January 8th, 2008
11:15 PM ET
1 year ago

Women, diehard Dems keys for Clinton comeback

MANCHESTER, New Hampshire (CNN) – Solid support from registered Democrats and
women were crucial Tuesday as Sen. Hillary Clinton reversed her third-place finish in last week's Iowa caucuses to take a narrow victory over rival Barack Obama in New Hampshire's presidential primary, results from exit polls suggest.

With 72 percent of precincts reporting, CNN projected Clinton the winner of the first-in-the-nation primary with 39 percent of the vote to Obama's 36.

Self-styled independents, who made up 43 percent of all voters polled, said they voted for Obama by a margin of 43 percent to 31 percent for Clinton.

But Clinton was ahead of Obama 45 percent to 34 percent among those who said they were registered Democrats. Those voters made up a majority - 54 percent - of all those respondents.

Clinton also claimed the majority of women's votes, according to the polling. That's in contrast to last week's Iowa caucuses, in which Obama surprised observers by stealing the female vote from Clinton.

According to the exit polls, Clinton had a sizable lead over Obama among women, 47 percent to 34 percent. Analysts say that shift was crucial to the Clinton turnaround.

"If I had a single word, the word would be 'women,' " said CNN political analyst Bill Schneider. "She got the women back."

College graduates, who made up 29 percent of the electorate, opted narrowly for Clinton - 38 percent to Obama's 37 percent, according to the polling.

Those polled who called themselves very liberal or moderate went with Clinton over Obama - although by less than two percentage points in each - and those who said they are somewhat liberal were evenly split.

Pundits also were citing the role of former President Bill Clinton in helping his wife recover from what pre-primary polls were suggesting was a deficit of 9 percentage points to Obama in New Hampshire.

The former president spent Tuesday in Hanover, home to Dartmouth College - where Obama had been expected to win handily.

"They dispatched him to the area that Obama was surging," said CNN analyst Donna Brazille, who managed former Vice-President Al Gore's campaign in 2000. "I think it had the effect of tamping down Obama support and giving Senator Clinton a real reason to come back in this race."

New Hampshire was considered crucial to Clinton's campaign. If Obama had been able to sweep Iowa and New Hampshire - after months of Clinton being considered the frontrunner among Democrats - it could have given him powerful momentum going into future primaries.


Filed under: New Hampshire
soundoff (79 Responses)
  1. Randal

    Yessssss...She is back. We love you Hillary. I respect Obama, but he needs to get some experience behind him. I would soooo love to see a Clinton/Obama ticket. That would be AWESOME for democrats!!!

    January 8, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  2. maxine waldon

    just listened to the democratic comments....& I use that term loosely. I haven't
    decided my vote yet. I am very confused when hearing their speeches. I like the "we concept" from Obama and all the changes seem good. I believe Hillary believes it too...because if you listened to her tonite...she did what Obama suggested. She CHANGED HER IDEAS from What I will do to what We can do. She needs to get her act together...She's trying to reinvent herself...I don't think she retooled her campaign ...I think she saw what was working for Obama...I'm not sure either if I want my vote to be a "DOUBLE VOTE" for her & Bill Clinton & their group of croonies. Also. I don't want to vote for her JUST because she's a WOMAN....RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT. I want the BEST PERSON who will help lead others in GOV. TO HELP US THE VOTERS....PS I'm glad Hillary finally QUIT SAYING WHAT SHE WAS GOING TO DO & LISTENED TO OBAMA approach on the "WE CAN". ....What would she have said if OBAMA didn't lead her in good ideas & thoughts. IF HILLARY WINS THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION...CAN SOMEONE START A WRITE-IN VOTE FOR OBAMA

    January 8, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  3. Pete, Austin, Texas

    You know I was one who advocated respect when it came to women's issues. But tonight that went out the window and two things I have learned–one that it is pathetic that women are voting for a candidate because she is a woman. Heaven forbid we should focus on what is best for the country and not that the candidate has breasts and large hips. The second thing is that the American electorate are crazier and dumber than I thought.

    My goodness–20 years of Bush and Clinton–we have one of the most power hungry, egomaniacal, and lying individuals running for office and she is getting the votes. I am so tired of Bushes and Clintons–I guess the good old USA is still wanting more misery and the same old gridlock in Washington. America–I guess we deserve what we get. But then again the Democrats truly do not want the White House back if they nominate Hillary and New Yorkers were too stupid to figure out that they got used by Hillary to springboard her power lust for the presidency. Oh this country has so much to learn.

    January 8, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  4. Jane, TX

    Hillary doesn't have the 'woman vote'...she has the 'intelligent woman' vote. HILLARY 08!!!

    January 8, 2008 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  5. Eileen Fullenwider

    Remember that three states have spoken....47 to go.

    January 8, 2008 11:52 pm at 11:52 pm |
  6. Tom Davie

    What the heck is this? An UNBIASED CNN article actually giving Clinton her due ?

