Michigan: exit polls say Democratic voters make up 10% of turnout


So-called “mischief voters,” or Democrats voting in today’s GOP primary in order to hurt Mitt Romney, did turn out today, according to early exit polls CNN is citing on its website. About ten percent of Michiganders voting today are Democrats, some of whom say they are supporting Santorum strategically.

Appearing during CNN's election coverage tonight, presenter John King said exit polls indicated 5 percent of Michigan voters polled said they were Democrats voting for Santorum.

In a close race with low turnout, such efforts could affect the outcome. Results are due to be announced at 9 pm eastern time. Numbers cited by CNN contributor Ari Fleischer indicate such voting is up from 7 percent in 2008 but down from 17 percent in 2000.

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Though Rick Santorum has been criticized for encouraging strategic voting by his own adversaries, he has defended the practice today, according to USA Today, even though CNN says he once opposed it.

According to CBS News, other exit poll results indicate that four in ten voters today supported the US government bailout of the auto industry even though all the Republican candidates opposed it.

Santorum’s supporters in Michigan appear less enthusiastic, with only 39 percent of them strongly supporting him, a figure that rises to 53 percent for Romney, according to CBS.

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Thirty-three percent of voters polled in Michigan said the ability to beat President Barack Obama in November was the most important trait in a candidate, while 23 percent chose a strong character, 22 percent experience and 15 percent said true conservatism were most important.

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