DES MOINES —
More than half of Iowa voters said the economy is the top issue facing the country, according to preliminary results from exit polling for The Associated Press. The deficit was the top issue for almost one-fifth of voters, the second-biggest group. Their other choices were foreign policy and health care.
Chris Barker, 25, a coffee shop manager from Des Moines said he supported Obama in 2008 and had no reason to switch to Romney.
"The only thing that he actually believes in is he's good enough to be president," Barker said of Romney. "Other than that there's not actually a core thing that Mitt Romney believes in, except that he needs to win, no matter what he has to say or do."
Des Moines real estate appraiser Brett Blanchfield, 37, said he voted for Mitt Romney largely because he thought the Republican will boost the economy.
"My company is based on economic productivity," Blanchfield said. "I've seen a massive slowdown."
In Williamsburg, an eastern Iowa town of about 3,100, Sarah Giles, 89, got emotional as she explained why she picked Romney.
"When he says he's going to make America wonderful again, he's speaking my lingo. My love for this country goes deeper than anything," she said, recalling that her brother died at Iwo Jima during World War II.
Justin Green, 26, of Des Moines, voted for Obama for a second time because of his support for investment in science and education.
"There were things I was unhappy with," said Green, a law student at Drake University. "But when it all comes down to it there were a whole lot of other things I was still proud of him working on and at least attempting to reach across the aisle on at the beginning of his term."