The first exit poll of Election Day 2016 emerged just after noon from Morning Consult/Politico, which reports that twice as many voters in 2016 versus 2012 (36 percent versus 18 percent) said that a “strong leader” was the most important factor in choosing a president.
From the Morning Consult website:
Voters heading to the polls Tuesday are twice as likely to say they want a president who is a “strong leader” than in 2012, according to Morning Consult/POLITICO exit data.
More than one-third (36 percent) of 2016 voters said being a strong leader was the most important quality when picking a president, compared with 18 percent of voters who said the same during 2012 election. It’s an opinion held regardless of partisan leanings: 35 percent of Democrats, 34 percent of independents and 39 percent of Republicans said that was most important.
After being a strong leader, voters said having a vision for the future, at 29 percent, was most important. Sixteen percent picked having a candidate share their values and care about people like them, respectively.
Democrats were more likely than Republicans to place more value in whether the candidate cares about them (20 percent to 12 percent), while GOP voters said it was more important that the candidate shares their values (19 percent to 14 percent).
Morning Consult, which was founded in 2013, is considered the “breakout” polling company of the 2016 election.