January 8th, 2008
11:15 PM ET
2 years 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. Samson

    I like Obama and his HOPE speeches,however fine speeches are not going to undo the terrible things inflicted on this great nation by George Bush et al. We need someone who can lead from the day.Congrats Senator Clinton.

    January 9, 2008 02:03 am at 2:03 am |
  2. Wiseone

    This is just the beginning.Hillary was able to confuse few of the people of NH to win sympathethic votes but even if she cries ocean,she can not deceive the people of South Carolina.America is tired of the Bushes and Clintons.We need and deserve a new face, a uniter, a person who can bring a genuine change.This person is Barrack Obama.Hillary claims 35 years of experience, but if she and her husband could not change the country in 35 years, what would she do if she wins and becomes the president for 4 years.We need to open our eyes and face the truth so that this country can move forward again.I urge all Americans to have a deep thought and contibute to the sucess of this wind of change.In a political sagacity, man s not a garrulous asperity but a gambolical jungoism

    January 9, 2008 02:06 am at 2:06 am |
  3. Margarita, Los Angeles

    HEY MISS OPRAH.... GUESS WHAT? YOU CAN'T BUY AN ELECTION!!! THIS RUGRAT WOULD NOT EVEN BE ON THE RADAR WITHOUT YOUR PLUG... THANK GOD EVEN YOUR OWN FANS TURNED ON YOU... SOMEBODY READ THE BACKLASH ON OPRAHS BLOGS... ITS NOT GOING DOWN THAT WAY OPRAH. BESIDES BILL WAS OUR FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT SO GIVE IT UP.

    January 9, 2008 02:29 am at 2:29 am |
  4. Amy

    Women can make a difference and I am glad NH women did. Thank you! Its not about electing a woman President, its about showing that our perseverance and hard work and dedication (for our families, jobs, society) pays off. I really hope Hillary will continue to receive women support.

    I was unpleasantly surprised to see that among university educated people, those with post-graduate degrees favored Obama and not Clinton by 12%. I suspect this reflects the fact that more men are likely to have masters and PhDs while women have only bachelors, and the very educated women become quite jealous of any other educated woman's success. Too bad ladies, you are doing your jobs, let Hillary do hers.

    January 9, 2008 03:00 am at 3:00 am |
  5. Gracey Knowle, Dallas

    I hope she appreciated the "good job Hilly" phone call from George W.

    January 9, 2008 04:15 am at 4:15 am |
  6. Joyce Allen

    The women in NH made an emotional choice. Next time Hillary cries, give her a tissue, not a pacifier, I mean not a primary.

    January 9, 2008 05:59 am at 5:59 am |
  7. Joyce Allen

    Sometthing good came of the NH primaries. Hillary's secret weapon; expect Hillary to be more emotional and spend the rest of the year crying. All the women are going to become emotional and start giving her tissues, I mean votes.

    January 9, 2008 06:05 am at 6:05 am |
  8. Jim, Burlington NC

    Not another Bush.

    Not another Clinton.

    Not ever, ever again.

    I don't want the same two families running our country for 28 straight years, 10% of our history, no sane person would.

    Dynasties are not part of the American way, we need fresh faces running the Executive branch, not the same old players...

    January 9, 2008 06:06 am at 6:06 am |
  9. Jamie, MI

    I think that every Democrat out there out to realize that Obama is the one candidate who is truly the most viable option in a general election. Sen. Clinton has megatives that make the Republican candidates' mouths water. Raise them 4%, and you beat her. Obama draw in independants, and a lack of experience is a reason that hasn't stopped us from electing two presidents back-to-back who had absolutely no national experience before being elected. If Democrats want to win the presidency, I think they ought to give Obama a second look.

    January 9, 2008 06:26 am at 6:26 am |
  10. Susan

    My God, next time Hillary whines don't get sucked into her wimpering.....I don't want more Clinton's running our country........get rid of this Dynasty once and for all....Don't voters get that.........OBAMA ALL THE WAY! and not just younger voters are jumping on his wave and riding it ....it will be a tsunami wave when he hits other states...he is just warming up .........you just wait............Hillary will be toast and yesterdays news............

