(CNN) – The union vote is a key reason why the race in Ohio is so competitive.
Obama has many of the major union endorsements, including the Teamsters and the Service Employees International Union. But as in Nevada, some union members may not have necessarily followed their leadership’s endorsement.
Union members – who made up nearly one-third of Ohio Democratic primary voters - broke for Clinton 52 to 47 percent. This is good news for Clinton, who aggressively targeted union households over the last several weeks. Her campaign spent the past few days trying to draw attention to slleged remarks from Obama’s economic adviser that seemed to imply the candidate might not be as committed to changing NAFTA as he said he was.
If Clinton goes on to win Ohio, she'll owe union members there a big thank you.
CLARIFICATION: The exit polls do not show which unions Obama and Clinton supporters are from.
Change to Win, the union organization that includes the Teamsters and SEIU, reports their mobilization efforts were pivotal in tightening the race in Ohio.
"In the past ten days the Change to Win unions’ education and mobilization efforts tightened the race in Ohio and closed the gap on the 20 point lead Sen. Clinton held just a month ago," Change to Win spokeswoman Noreen Nielsen said. "A Mason Dixon poll conducted as recently as Friday (2/27-2/29) had union households supporting Senator Clinton by 56-37. As early reports indicate, if the marginal lead Sen. Clinton currently has among union members holds, we clearly closed the gap and shifted a significant number of union members to support Sen. Barack Obama."
– CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider
The Democratic race remains competitive. Track county-by-county results here.
(CNN) – Barack Obama is headed for an easy victory in Vermont, fueled by overwhelming victories among voting blocs that have solidly aligned with Hillary Clinton in other states.
Though women voters and seniors are the backbone of Clinton's support, in Vermont more than two-thirds of women, and roughly 60 percent of voters age 65 and higher, went for Obama.
One of the key reasons this groups went for Obama? The Iraq war. While the issue has fallen in importance among voters in several other states, Vermont voters ranked it nearly as important as the economy, and those who said it was the number one issue went for Obama over Clinton by nearly 3 to 1.
Obama often touts the fact he was initially opposed to the Iraq war while Clinton voted to authorize it. He has consistently beaten Clinton among voters concerned about Iraq - and in Vermont, this gap clearly proved decisive.
Related Video: Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser analyzes Tuesday's primaries
NEW YORK (CNN) – The economy was an overwhelming concern for Republican primary voters in both Ohio and Texas Tuesday, according to an early CNN exit poll.
In Ohio, 43 percent of GOP primary voters said the economy was the most important issue this election, while 22 percent cited Iraq, 19 percent ranked illegal immigration, and 15 percent said terrorism.
In Texas, 26 percent of Republican primary voters said the economy was the top concern, followed by 23 percent who cited terrorism, 21 percent who noted Iraq, and 16 percent who said illegal immigration.
Related: Mike Huckabee shares a moment with rival supporters
– CNN Political Editor Mark Preston
Track county-by-county results here.
(CNN) – You may have noticed Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton talked a lot more about NAFTA in Ohio then they did in Texas. In TV spots, in mailers, and on the stump, both candidates criticized the trade agreement constantly in Ohio, but didn't mention it nearly to the same degree in Texas.
Why? Well, the trade agreement is undeniably unpopular in Ohio: according to the exit polls, 81 percent of Democratic primary voters there said the trade agreement was responsible for job loss in the state. Only 10 percent said it led to job creation.
But in Texas, voters don’t seem nearly as negative in their views of the trade agreement: 58 percent of today’s Texas Democratic primary voters think NAFTA has caused jobs to be lost, while 24 percent say it's created jobs - a more mixed opinion than in Ohio.
Most Texas Democrats may hold an unfavorable view of NAFTA, but nearly a quarter of them give it positive marks - which means it’s a lot safer to criticize the measure in Ohio than it is there.
NEW YORK (CNN) – The economy ranked as the most important issue on the minds of Texans and Ohioans Tuesday, but Democratic voters in these two critical presidential primary states differed when it came to the issue of U.S. trade with other countries.
Eighty-one percent of Ohio Democratic voters said U.S. trade led to the loss of jobs, while 58 percent of Texans held the same view.
Iraq and healthcare also ranked as top issues for Democratic voters in each state. Nineteen percent of Ohio Democrats ranked healthcare as the most important issue, while 18 percent thought that Iraq was the top issue. In Texas, 26 percent of Democratic voters said Iraq was the top issue, followed by 22 percent who thought health care was the number one issue.
Related: CNN's Suzanne Malveaux reports on the Democratic fight for Texas
(CNN) – Voters in the critical March 4 primaries are still weighing in, but the action is already starting to shift to the next big battleground state of Pennsylvania as veteran organizers sign on to both Democratic campaigns.
CNN has learned that Mary Isenhour, executive director of the state party in Pennsylvania, will be state director of Hillary Clinton’s campaign in Pennsylvania. Tony Podesta, who ran John Kerry’s 2004 campaign in the state, will also continue to play a major role in the Clinton effort.
Jim DeMay, who ran Al Gore’s 2000 campaign in Pennsylvania, is state director for Obama. Nicole Price and Jeremy Bird, who organized for Obama in both South Carolina and Maryland, are also on the ground in the state.
–CNN’s Peter Hamby and Rebecca Sinderbrand
NEW YORK (CNN) – Hillary Clinton holds a two-to-one advantage over Barack Obama with Hispanic voters in Texas, while blacks are overwhelmingly supporting him in Tuesday’s Democratic presidential primary, according to CNN’s exit poll.
These early surveys provide a snapshot of the race, but are not conclusive on who will win this critical contest. Eighty three percent of blacks voted for Obama, while 16 percent supported Clinton, according to the exit poll. Meanwhile, 64 percent of Hispanics backed Clinton, while 32 percent went for Obama.