The Associated Press is reporting Arizona Senator John McCain is the projected winner of the Florida primary. Among the highlights of the exit polling:
Here are some highlights of preliminary data from exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and television networks in the Florida presidential primary Tuesday.
Florida Republicans split based on ideology, with McCain winning 4 in 10 moderates and Romney winning 4 in 10 conservatives. McCain won among independents but couldn't beat Romney among Republicans.
About one in five Republicans cited illegal immigration as the biggest problem facing the country, and they voted strongly for Romney. The mostly non-Hispanic, white electorate favored deporting illegal immigrants to their country of origin by a 4-to-10 margin. McCain, who co-sponsored a failed bipartisan immigration bill that was criticized by many Republicans as too lenient, was supported by half of Hispanic voters.
Republicans divided on the abortion issue, with 6 in 10 anti-abortion Republicans supporting Romney and Huckabee, and about the same proportion of abortion-rights Republicans supporting McCain and Giuliani.
About one-third of Republicans in Florida said they had negative feelings about the Bush administration, including almost 1 in 10 who said they were angry at Bush. McCain won among Republicans who look negatively at the Bush years, and Romney wins among the majority of Republicans who look fondly upon the Bush administration.
Given four choices, nearly half of Florida Republican primary voters said the economy is the most important issue facing the country. Terrorism, Iraq and immigration each were picked by fewer than two in 10. McCain and Romney split the votes of Republican voters most concerned about the economy, with each getting more than one-third of their support.
Senior citizens were the largest age group voting in the Republican primary, and they supported McCain over Romney by almost a 10-point margin. McCain is 71, and his 95-year-old mother has joined him on the campaign trail.