Democrat Barack Obama carried New York on Tuesday by running strongly among voters of every race and age and benefiting from strong fears about the economy.
While winning over nearly all black voters in the state, the first black presidential candidate to be nominated by either major party also led among white voters, according to preliminary results from exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and television networks.
Voters expressed deep misgivings about Republican John McCain's choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate. Asked if Palin was qualified to be president, about a quarter of voters said she was. About three times that said Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, Obama's running mate, was qualified to be president.
Clear majorities of New Yorkers in every age group and income level voted for Obama.
White college graduates voted heavily for Obama, but a majority of white non-college graduates supported McCain.
New York City voters backed Obama in overwhelming numbers, and he won clear majorities in the suburbs and upstate urban areas. Rural upstate voters were about evenly split between Obama and McCain.
One in three voters identified themselves as liberals, and almost all of them voted for Obama. Obama also picked up the votes of about seven in 10 moderates and one-fifth of conservatives.
New Yorkers overwhelmingly disapproved of the way President Bush handled his job, and a majority of voters felt that if McCain were elected he would continue Bush's policies.
Asked how things are going in the country today, most voters said they are going seriously off track.
Fears about the economy weighed heavily. Half of voters said they were very worried the current economic crisis would harm their family's finances over the next year and another third said they were somewhat worried.
Most voters expressed disapproval of the U.S. war in Iraq.
The exit poll of 1,594 New York voters was conducted for the AP by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International in a random sample of 30 precincts statewide. Results were subject to sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points, higher for subgroups.