February 19th, 2008
09:39 PM ET
10 years ago

Exit polls: Change the top priority

A woman casts a paper ballot in Hortonville, Wisconsin.

A woman casts a paper ballot in Hortonville, Wisconsin.

(CNN) – For Wisconsin’s Democratic primary voters, the most important quality in picking a president this year was change - and most of those voters chose Barack Obama over Hillary Clinton Tuesday, according to early exit polls.

Clinton had a narrow advantage over Obama as most qualified to be commander in chief; Obama was viewed as most likely to unite the country, improve relations with the rest of the world – and beat the Republican nominee this fall.

–CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Exit Polls • Wisconsin
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. Andrew

    Not only did Obama jump his speach early to be sure that CNN would cover him, BEFORE Hillary was able to finish. AND EVEN BETTER, you cut her off to listen to him"thank" people. LET THE PROCESS HAPPEN, after tonight you have just LOST another VIEWER.

    February 19, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  2. Lilarose in Oregon

    Best as commander in chief is Clinton.

    Isn't that important??????

    Best as cheerleader and preacher is Obama.

    Does it matter????????

    I am a far-left Democrat who is looking at McCain for the FIRST TIME. I don't agree with him on most issues, but he has experience and isn't a cutsy speaker.

    Obama....just a cutsy speaker.

    February 19, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  3. Peter Cananda 4 Obama!

    Time and time again he has proven that his is electable, and ready for the Presidency from day one!
    God Bless you for agreeing with me that this man can do what he has promise.
    Someone has to say and do what he said one day!

    Hillary please join our next President

    February 19, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  4. Vig

    American's want change. Get rid of Bush and there will be plenty of change in and of itself – we don't need someone who seems to think he can make change, but has to borrow words and thoughts from others. Obama is more image than substance, more imitation than originality, more rock star than leader. He's a lightweight. He just doesn't deserve to be in the position he's in now – American's are a bunch of sexists.

    February 19, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  5. CE, Wisconsin, USA

    The Era of Bush/Clinton is drawing to a close.

    February 19, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  6. Alicia

    We are going to wake up from this nightmare and realized that all those votes for obama is because he is participating on American Idol.

    OK now back to serious issues.

    CNN you lost ALL credibility as a professional news center. no more CNN for me.

    February 19, 2008 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  7. Chance

    I am a democrat. However, if Obama wins the primary I cannot vote for him. He has built a candidacy on speeches with no real plans. The majority of his supporters are racists too. His supports will publicly say that his race plays a major factor in their support for him. The same could be said about Hillary being a female. However, gender seems to play less of a role then race in the US. I don’t know why people are voting on such superficial terms.

    February 19, 2008 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  8. dave

    We really don't want to see Hillary cry this fall – when the GOP is going to throw all the dirty scandals at Hillary. Heck, with all the dirts on the Clintons, it will be like a soap opera!

    February 19, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  9. Dale Paulson Ph.D.

    Please note that the Democratic National Committee took Florida and Michigan off the board. Can you please take it off your map? Right now your map shows that Hillary won those states. Thank you.

    February 19, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  10. Mr. Ohio

    Look for Hillary change her slogan from "Solutions for America" back to "Ready for Change". This is how the Clintons operate, check the polls and take a position.

    February 19, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  11. Stephen

    CNN aired Obama's speech over Clinton's speech because he won. Plain and simple.

    Is this watered down enough for you CNN moderator?

    February 19, 2008 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  12. mill

    you will all get change think about it all you freeloaders

    February 19, 2008 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  13. mill

    I a gree with you from Oregon- just a speaker nothing about substance

    February 19, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  14. lorrainas00

    Its too bad for our country after Bush, this was are election to win or loose and it looks as if the republicans are going to win the election.. Obama has won in Republican States which will go Republican in the general election, he cannot carry the base of the Democratic Party.. This Democrat will go with experience.. we live in dangerous times to trust an inexperienced candidate with false hope and cannot deliver. Looks like I will vote for McCain our country is too important to follow a dreamer.. Too bad for the democratic Party and their open elections and maybe delegates. Too Bad we could of had it!

    February 19, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  15. JimmySea

    please vig, read Obama's books and then tell me he's not an original and intelligent person.

    remember gore in '00, he was all substance and no charm and look what we ended up with.

    OBAMA '08!!!