    January 9, 2008 07:31 am at 7:31 am |
  11. Ressa from Florida

    And I agree with Jim from NC, I'm tired of the same ole same ole.
    No more Bush, Clinton and deadbeats!

    January 9, 2008 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  12. JJT

    Dems Rejoice! – We have a formidable group of candidates to choose from this year.
    Regardless of which candidate ropes the nomination, a win in November will be a significant improvement over the current administration. I admire Hillary's tenacity and determination and Obama/Edwards ability to speak directly to the angst of a nation. Still undecided – but am enjoying watching democracy in action.

    January 9, 2008 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  13. Seam, Philly PA

    Women that vote for Hillary have a blurred vision of a true leader. There's no crying in Politics, especially fake tears. Clinton is an emotional wreck, and she will be challenged feverishly by terrorists. I pray for this country's safety if Hillary is elected.

    January 9, 2008 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  14. Duncan, Richmond, VA

    I am amazed that gender comes into this. Clinton is a hard core politician, which means gender is irrelevant. No words come out of her mouth that has not been discussed in great detail by a huge team of people. If people truly believe that Clinton being a woman means something, then you know very little about politics.

    Take a look at her policies. They are all BS statements. "Hillary has proposed an Apollo Project-like program dedicated to achieving energy independence" ... how? who? costs? who pays? How does that trickle down to the consumer if the corporations ignore the project? Bush has been making such statement for 7 years, where are the results?

    Like all the politicians, they are wishy washy statements with no substance and the American voter is failing for the same stuff time and time again. You want change and yet vote for the same. Pathetic. If you want real change from a candidate who has detailed exactly what he will do, then Ron Paul is the only viable candidate.

    January 9, 2008 08:40 am at 8:40 am |
  15. Carol, Buckingham, PA

    I am a woman and I would NOT vote for Hillary just because of her gender.

    Actually, I don't want a female in the White House. Women, including Hillary, tend to be too emotional, too moody. Hillary has already demonstrated this. She's up one day; down the next. Tears, then smiles, then tears, then the smiles.

    Forget about her.

    January 9, 2008 08:56 am at 8:56 am |
  16. Anne Boyle

    Hillary Clinton's abilities far surpass any other candidate to lead this country back to its greatness and redeem ourselves with the rest of the world. The criticism she has withstood far surpasses that of all other candidates and yet she continues. A very sincere question from a woman voter, punched through the shield that all candidates must have to weather the abusive side of politics. And then we saw inside Hillary Clinton. She was more beautiful than I have ever seen her and reinforced my belief that she is best qualified to be our president.

    January 9, 2008 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  17. James

    Guess all you Clinton haters get to hate a little more. ... She is clearly a strong candidate. I like Obama too, but I have yet to hear how he would bring about the CHANGE. He is a brilliant speaker, probalby would be an excellent Baptist preacher, but I don't know what he has done and that is why I probably will not vote for him. You can say you are an outsider and you are going to do things different, but the reality is the people that will be there waiting for the next president will have an awful lot to say about that. ... just ask Jimmy Carter about his first and only term as president. Clinton on the other hand is hated by the Republicans and some Democracts as well, but she has produced positive results. I think if some of you put your emotions aside and use your common sense you would clearly see that she is the stronger candidate. Vote with the knowledge, not with the Oprah fantasy. ... When Oprah says it it becomes right? I think not. ... if you believe that then surely you think Dr. Phil is a genius. The bottom line is Oprah has one vote, don't give her yours without looking at the facts.

    January 9, 2008 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  18. vince, Phoenix AZ

    First and foremost, Congratulations to Senator Clinton. It's presidential politcs, and she did what she had to do to make this comeback.

