March 4th, 2008
04:28 PM ET
3 years ago

Schneider: What I'm looking for tonight

NEW YORK (CNN) - It's certain to be long night, but here are some early indicators I'll be keeping my eye on as the first wave of exit polls roll into the CNN Election Center.

The gender gap:
The bigger it is, the more it helps Hillary Clinton. She needs to do well with women voters tonight in order to carry Ohio and Texas. In nine Super Tuesday primary states Clinton won, men were split, but nearly 60 percent of women voters supported the New York senator. In seven states Obama won that night, the Illinois senator beat Clinton among both men and women.

Young voters
Much attention has been focused on Obama's ability to rally young voters. The number of these voters that showed up to vote and the proportion that break for Obama will be key to his chances of winning tonight. Senior voters have always been a backbone of support for Clinton, and will likely continue to be so today. In many of the states Obama has won, the youth vote has been heavy and has broken for him better than 2 to 1.

Minority turnout
Minority turnout will be crucial, but which minority? African-American voters have solidly aligned themselves behind Obama, and Latinos have usually supported Clinton. This means Obama has had the edge in states where African-American voters make up a significant proportion of the electorate while Clinton has had the advantage in states where Latinos do so. But Texas has both a heavy African-American population and a heavy Latino population. Whichever group has a higher turnout could be key to who wins the state.

Union workers
Whichever candidate wins among union voters in Ohio could very well carry the state. Even though several major unions in Ohio - like the Teamsters and the Service Workers and the Food and Commercial Workers - have endorsed Obama, the Nevada caucuses proved that union voters don't necessarily vote the way their leaders tell them to. Clinton is banking on strong support from this demographic to help her win tonight.

Independents
How much of a role will they play? Independent voters are allowed to vote in all four states today. In the past, these voters have strongly favored Obama. Will their turnout be high enough to tip the scales toward the Illinois senator tonight?

Republicans
Republicans are allowed to vote in the Democratic primary in Texas. Some conservative commentators, like Rush Limbaugh, are urging them to vote for Hillary Clinton just to keep the Democratic race going. The idea that large numbers of Republicans will vote for Clinton just to make trouble for the Democrats seems unlikely. But lots of unlikely things have happened this year.

Watch Bill Schneider break down the demographics of the March 4 primaries

Related: CNN's Ed Lavandera reports on early Texas voting

–CNN Senior Political Analyst Bill Schneider


Filed under: Bill Schneider • Ohio • Rhode Island • Texas • Vermont
soundoff (117 Responses)
  1. spirit of america

    Here's an exit poll from two precincts in NE Ohio: Hillary took 92% of the vote! Of 84 Democratic voters who responded in the morning vote, 78 voted for Clinton and only 6 for Obama. There may be double-digit Ohio victory in the works after all!

    March 4, 2008 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  2. yoshi927

    Charlotte-

    Don't ever try to draw a line between supporting Obama and being sexist. The truly sexist is the one who votes for Hillary just because she happens to have an XX chromosome. I don't care if we have white male christian presidents from here till doomsday as long as they're all good. Conversely, I don't care if we have a black president, a woman president, or a black woman president, or an awakened squirrel president as long as they're good.

    That being said, I think that Obama is the better choice.

    March 4, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  3. averagejoe

    Bill, you may also have to look at the number of voters who change their minds very recently. These may be former undecided voters who finally made up their minds based on the very recent issues being thrown at Obama, namely, the Rezco trial and affair and the senior aide NAFTA meeting w/ the Canadians. You could also look at whether candidate's credibility is of great importance to these voters. If your results show that it is, then there would be a high correlation between the above two data points. It would be that those who believe credibility should be very important and who recently made up their minds on who to vote are more likely to withdraw their support from Obama and even possibly switch over to the Clinton side.

    March 4, 2008 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  4. simple thought ?

    she who laughs last, may have the last laugh

    March 4, 2008 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  5. Mac-D

    Trina: That is Texas' Democratic Party stupid rules (to allow people to cross Party lines and vote). You can't do that in some other states. For instance in Florida, only registered voters of each party can vote in their OWN Party's Primary (Independents can't vote there) AND there is a deadline that you have to be registered by...long before the Primary. You can't just show up and declare a Party and vote. This is the way it should be everywhere. The Texan Dems do it this way so Party officials can over-rule the popular vote if they don't like it (same with Super everywhere. They don't serve "democracy," they serve their Parties interests)

    March 4, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  6. Reality check

    There are many high ranking military men that are voting for Hillary. I think you will find that you are very wrong saying just women are voting for her. Why is she getting the votes? She is expierenced, tried, and has stood the test. Quit blaming her for everything her husband has done, all she did was once again, work very hard to keep her family together and raise a brilliant young lady, Chelsey. What if her daughter acted in the same manner Bush's daughters acted, then you could complain. Hillary will run the White House and it will be run on her agenda, not Bill's.

    March 4, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  7. Ken, Suitland MD

    Tim (5:02pm), take your head out of your nether-parts, and get a grip on reality. To compare the Clinton white house with the brain-damaged Bush white house is absurd.

    You really think president Clinton getting a BJ compares to the mutliple messes and damaged integrity that Busch has given us? If so, you must be one of the knat-heads that voted for our current disaster-in-charge.

    If Hillary wins, and her time in office is anything like her husband's, you and this country will be DAM LUCKY!!!! The funny thing is, you morons won't even know it.