    February 19, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  16. mill

    Thank s vig for your post

    February 19, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  17. Veronica

    The people of Wisconsin have spoken. Obviously they don't beleive that Obama is just a "cutesy" speaker or an empty suit. It's not that many people in the world that thinks he's all fluff. There is no way he could have gotten as many votes as he has (with people of all races and backgrounds) if he was merely a speaker. I don't care how many good plans and policies you have, it's worth NOTHING if you can't inspire people. That's Obama's strength. Don't hate, appreciate.

    I'm not one of those Obama supporters who would criticize his opponent. I have nothing against the Hillary (except the court case that's coming up Feb. 28 about campaign funds), I would vote for her if she became the nominee. But you also have to give credit where it's due and you can't deny that Obama has run a great campaign.

    I want my president to inspire me to look at our government a different way. I don't want to JUST hear about plans and policies (although that's my initial gauge). Hillary and Obama's plans are just too similar for me to judge them by plans and policies alone. Character and charisma counts! Hillary does not look for ways to bring the country together.

    February 19, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  18. mill

    Great post Alicia

    February 19, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  19. Ryan

    It is no more valid to call Obama supporters sexist than it is to call Clinton supporters racist. It seems Clinton supporters are so eager to jump on Obama as style over substance, for overemphasizing his ability to unite people. The fact is, the ability to unify people is absolutely the most important thing we need in a President right now. That's why McCain succeeded. That's why Obama is surging right now. All of the supposed experience Clinton has over Obama isn't going to do her any good with a Congress that is nearly half Republican (though we'll see what the new numbers are come January) and a country that is the same, many of whom may not like McCain all that much, but know they despise her. Is the hatred justified? Probably not to the degree that it exists, but the fact is that it's there. Her supporters can go on and on about how serving as First Lady makes her more experienced, a position that is tenuous at best, but that same supposed experience is what has made her the divisive figure she is. The fact of the matter is that the quickest way to excite the Republican base is not putting Huckabee or Romney on the ticket with McCain, but sticking Hillary on the Democratic ticket. McCain may not be their morning coffee, but Clinton is an air horn in their ear at 5am and they will RUN to their polling places to make sure she isn't elected.

    February 19, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  20. Undecided

    Lilarose in Oregon, as one who took a long, long, long time deciding between Hillary and Barack, I urge you to take twenty minutes and familiarize yourself with Obama's policy positions, legislative success, and background. I'm sure you'll be more impressed than you expect.

    February 19, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  21. DPK

    If anyone thinks that Hillary Clinton is a woman they need to think again. She is nothing but another old political back room good old boy. We have to get rid of the old school and start taking care of the people of the USA. Hillary has too many strings attached to her and her husband that she is very comfortable having tied to her.
    Obama can and will take a fresh look and make improvements to the good old boy mentality.
    Clinton should get out of the way. The only hard work Hillary has ever done is getting elected to the next level of politics. She has not ever had a real job and does not understand the real American. She needs to drop out of the race and let the real American be our number one.
    What Hillary is waiting for is to drag out the primary and get to the super delegates so she and her husband can get into the back room with the good old boys and put some smoke in the election.

    February 19, 2008 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  22. mill

    well said Chance

    February 19, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  23. Jim

    Hey Andrew they are even more rude than you think as they would not post my comment that you got Huckabee and not Hillary when you tried to listen to the rest of her speech online. Also that me and everybody I know will not be a viewer anymore and that their new viewers are short lived and will bring them down.

    February 19, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  24. James

    So Vig i guess you're somewhat of a higher being to juge us Americans as sexists..Obama is a fine candidate wether you agree or not, and because the opinion of we the people is different then yours we have to labeled by your higher self, but that's OK that's how democracy works, you have a right to your opinion and i'm not going to judge you for that.

    February 19, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  25. Paulo

    CNN stop blocking my comments that you know are true...Obama will lose in the fall...thats the truth...

    The GOP once again outsmarts the Democrats!! So feeble minded...Edwards or Clinton were our only hope in November...the republicans are going to tear the rookie apart!!

    The election was literally handed to the democrats on a platter after Bush...but we managed to say no thanks yet again.

    Texas, Ohio, Pennsylvania...help Hillary move forward!!! And stop stealing the "Yes we can!" Its NOT Obama's!! Its something that has been in the latin community for ages!!


    February 19, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
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