February 5th, 2008
11:43 PM ET
10 years ago

How Clinton, McCain may have won California

(CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton can thank Latino and Asian voters for her projected victory in California. Early exit polls indicate that Sen. Barack Obama carried white voters in California because of his overwhelming support among white men. White women, as in other states, more often supported Clinton. Black voters overwhelmingly favored Obama but Asian voters, whose numbers are comparable to blacks, went overwhelmingly for Clinton. The deciding factor may have been Latinos, who make up roughly 30 percent of California's Democratic vote. They went for Clinton by a two-to-one margin.

UPDATE: Meanwhile, exit polls show Latino and Asian Republicans may also have played an important part in John McCain's victory in the GOP primary. Mitt Romney led among white Republican voters but McCain led among Latinos and Asians, the second- and third-largest voting blocs behind whites among California Republicans.

Related: CNN Analysts say Super Tuesday didn't distinguish Democratic candidates

Filed under: California • Hillary Clinton
soundoff (572 Responses)
  1. Jason, Austin TX

    I REALLY dislike Hillary and you are a seriously misguided person if you believe otherwise. There is no way I'm voting Democrat if she's the nominee. The woman is best friends with corporate America. She loves the money she gets from big pharmaceuticals and medical insurers. Her response to being defeated by lobbyists on health care reform? SELL OUT! If you can't beat 'em, join 'em huh Hillary?

    She'll do and say anything to get elected. She's no different than Bush, Giuliani, and Romney!

    February 6, 2008 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  2. Terrez

    Let's give Hillary credit and look at the popular vote-these caucuses although get you delegates are not a true reflection of the popular vote. If Obama were to have one the big states Hillary did –the media would be writing her obituary.

    Let's not have another Bush Gore-where the loser wins because of arcane vote counting rules.

    February 6, 2008 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  3. suziQ

    My, many people sound as though this is now a done deal. Not even close. There are many votes still to count tonight and many states still to vote. Sen. Obama had a great night and lives to fight another day.
    If the Democrats want to win, they really need to understand Independents and Republicans will not vote for Sen. Clinton. Foolish to win the battle and lose the war.

    February 6, 2008 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  4. Max

    Tracey, can you explain how Obama plans to fulfill any promises made to you? Clinton leads in both delegates and superdelegates, fyi. If there is such a thing as Hope, then I hope Ohio, texas and the other states voting throughout the month realize that we can beat the Republicans with Hillary Clinton. Obama is way too liberal for him to win in a general election. The Republican base and the conservative right folks won't stay home, no matter what the pundits think.

    February 6, 2008 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  5. Jay

    Not to make any slamming comments, please none intended, I come from NC a place easily made fun of as well....BUT...for all of the Obama supporters out there, like myself, are we really all that surprised that a state that has the most rats with cancer, voted a movie star into major public office, and is the contributor of most hollywood misinformation and drama chose Hillary?...? Really folks it blows my mind that they have so many delegates simply due to there size, because it certaintly isnt due to there overall effect of the United States affairs, unless you consider Star magazine America's number one informational source, thanks I hope the remaining results are more benefical to the United States. Regardless, congratulations to all candidates and their respective parties!

    February 6, 2008 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  6. Dusacre

    Not so fast. Before you start chanting Hillary's victory. Obama won more elected delegates than Hillary. You will find that out tomorrow!

    February 6, 2008 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  7. B. Real

    "How can you explain that in non-racial terms? I wish it were not this way but apparently, it is."

    Why do you think the Clinton's are race baiting. They want to be in power no matter how much destruction they have to cause to get there. If Hillary wins, this Democrat is voting for McCain.

    February 6, 2008 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  8. Ramiro

    Am I the only smart Hispanic who sees through Hillary's veil(s) of deceit?

    Obama '08. Si se puede.

    February 6, 2008 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  9. Tahler


    Angelenos for Hillary for President!

    February 6, 2008 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  10. Bookem Dano


    February 6, 2008 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  11. April Caldwell

    How do we know that Hillary won California only 21% of the votes are in. It is too early to project. It's not over till the fat lady sngs and she hasn't even warmed up yet. Go Obama!!!!! Obama will be our next President. He has won 12 states to her 8 states so far. He is proving her is the people's choice.

    February 6, 2008 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  12. chab

    Trust me Hillary did not win California... Many voters registered late and their numbers were not added into total numbers...trust me and if she did its going to be a 50-49

    February 6, 2008 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  13. Jonathan

    I am not an American, but I have woke up early just to follow the results. I only have 3 words to say...