    March 4, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  8. Jack from WV

    Well CNN has finally turned back to Hillary and her campaign and why one must ask, because all the attention was given to Obama, and Hillary complained to the boss of CNN a liberal, and now she is getting her fame once again, but is it in time for her, I hope not. Wolf is a Hillary fan and much to much vocal on this, being a reporter you are suppose to “report the news”, not interject your own opinion! Shame on Wolf! There’s a movement in this country and it’s called Obamamania. I believe Hillary has some time left in her campaign but in the end those in high places will ensure she will not gain the nomination, she’s 1990’s and times are different, and with the possibility of Bill returning to the White House you have to ask your self what is he going to do this time and will he get caught again and for what. 8 years of Bush is done and 8 years of Clinton was enough let another family try and run this country!

    March 4, 2008 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  9. Stephanie Omaha

    I dont think the CNN politicalticker moderator likes me :((

    I have posted twice and think its a conspiracy.

    LongHorns in Texas liken to Beef in Nebraska.

    GO HILLARY!!!!

    Thanks for showing America you can have a sense of humor.
    Many dont realize there is a silent majority that will show up at
    the polls today.

    OBAMAS rhethoric is a MILE long and an inch deep.

    I attended my first caucas in Nebraska and the Obama followers
    were rude. I will chalk it up to inexperience and the average age
    of the Obama Followers.

    "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." – Abraham Lincoln

    March 4, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  10. Edgar

    To the Latina for Obama:

    I've been reading your comments all day on Hillary on how she is such a fake and no good for America yet you are so sure that Obama is!

    I also notice that you attack her on what Bill did in their personal marital issue! It seems to be that you were probably betrayed yourself and that is why you express yourself in that matter.

    Your not focusing on the issues and what matter to our nation. How well do we know Obama and can we really trust him the way we trusted Bush in 2000.

    No experience and promised a united Nation.

    March 4, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  11. uchujin

    Consider this supposition, which is probably reasonably accurate even w/o documentable support:

    If 75% of all voters under 25 have only cell phones, and
    If 65% all voters under 25 vote for Obama, andPollsters contact only voters with land lines or previously registered voters who listed cell numbers (which means they voted in the last general election), and
    Cell phone market penetration is nearly double what it was prior to the last general election while affordability of cell phones has increased,

    How many Obama voters have been omitted from the polls.

    Obama puts an end to HRC tonight as the polls will be as misrepresentative of the results in TX & OH as they have been in any of the recent Obama victories.

    March 4, 2008 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  12. Leah DiMarco, TX

    Cheryl in a post above said: SENATOR CLINTON WAS NOT CAUGHT LYING!

    I say to Cheryl - WHAT PLANET are you living on? Both Clintons are FAMOUS for their lying! You really should do some research on the Clintons so you know what you are talking about! And also be sure to google the Peter Paul vs. Clintons lawsuit that is CURRENTLY going on the California court system!

    March 4, 2008 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  13. Justin

    This is one Texan who cast his vote for Mrs. Clinton and will be voting for Mr. McCain in the fall. Dems who don't like it, I apologize, but I am playing by the rules and it does make sense!

    March 4, 2008 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  14. Sue Z

    Unfortunately, the media is deciding once again who the country should support. It has been so painfully obvious that they were pulling for Obama, then when they were called on it, decided to push Clinton. Enough already. Just present the facts and allow the voters to make their own decisions.

    March 4, 2008 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  15. annie

    Obama you should know the media can bring up or take you down I just hope the American people are too smart to be told what to do by media don't befriend them Obama try to avoid them they were tough on you when you started now that you are winning they are bringing you down so be carefull America is smart anyway and don't forget they said you were not black enough or white enough then what do you expect from the media they are bad news. Be carefull out there.

    March 4, 2008 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  16. Dennis

    Cheryl: VOTE FOR THE ONE THAT THEY HAVE NOTHING ON! SENATOR CLINTON!!!!!!!!!!

    SHE WILL GO TOE TO TOE WITH THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Are you kidding? They have nothing on HIllary? They are salivating to go after Hillary. They'd love to take out a Clinton after a Clinton beat them twice in the 1990s. Speaking of the 1990s–that decade alone gave the RNC enough campaign fodder to use against Hillary. Just because she claims to have been vetted doesn't meant the Republicans can't and won't attack her.

    March 4, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  17. James ( Independent )

    Hillary is Texas Toast plain and simple.

    March 4, 2008 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  18. PATHHHHHHETIC

    Cheryl,

    you may want to go check the words PETER PAUL + Clinton on YOutube before pretending that Senator CLinton does not LIE

    March 4, 2008 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  19. Dennis

    Marco: Michelle Obama is only just now proud of her country, and doesn't know if she would support the nominee if it were not her husband. First lady material? I think not.

    Good thing we are voting for a President and not a first lady then, isn't it? Or, did you forget that? But hey, we could have Bill as the First Gentleman, or whatever they'd call him. We know his ability to control himself in the White House is top notch.

    March 4, 2008 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  20. Lowell

    And what about the african americans just voting for Barack H. Obama because he is black.......

    March 4, 2008 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  21. Pia

    Whenever Clinton speaks, I feel like she is lecturing me. Whenever Obama speaks, I feel like he is having a conversation with me.

    March 4, 2008 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  22. Marta-FL

    In poll after poll, Obama is seen as beating McCain in a general election. The Republicans want Hillary NOT because they think she's a good candidate but because they believe she is the candidate they can BEAT. By the way, those same polls show Hillary LOSING to McCain.

    March 4, 2008 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  23. Peg from Ohio

    My 85 year old mother and I both caucasion voted for Obama . What do the pollsters think of that?

    March 4, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  24. terry

    I am a proud American and Texan. Watch the news tonight when all of the Obama supporters are going to be crying!

    Clintion 2008

    March 4, 2008 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  25. Alex

    Hillary either doesn't have the guts to leave her cheating husband, or is too conniving to do so. Either way, hardly presidential.

    March 4, 2008 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
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