    No spin to slide in that Obama rules anywhere? Wow.

    January 8, 2008 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  7. Michael Lederman

    As a Democrat, this is a dark night. I may be in tonight's minority, but this is a no brainer. For those in this country frozen by fear. For those driven by which candidate presents the best chance at beating the Republican in November. For those praying for a new direction for America.....this is heartbreaking.

    Hillary is not the answer. Hillary will not change the perception of who we are on the world stage. Hillary will not slow the growing hatred that boils. Hillary has too many debts still to be paid. I would love to see a woman President. Hillary is the wrong woman.

    For America. For our children. For an end to our fears and a beginning to our hopes.
    Barack Obama for President.

    Peace,

    Michael

    January 8, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  8. Leonard K Collins

    You go girl. Nobody but her can run it all, she got backup.....Bill helpin all the way. I wonder, the wives are always the first lady, could Bill be the First man haha, both of em in one family will be addressed, mr and mrs president , thats a new one which will always go down in history as the first, forget the other two, daddy and daddy jr presidents. For Hilary.....hooooo rahhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Cause the guys know she'll get em out of there, so they are all phoning home to there ladies and saying make sure you vote for hilary, whe want out!!!!!!!!!!!

    To the rest of you,

    Good luck your gonna need it.....Hilary got all the ladies behind her besides the card carriers.

    January 8, 2008 11:56 pm at 11:56 pm |
  9. Gil - California

    It is nice to hear that Hillary "got the women back". It is nice to hear that they aren't voting for her because she is a woman. It is nice that those that voted for her believed her "its so hard sometimes" sniffles. Enjoy the ride, it will only make the fall even harder.

    January 8, 2008 11:57 pm at 11:57 pm |
  10. Chuck

    "Clinton comaback"?

    Come back from what? the polls? Clinton was heavily favored to win New Hampshire and barely did – but somehow the spin doctors make that a 'comback'.

    Obviously, some quarters are counting on the gullibility or naivete of the American people to believe that somehow barely hanging on is coming back from being the front runner.

    January 9, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  11. Sherry

    Well.....

    I am so glad that the people in New Hampshire got it RIGHT. Discourse is fine. When it comes down to it, men have ran this country for hundreds of years. "What a fine mess you have gotten us into".

    All I am saying is give HILLARY a chance. We will not be disappointed.

    January 9, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  12. Ann Aloha, PA

    The Independent voters have spoken, we require our candidate to support our concerns, we demmand our candidate to listen to our issues and we difinitely want our candidate to recognize that every voter counts…
    Go Equality Go Fairness
    Go INDEPENDENTS

    January 9, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  13. Sherry

    I forgot. "Behind every good man is a WOMAN."

    I love you HILLARY!!!!

    January 9, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  14. prophet Stan

    THANK YOU FOR YOUR REPORTING

    January 9, 2008 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  15. Robert l Beaumont jr

    WE NEED Hillary in DC TO SHOW THE MEN HOW TO GET THE CHANGES THAT WE NEED THE WOMEN TOUCH IT WORKS ALL THE TIME.

    January 9, 2008 12:14 am at 12:14 am |
  16. Georgette Skiadas

    WOMEN HAVE HAD TO FIGHT FOR EVERYTHING THAT WE HAVE. THE RIGHT TO VOTE,EQUALITY IN THE WORK PLACE ,GOING TO PRIVATE MILITARY SCHOOLS ATTENDED ONLY BY MEN AND NOW THE BIGGEST ONE OF ALL- THE PRESIDENCY. IF THAT'S NOT CHANGE ,I DON'T KNOW WHAT IS!!! WOMEN SHOULD ALL BE RALLYING AROUND HILARY AND GIVING HER THE SUPPORT SHE DESERVES. WE AS WOMEN SHOULD BE EXTATIC ABOUT HILARY. THIS IS IS NOT A TIME FOR JEALOUSY THIS A TIME TO CELEBRATE. HILARY CAN DO MUCH BETTER AT THIS THAN ANY OF THE OTHER CANIDATES BECAUSE SHE IS MORE QUALIFIED AND SHE HAS MORE EXPERIENCE. SHE KNOWS HER WAY AROUND THE BIG D.C. AND SHE KNOWS WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT AND NEED.UNFORTUNATELY SHE DOESN'T HAVE AN OPERA BEHIND HER TO RALLY THE SUPPORT FOR HER ,BUT SHE SHOULD HAVE THE WOMEN OF THIS GREAT COUNTRY BEHIND HER HELPING HER ALL THE WAY TO THE WHITE HOUSE . NOW THAT'S CHANGE!!!

    January 9, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  17. ****A woman in SC who will NOT vote for Hillary****

    Barack CAN make a CHANGE. He has changed his opponent already. Hillary has changed her tactic but she has not. She even shed a tear for us. She is a great politician and she is playing the game! The new Hillary is not genuine but it does prove that Barack can CHANGED America. He has made her CHANGE her game plan. (Note to Hillary: We are starter than that.)