    February 6, 2008 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  14. john

    CNN corporation Obama Buys Ad's on CNN ...if coke sponsors someone you wont here them saying pepsi's better

    February 6, 2008 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  15. Bob

    Clinton's win in California is almost meaningless. After 8 years of George W. Bush, California and its 55 electoral votes will go for virtually any Democrat that runs, and I doubt the majority of Californians would not vote for either Obama or Hillary. Add this to the fact that the actual net gain of delegates from California won't be terribly much for her, that Obama ran very well in red states, and that Hillary won states that were mostly gimmes (NY and most of the northeast, which, like California, will vote for just about any Democrat), and I honestly don't see what's to like about a Hillary Clinton candidacy.

    She's proven that the base will vote for her – fine. (The base also voted for John Kerry, lest we forget.) But John McCain will siphon far more votes from the Democrats just due to the Hillary "yuck factor" than if Obama gets the nod, and Hillary can expect to see any possible gains among Republican women eradicated by McCain's general popularity with independents.

    To the joyous Hillary supporters: as the numbers suggest, this race is far from over. This Clinton-Obama drama will continue for some time, and McCain will be gaining tons of money and formulating strategy in the meantime. That's hardly something to celebrate for Dems of any stripe.

    February 6, 2008 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  16. John

    Obama has made a lot of ground in the last month; he has made up a 20% difference in the polls. This momentum won't be easy to stop.

    February 6, 2008 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  17. Nicole

    Go Hillary! I voted early for you and this was my first time voting ever! Congratulations on going against the naysayers!

    February 6, 2008 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  18. Cheng

    I'm Asian and I voted for Hillary. She's tough amongst the men. Obama just smoke and mirror.

    February 6, 2008 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  19. Holly, Kansas City, MO

    Call me racist if you like (and I'm sure someone will), but I definitely think it is the "Clinton" name recognition only that gets her such a high number of voters among people who immigrated to this country... and their families. Now–my boyfriend is an immigrant, we are of different races, and have been together for 2 years. I am NOT saying that I think immigrants are somehow unintelligent or anything like that.

    I am simply saying that Obama did not have enough time to get out there and campaign and get his name out in California. I believe if he had, things would have been a bit different. If you notice, everywhere Obama has significant time to go out and meet the people... he destroys Hillary's lead. The only exceptions are her "home states" of Arkansas and New York. And even in those, he whittled it some.

    Add that to the mail in ballots that we are seeing in these early results, and I suppose the results should not be all too surprising for most of us. All that said though, Obama still wins 13 to 14 states to Hillary's 8 or 9. Neither of them can claim any "decisive" victory from tonight's results... which is basically what we've all known for a week or two anyway. This thing is going on.

    February 6, 2008 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  20. New Yorker

    If the Democrats want a winner in November, the states Barack Obama won tonight show he'd be the strongest candidate. Hillary won mostly states that are safe Democratic states. Barack is winning states – such as in the south – that the Republicans need to win. If Democrats are smart, they will choose as their nominee the candidate who doesn't come with strong negatives, the candidate who can win in the South, in the West, and in the middle of the country. Wake up, Democrats, we have a greater chance of winning with Obama!

    February 6, 2008 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  21. Andrew

    Yes, Clinton is winning in California. And if you remember correctly, she has been winning California since she announced her candidacy last year. What is important to look at though is how much she was winning by compared to how much she wins by tonight. As I'm writing this, only 22% of the precincts are reporting, and she's leading by 20 points. That lead was in the 40s only 2 months ago. It may be overly optimistic of me to think that Obama will pull off a victory here, but let's look at Missouri tonight. Obama was down by 4 points with 88% reported, yet ended up winning the state by 2 points. Now, that margin is a lot closer than in California, where absentee ballots are definitely playing a big role. Congratulations are due to her and her team for not losing, because that's basically what she needed to do there. Not lose the gigantic lead she had back in July. So, Mission Accomplished there.

    February 6, 2008 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
  22. sam

    interesting to note: hispanics have not connected w/obama AT ALL
    the analysts suggest that if obama is the democratic candidate, hispanics will move back to the republican side and vote mccain (his immigration policy is pretty liberal)
    so, do you want to win or do you want to lose?

    February 6, 2008 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  23. Tom

    Hillary will make history.
    Obama will be just history.

    February 6, 2008 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  24. Mujon

    I disagree with the above analysis – I am a white woman and I voted for Barack Obama. The problem is that my vote – like the votes of countless other independents – was NOT counted!!! I am very disappointed about this. I called the LA County voting office when I became suspicious and have since confirmed that I was not properly instructed on how to vote in the Democratic race. Clearly, the volunteers at the polls were not properly informed. This very well could have had a significant impact on the results since some 20+% of Californians are registered independents.

    February 6, 2008 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  25. ojah_w

    they've only counted 22%...how can they call it?

    February 6, 2008 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
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