    But a HUGE second..... FINALLY..... FINALLY.... YOU WOMEN UNDERSTAND WHA T IT IS LIKE TO HAVE YOUR MOTIVES QUESTIONED... FOR EXAMPLE...
    (and most infamously) "Oprah and African-Americans support Obama because he is black"... Now I read several posts fuming because it is being said that the women voted for her because she is a woman. (the implication being, not because she is the best candidate)....

    Sucks, doesn't it?

    enjoy this brief foray into our world.

    January 9, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  19. Women for Obama not Clinton

    So, let me see....if I cry for Obama will every woman vote for him? Because I will cry a river! Come on women what is wrong with all you Mrs. Clinton fans, please wake up! Did a few break downs from out former first lady change you? I'm so bored of her and Edwards. OBAMA TAKE IT HOME ALL THE WAY!!!!!!

    January 9, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  20. Tyler in Raleigh, NC

    All it took was tears and talking about hair. That while bashing hope and others, claiming you are the party of positive at the same time.

    Wow.... how easily people are duped.

    Bill Clinton walks out there and talks like he is running. Hey women, vote for my wife! She is so great, I lied to her and cheater on her. But forget that and everything else... she is better than a fairy tale.

    January 9, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  21. Karen Morreale

    What is the deal here ??? Do I detect that the CNN people were dragging their feet at showing Hillary's popularity ?? I got the distinct feeling they were rooting for Obama to win. Well all you CNN Obama fans, she won.....deal with it. I think she is the smartest candidate by far and she does have much more experience than he does. I don't think he is tough enough, we can't have a President cause he is a nice guy.

    January 9, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  22. sly

    Congrats Hillary ^^

    bye bye Osama...oops, I mean Obama

    January 9, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  23. Jersey Girl

    It's about time the women got out there and show their strengh. That's why we never got anywhere because we never stick together. Let's face it, Bush has been a disgrace. Let's give a strong very smaart woman a chance. WOMEN UNITE
    OPEN YOUR EYES let's get in control of this country. I know you all know that a woman can do a better job. Think out of the box.

    January 9, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  24. Bob, Seattle

    Don't underestimate the lift that was given to Hilliary due to her showing of strength and deportment in handling Bill O'Reilly at one of her campaign stops the day before the primary. Dems hate O'Reilly. Indeed, this contributed to her surprising, unforecasted result.

    January 9, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  25. cause and effect

    Some woman just like the power thing, they don't care whom they back as think they are going to get more power. Instead of getting the right way.
    Clinton did the wrong they it was a play she was doing, she knew she was going to loss, so she called in the big guns and big money to help her get it too, she dosen't care for the poor of USA or the lower mid classes either.

    She wants the woman whom make big money.. I do think think their is one person whom should have won this election was Edwards and Obama, though truelth and not lies from Clinton, oh, they are calling me names, she is big bussiness and big lobbies too.

    My husband I don't live above our means and never have either and we can't any help from our state at all, because of Bushes people. and our senates and reps of house, because after all the poor should get nothing at all.

    We made last year 8,000.00. We have pay our health care insurance and etc. We haven't food or money to buy heat for our home no money, my husband did spc/qa work and he is great at it too, until Bush got into office and everything got shipped oversea's and amercian companies know that they could get away with not having programs in places. Because big bussiness dosen't care about that part of it. They want the big money and big returns instead.

    I have fibrmylia and I can't get SS I am not sick enough, I also have asthma and hypertenion, when I got hurt on job WC said, I wasn't sick enough and I was making it all up. I worked a local hospital in this area isn't a great or careing hospital in this area, trust me ownly if you are from this town they don't want to hear you at all.

    Clinton did nothing for me. She dosen't listen at all.. She is just like being a GOP in a dress and that why she dosen't really care about people like me and husband and work all our lives for what to be all taken away from us. Raised our children and even sent one son of to Iraq and came back with PTSD and what she really doing for VETS of this war.

    WE NEED HELP NOW and WE NEED OUR JOBS to come back to this country and WE NEED TO THINK of PEOPLE OF USA first.

    SHE can bring down price of oil tooo

    January 9, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
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