West Virginia Exit Poll Peek

The polls close at 7:30pm ET in West Virginia but we have our first peek at some of the exit polling results. Most voters made up their minds at some time before last week – a period which has been dominated by talk of Hillary Clinton's ability to continue in the race. Seventy eight percent of voters in the early CBS News exit polls said they had decided who they would be supporting before the past week.

As it has been throughout the primary season, the economy was once again the top issue on the minds of voters, with 64 percent saying so. Eighty eight percent said they had been directly affected by the economic slowdown and 63 percent said they were in favor of proposals to temporarily suspend the gas tax.

Change was the quality voters were looking for most in a candidate, with 48 percent saying so compared to 23 percent who said experience was. Just eight percent said the ability to win in November was the most important quality for them.

There are more signs of a split within the Democratic Party. Just 23 percent of Hillary Clinton voters in West Virginia said they would be satisfied if Barack Obama was the Democratic nominee while 75 percent said they would be dissatisfied – the highest number recorded in exit polls yet. In Indiana, 62 percent of Clinton voters said they would be dissatisfied with Obama as the nominee. Sixty one percent of Obama voters said they would be dissatisfied with Clinton as the nominee while 33 percent said they would be satisfied.

Looking ahead to the general election, 59 percent of Clinton voters say they would either vote for Republican John McCain or not vote at all if Obama is the Democratic nominee. Thirty six percent of Clinton voters said they would vote for Obama while 35 percent said they would vote for McCain and 24 percent said they would sit the election out. Fifty one percent of Obama's voters said they would support Clinton in the general election while 31 percent said they would support McCain and 14 percent would not vote.

Other indicators: Over half, 51 percent, of West Virginia voters said they think Obama shares the views of his former pastor, Jeremiah Wright. Sixty two percent said that Bill Clinton's campaigning in the state was an important factor in their vote. And 70 percent of Clinton voters said they think the race should continue.