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Exit poll: Whites, older voters help Trump win Georgia

Georgia breaks all-time voting record

Joanna Walters wears an American flag shirt as she votes during Georgia's presidential primary election. (AP photo by Andrew Harnik)
Joanna Walters wears an American flag shirt as she votes during Georgia's presidential primary election. (AP photo by Andrew Harnik) (AP photo by Andrew Harnik)

ATLANTA – President-elect Donald Trump carried Georgia's 16 Electoral College votes with strong backing from white voters and older voters, and most of those favoring the Republican over Democrat Hillary Clinton said their biggest wish in a president is the ability to bring about change, data from exit polling showed Tuesday.

Secretary of State Brian Kemp announced early Wednesday morning that Georgia set an all-time record in number of votes cast. With over 4 million votes counted, Georgia surpassed the 2008 record of 3.9 million votes. 

Here's a look at some voters' views on the election, according to the results of exit polling conducted in Georgia for The Associated Press and the television networks:

What do voters want in a president?

Making change happen was foremost on voters' minds, far outweighing experience, good judgment and a president who "cares." Four in 10 voters in Georgia said the ability to bring about needed change was the top quality they sought. Of that group, more than 8 in 10 cast ballots for Trump.

For the roughly 2 in 10 who said the most important quality was the right experience, nine in 10 sided with Clinton, but in the end, voters dashed her efforts to persuade Georgia to go for a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time in more than two decades.

Who voted for who?

Of the 6 in 10 voters who said they were white, three-quarters voted for Trump. Of the third of voters identifying as black, 9 in 10 cast ballots for Clinton. Youth heavily favored Clinton, with more than 6 in 10 of the 18-to-29 year olds voting for the Democrat. But that was countered by older voting groups that sought out Trump, including nearly 7 in 10 voters 65 and older in the Republican's camp.

Among college graduates, about half voted for Clinton, while about half of those who said they had no college degree went for Trump.

What issues mattered?

More than five in 10 voters - split almost evenly between Clinton and Trump supporters - said the economy was the most pressing issue confronting the nation. Terrorism, immigration and foreign policy took a backseat in many voters' minds. But of those who said immigration was the key issue, three quarters voted for Trump. As for those who identified foreign policy as the key issue, more than 6 in 10 cast ballots for Clinton. Those who saw terrorism as the biggest worry roughly split between the two top contenders.

Is the federal government working?

About two-thirds of Georgia voters said they had a 'negative' view when asked their feelings about whether the federal government is working. Of those who said they were down on the federal government, 6 in 10 voted for Trump.

U.S. Senate race

Incumbent Sen. Johnny Isakson, a Republican, defeated Democrat Jim Barksdale and Libertarian Allen Buckley in his re-election bid. Preliminary results showed Isakson captured roughly 7 in 10 of the white voters casting ballots while about 7 in 10 of non-white voters sided with Barksdale with the Libertarian far behind.

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The survey of 2,767 voters was conducted for AP and the television networks by Edison Research. This includes results from interviews conducted as voters left a random sample of 35 precincts statewide Tuesday, as well as 669 voters who voted early or absentee and were interviewed by landline or cellular telephone from Oct. 28 through Nov. 4. Results for the full sample were subject to sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points; it is higher for subgroups.