported Trump.
Trump also was supported by most GOP voters who say they’re angry about the way the federal government is working.
Trump won nearly 6 in 10 voters over 45 and a similar percentage of those without a college degree.
Just over half of self-identified Republicans and independents voted for Trump, as did 6 in 10 Democrats voting in the Republican primary, who made up about 5 percent of GOP primary voters.
Trump’s margin of victory was in the single digits among women and more educated voters.
Most men supported Sanders, while women were about equally divided between him and Clinton. Two-thirds of voters under 45 voted for Sanders, while 6 in 10 of those 45 and over voted for Clinton.
Three-quarters of black voters supported Clinton, but they were far outnumbered by white voters, nearly 6 in 10 of whom supported Sanders. Nearly two-thirds of white voters without a college degree supported Sanders.
A majority of self-described Democrats supported Clinton, but 7 in 10 self-described independents supported Sanders. Six in 10 of those who said they are very liberal supported Sanders, while Clinton was supported by moderates.
Among Sanders voters, nearly half said they think he will win the nomination. Nearly all Clinton voters think she will. Still, voters consider Sanders more inspirational and honest, but they see Clinton as more realistic and electable.
DEMS OPTIMISTIC, GOP DIVIDED
More than 7 in 10 Democrats in the state say they’ve been energized by the nomination contest between Clinton and Sanders.
But nearly 6 in 10 Republicans say they think their party has been divided by the battle being fought by Trump, Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
In fact, half of those who voted for Cruz or Kasich on Tuesday night said they would not vote for Trump in the general election. Half of non-Trump voters would be scared and another third would be concerned about Trump being president.
About 7 in 10 Democrats say they would be excited or at least optimistic about either a Clinton or Sanders presidency. More than 4 in 10 Indiana GOP voters are concerned or scared about the remaining Republican candidates becoming president.
Still, most GOP primary voters say they would probably support Trump, Cruz or Kasich in November.
CIVILITY AND FAIRNESS
Trump and Sanders have both criticized their parties’ nomination processes and gone after their opponents for what they call unfair tactics. But Indiana voters on both sides don’t see much of a fairness issue in the presidential race.
Most Democratic primary voters don’t see either Clinton or Sanders as having attacked the other unfairly — about a quarter say Clinton has and 2 in 10 say Sanders has, exit polls show.
Republican primary voters were more likely to say Cruz ran the most unfair campaign. Just over 4 in 10 say that of Cruz, and just over a third say that about Trump.
When it comes to the Republican nomination process, only a third of GOP voters say it’s been unfair. But half of them feel betrayed by their own party leaders.
Voters from both parties say the economy was weighing heavily on their minds as they headed to the polls.
More than 9 in 10 Republican primary voters and more than 8 in 10 Democratic primary voters are either very or somewhat worried about the economy.
Asked about some specific economic issues, more than 6 in 10 Democratic primary voters say Wall Street mostly hurts the economy. They’re slightly more likely to say trade with other countries hurts the American economy than that it helps.
Six in 10 of those saying Wall Street hurts the economy voted for Sanders, as did 6 in 10 of those who are very worried about the economy.