    Barack...you are right we have got to begin somewhere.

    January 9, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  18. stan pitts pa

    voters this is a democracy, not a monarchy, arent we tired of the bush-clinton-bush- dynasty!

    January 9, 2008 12:24 am at 12:24 am |
  19. Angel

    It's funny how CNN wouldn't call it when it was so obvious at 54% reporting in. AP called it first, ouch! So desperate to hang on to the last string of that empty suit Barack. Scary.

    January 9, 2008 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  20. A R, Cedar Rapids, IA

    This race was too close for a supposedly "inevitable" Hillary to claim victory over Obama. That is pure spin.

    Hillary is probably still crying as they both have the same amount of delegates, Obama and all of his supporters are still the true winners of this one in NH.

    The main deviating factor I saw, besides women voters, were there were more Independents voting on the Republican side for McCain. He has a strong standing in NH but I don't think that will be a factor in SC. Again, congrat still to Obama on this one. A 2% difference between him in Clinton in NH and she calls it a comeback. Wow. LOL!!

    January 9, 2008 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  21. Lynzey in Des Moines

    I am a young, middle-class woman from Des Moines, Iowa and working my way through law school. I don't know how I'll pay off my loans when I'm finished or where I'll find the money to pay for health care when my coverage runs out on my 25th birthday in two weeks. I am troubled by the results of our caucus and feel compelled to reach out to the young, first-time, or undecided voters in New Hampshire.

    Hillary Clinton gets it - this isn't a pep rally or election for student body president. It's for President of the United States of America. I saw Barack Obama during his first stop in Iowa and I WAS fired up. But when I met Obama after the event, he only stopped and turned to talk to me when I said I was a former staffer of a politico in Iowa. I walked out that night disappointed. When I met Hillary Clinton, she listened to my story and was only interested in what troubled me - not who I was or which student groups I could bring to her campaign.

    I'm afraid Barack Obama's feel-good message is just that: the modern-day opiate of the masses.

    New Hampshire - choose wisely. The pep rally in Iowa is over. Hillary Clinton's tears reflect what those of us that have worked in politics already know: hope is not enough. It's part of it, to be sure. But experience navigating the minefields is what will sustain that message. I suggest you all witness the phenomenon that is Barack Obama. He is no doubt an effective orator and will be a critical part of spreading the message about America's desire to re-build its image. But I urge you to vote for the woman that is recognized and respected around the world. Hillary Clinton will be the well-known, experienced and strong leader that America is in desperate need of to actually change our image around the world.

    January 9, 2008 12:39 am at 12:39 am |
  22. Marcelo - Albuquerque NM

    My fellow Obama supporters, I understand your frustration and disappointment at the recent news from NH but I think ALL OF US need to stay positive. PLEASE do not fall into the selfish trap of becoming negative against other candidates.

    The whole point of Obama's campaign is to erase the hate in politics and to bring the best out of everyone. This goes for the Hilary and Edwards supporters too.

    Remember, whoever wins the nomination, lets all support them and not make the same mistake the current administration has made. Let's bury the hatchet with the republicans and work together to improve our economy, save the environment, increase the opportunities for the needy and make the world a better place, with less hatred.

    January 9, 2008 12:48 am at 12:48 am |
  23. angela

    I was a little girl with big dreams, a daughter of a working mother, a working mother myself and a wife. YOU ARE The Agent of Hope / The Promise of Change.
    Thank you Hillary

    January 9, 2008 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  24. bebem1965

    I would most hope for a Clinton /Obama ticket for the Dem nomination because its a refreshing change and would be historic too!! Am I hoping for too much? It would certainly be a very healing process for these two to be on a winning ticket on the road to the White House! I certainly do not want more young soldiers to die in the useless war that is being waged in Iraq. Its about time we have a true government who feels for the people genuinely and want to bring the country together! The NH primaries have shown us that economy is a great issue with people so lets hope the next primary is also a good one for the best candidate!!

    January 9, 2008 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  25. curiosityhasme

    My faith has been restored. Thank God for the intelligent voters (especially women) in New Hampshire. I'm so impressed with the way they rose up against the media sabotage and unfair treatment of Hillary Clinton – I think I'll take my next vacation there. She is giving them facts and the truth – not some bunch of cadences and choruses of 'we shall overcome'. The outlandish comparisons to JFK, RFK, and MLK is an insult to their memories. Talk about audacity. Obama's honeymoon needs to be over already. The media needs to go back to REPORTING, not commenting on things they know nothing about. The long-time commentators need to heed the advice they give legislators that have been around awhile – take a long, extended vacation until the year's out, and let us have our country back. The airwaves should not be for propaganda in the United States.

    January 9, 2008 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
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