The early numbers held steady for Bush when the Voter News Service released its second wave of exit-poll numbers at 4 p.m. ET.
George W. Bush: 52 percent
John McCain: 42 percent
Bush demolished McCain among Republican respondents to the exit poll, 68 percent to 26 percent. Among independents, those numbers were reversed, with Bush winning 34 percent and McCain taking 61 percent. But because independents made up only 30 percent of the voters, and Republicans 61 percent, Bush took a cushy lead.
Only 9 percent of the exit-poll subjects claimed to be Democrats: 16 percent of them voted for Bush and 82 percent for McCain.
For the day’s first exit-poll results, click here.
For an explanation of why I’m publishing the VNS exit-poll data before the polls close, click here.